The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Television programming for the late night viewer

If you’ve been paying close attention to the incoherent ramblings that form paragraphs adjacent to the lovely pictures of me, you’ve noticed the varied nature of topics discussed, ranging from the wholly propagandistic (shilling for Zappa) and nearly everything in between.

A brief conversation I had with Nancy (the delightfully deadline-flexible entertainment editor) led me to the remembrance that my articles are, in fact, published in the entertainment section of The Torch.

With that in mind, I also realized that very rarely do I examine anything remotely close to entertainment. That is until this week.

Television is a medium by which many of us receive our ‘entertainment.’ What constitutes ‘our entertainment’ differs from person to person.

I feel that my demographic is very underappreciated by television executives. I am fairly certain that network honchos are not having many pitch-meetings discussing the importance of pleasing the college-age insomniac viewer block; they should.

I am sure my late night brethren would agree that there is a general lack of representation in regard to programming in our TV timeslot. Plain and simple: there is never anything good on at 3:00 a.m.

Infomercials are only entertaining the first few dozen times. Cinemax gets repetitive. News and sports highlights do not change when all the headline makers have long retired to the boudoir, and who ever wants to watch poker?

All in all, overnight television programming evokes such a malaise, that we would be better off raiding the DVD collection or surrendering to it by hitting the sack.

Usually this televised abyss comes at a time when we are typically too lazy to peel ourselves off the couch, so both above options are not completely viable.

It is really quite unfair. Frumpy housewives who call 11:00 p.m. their bedtime get the prime production. All the big bucks go to their demographic timeslots producing carbon copies of programs from proven formulas.

What is left for the bleary eyed late night viewer? Not a penny is spent appeasing my crowd, nothing. It’s inexplicable to me.

Aside from the unmentionable things one does with their after hours, the incandescent glow of the TV screen is a typical accomplice. Something should be done to satisfy the healthy desire for predawn programming.

I think there should be a collegiate-styled On-Demand channel offered, a notch on the dial with something for everybody unwilling or unable to sleep; a place where all the ‘entertainment’ needs of those who operate on a completely different time frame can be fully slaked. My classes do not start until 4:00 p.m., I sleep through everything important on television before 3:00 p.m. I then have class through the hours quantified as most popular for television viewing.

This is a common problem for us class-attendees. We tend to seek our ‘entertainment’ at unconventional times. If we can sleep until the mid-afternoon, we undeniably exhaust every minute in the late night hours, at least I do.

If it has been a grand evening, the morning becomes the partier’s primetime. That is why King of the Hill reruns would be much welcomed at 6:30 in the morning. A constant loop of Monty Python’s Flying Circus would preempt the carpal tunnel syndrome I will inevitably contract because of hellacious channel changing.

Networks specifically pandering to this late night crowd could draw huge audiences in my demographic. Perhaps huge is the wrong word. There is probably not a huge crowd stirring at this time.

But, with proper programming, a network could draw the last conscious moths to the perpetually flickering flame. The marketing practically writes itself.

What do people possibly yearn for at this time? Young adults are more apt to spring for a pizza than a Hyundai when the stars are alight. Television is in no immediate danger of folding as a form of media. It just does not wheedle those burning the midnight oil.

In an age when every aspect of things is exploited to squeeze out a few more dollars, the late night has been overlooked.

The Hollywood suits should appease those of us who bed down on the opposite side of the sunrise.

If we’re watching infomercials on Tokyo time, we’re probably highly unmotivated to enact action of any kind. We would just like something to watch.

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