Exactly 25 years ago on April 14, Turner Classic Movies was launched at a ceremony in New York City's Times Square district by media maverick Ted Turner.
A true estimate of the network's devotion to film preservation and history, the date and time of TCM's launch was chosen for historical significance as it is the exact centennial anniversary of the first public movie shown in New York City.
The first movie broadcast on TCM was Gone with the Wind, which the network presented uncut and commercial free, and they continue to uphold that legacy.
To celebrate its silver anniversary, TCM will present an extensive on-air programming salute throughout the entire month of April showcasing popular programming from the TCM vault, including:
Anniversary Salute – April 14
TCM is once again screening it's first ever programming line-up, featuring the original intro from TCM host Robert Osborne. The night will kick off with Gone with the Wind (1939), a co-production of Selznick International and MGM, along with such other cinematic treasures as Columbia Pictures' It Happened One Night (1934), starring Claudette Colbert and Gable; Warner Bros.' The Petrified Forest (1936), starring Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis and Leslie Howard; and RKO Pictures' Cat People (1942), starring Simone Simon, directed by Jacques Tourneur and produced by Val Lewton.
25 Fan Guest Programmers – April 15 - 26
As part of a two-week primetime special, 25 of TCM’s biggest fans will join host Ben Mankiewicz as guest programmers, offering dedications of their favorite films of all time. Picked from a fan dedication contest, fans from all backgrounds and all over the U.S., are brought together through their love of classic film to help TCM celebrate 25 years on the air.
TCM Specials – April 29th
In honor of Robert Osborne's memory, TCM will present six specials from the TCM vault, including The Best of Private Screenings, a compilation of segments from Osbornes’ series of intimate interviews, hosted by Ben Mankiewicz. Also airing that evening are Private Screenings: Robert Osborne, Robert Osborne’s 20th Anniversary Tribute, Private Screenings: Liza Minnelli and Live From The TCM Classic Film Festival: Norman Lloyd.
Best of The Essentials – Every Saturday in April
TCM will present double features showcasing The Essentials every Saturday at 8 p.m. ET in April. The franchise highlights the movies that define what it means to be a “classic” and has featured hosts Rob Reiner, Sydney Pollack, Peter Bogdanovich, Molly Haskell, Carrie Fisher, Rose McGowan, Alec Baldwin, Drew Barrymore, Sally Field, David Letterman, Tina Fey and William Freidkin.