The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Cafe Society

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-03-2004, 12:45 PM
HeyHomie HeyHomie is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Springfield, IL
Posts: 8,053
Who Writes the Show Summaries in TV Guide?

Is it the job of a TV Guide™ copywriter to watch advance tapes and include write a summary? Or do the production companies (or networks) send a description?

I ask because the Malcolm in the Middle summaries all seem to follow this pattern: [concept] + [verb] + [character]. For example:

"Cooking energizes Reese."

"Dating confuses Malcolm."

"Overwork enrages Francis."

Whereas the Survivor summaries all say "A [nth] contestant is voted off the island."
__________________
If you see "Sent from my phone blah blah blah" in my post, please understand that this is automatic when I post from my phone, and I don't know how to disable it. Sorry.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 04-03-2004, 02:24 PM
TJdude825 TJdude825 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
I'll bet a lot of shows could use specific formulas. The first example to come to mind is Joan of Arcadia:

God tells Joan to [something]. She gets stressed out. Tensions run high among her family. She still doesn't understand The Plan.
__________________
When life gives you lemons, make coffee!
when you give a boy a digital camera...
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-03-2004, 02:35 PM
Lisa-go-Blind Lisa-go-Blind is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Sorry, I can't help you, but that reminds me of the movie listings in the back of the TV Guide/TV Weekly. Does the magazine have someone watch the movies and write a one-sentence review? Because there are star ratings involved, it doesn't make sense to me that the company syndicating these movies or the network airing them would write the reviews, and all the reviews are in the same style.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-03-2004, 04:23 PM
guy_from_wpa guy_from_wpa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
My best friend's wife has been a listings editor at TV Guide for the last 14 years, so I've heard a lot about the joint.


The copywriters get advanced tapes, watch them and write the copy. Apparently they write the program listing several lengths so the listing is understandable no matter where it is used (magazine listing, TV Guide channel, TV Guide.com, etc.) Sometimes for shows that they want to keep the plot secret, they will use a network provided copy.

Its always fun to go to their house to watch TV, especially when she has a bunch of new season shows to watch.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-03-2004, 05:28 PM
Murcielago Murcielago is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Don't know about TV Guide, though the listings provided by Tribune Media Services for my daily paper are often amusing. Summaries for the syndicated episodes of the Law & Order shows are the best. About 70% of the time they are:

Law & Order: Murder.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Rape.

Dammit, they are always showing those two episodes. I get that they don't have space for a proper synopsis, I just don't know why they bother at all.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-03-2004, 08:22 PM
KidCharlemagne KidCharlemagne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
My favorite blurb/reviews are from the New York Times Television Guide. I get the feeling the writer is a woman (always meant to confirm that) and some of the reviewettes are just priceless.
__________________
"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet"- Template
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-03-2004, 10:21 PM
Beauty Personified Beauty Personified is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Quote:
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Rape.
I believe the original title of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was Law & Order: Rape.
__________________
Christopher "Beautiful" Carlson
Canada's #1 Nashville Predators Fan
"You can never have too many pucks."
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-04-2004, 12:26 AM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 19,255
Before our cable company changed to a newer (far suckier) digital listings company, I used to play the "guess the X-File epsiode from the description" game. At least 15% of the episodes were billed as " Mulder and Scully investigate a murder in a small town" so it made it a challenge
__________________
Stalk follow me on Twitter
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.