Television viewing is an important component of our lifestyles. More than 70 percent of the households in the United States subscribe to a cable service. Thousands of additional homes have satellite dishes. And the array of channels continues to expand at an almost dizzying pace.
Today we’re unveiling our expanded TV Week magazine - it’s now 64 pages - which will continue to appear every Sunday in The Spokesman-Review. One of the best enhancements is color-coding of all the programming grids.
The changes in TV Week were necessitated, in part, by production changes. The magazine, which was printed on an Urbanite press in the basement of the Spokane Chronicle building, is now printed on the same press used for the newspaper. This necessitated a different paper size which is why today’s TV Week is nearly 20 percent narrower. However, the change also allowed full-color capability on every page and allowed us to expand the magazine from 48 pages to 64 pages.
The TV programming grids are color-coded - pink blocks are sporting events, purple blocks are children’s shows, news is tan and movies are blue. A narrower format also required narrower programming grids and each day has been divided into three time slots - 2 a.m. to noon; noon to 8 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The Sunday morning programming (7 a.m. to noon today) appears on page 21. Those who want to program their VCRs to tape a Sunday morning show but don’t want to get up early to read the schedule will now be able to do that. The last grid in the magazine each week is the 2 a.m. to noon Sunday schedule so you can set your VCR Saturday to tape a show early Sunday.
A revised channel lineup - the guide to the channel number each network appears on in the different towns - is on pages 6 and 7. Just find your town at the top of the chart; the networks appear in alphabetical order to the left and the right of the chart. Remember, every cable systems offers different channel lineups so you may not be able to get every network listed in the chart.
In addition, the VCR-Plus conversion numbers also appear in that channel lineup chart on the left. These numbers are the same for all the towns; just follow the directions in your VCR manual for programming your VCR to find each network when using the VCR-Plus codes in the grids to tape the show. If you have questions about that process, or the VCR-Plus codes, call VCR-Plus customer service at (800) 4321-VCR.
A list of highlighted major sporting events appears on page 8. TV Week is produced nearly a week ahead of publication and because sports programming can change at the last moment, check each day’s Spokesman-Review Sports section for an updated schedule of televised sporting events.
The movie descriptions will include only those movies which receive at least two stars on a four-star rating system.
Each day above the grids is a listing of highlighted programs from late afternoon through prime time. In addition, we added a couple of best bets for viewing each night. Again, because TV programming may change after TV Week has been produced, consult the daily prime time grid in the Spokesman-Review IN Life section.
An expanded magazine also allowed us to include a TV crossword puzzle, which is on page 9.
If you’re having trouble finding the day you want to look at, there’s an quick index to TV Week on page 3.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Staff illustration by Bridget Sawicki