What's the big deal?? Here's what this outsider thinks. The channel is a bargain -- for awhile. Repetition sets in. It's hardly aggressive on a continuing basis in showing movies not already in its film library.
TCM is in it for the money. Ever since Ted Turner bought the film libraries, TCM has primarily stuck with cycling and recycling the same MGM, WB and RKO stuff. It costs them nothing to speak of at the margin to show the same films again and again. They benefit not only from cable fees but also dvd sales, using the channel as an advertising medium.
There are exceptions to this and not small ones. They did run through a rental series from Columbia and another with many English movies. That was some years ago now. They also rented some 20th century films. They've also shown many more modern movies. But basically TCM is cheap and gives the least viewing product it can at the lowest cost.
Have they delved into lesser noirs or noirs away from their owned library? Not recently, not since they did the Columbia and English movies. Noir Alley with great fanfare now recycles more of the same, or mostly more of the same. A blindfolded dart-thrower at a list of noirs, late noirs and neo-noirs could come up with a more innovative list.
Granted, this breaks the noir ice for TCM and Eddie Muller, I assume, did it, while gathering some eggs for his nest. Why not? These are not charitable endeavors. But are we whose primary interest is viewing supposed to get excited about this?
TCM is not MOMA.
And, by the way, TCM already shows more than one noir a week anyway on the average. This is the second effort to build a noir audience, is it not? Didn't we have some focus a little while back? The audience is already there. That's why this segment is being built. To build it further, show the lesser and rarer entries that actually may require resources to air. How about those Mexican films with subtitles? How about introducing international noir?