TCM Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary & Beloved Original Host Robert Osborne With a Special Movie Marathon

a black-and-white 1994 photo of Robert Osborne standing at a lectern and speaking during the launch announcement of Turner Classic Movies in April 1994.
Credit TCM
Robert Osborne at the launch of Turner Classic Movies in New York City, 1994

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) launched 30 years ago, at 8pm ET on April 14, 1994.

The network is celebrating all day (starting very early) on the date of that anniversary — Sunday, April 14, 2024 (late-night Saturday, April 13) — with a daylong marathon of films featuring historical introductions from the network’s  first host and champion, Robert Osborne, who passed away in 2017. So the day will be both a celebration of the channel and Osborne, the beloved personality who, over more than 20 years on TCM, helped many viewers discover and enter the world of classic movies, and who dedicated his life to preserving and sharing the films he loved.

Throughout the day, fans will be treated to new insights from TCM’s five current hosts to give context to Osborne’s original intros. The day’s centerpiece will feature an airing of Gone With the Wind (1939), which was the first film to be broadcast and introduced on TCM.

GONE WITH THE WIND, Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, 1939

Everett Collection

Gone With the Wind was the first film shown on TCM when it launched on April 14, 1994


Among other highlights are films that were featured as part of Osborne’s “Bob’s Picks” segment, including his intros to them.

“How many other channels on television celebrate their anniversary? How many other channels’ fans know where they were the day a network launched?” asked TCM primetime host Ben Mankiewicz, in a release about TCM’s anniversary.

“I’m not sure either of those things are true without Robert Osborne,” Mankiewicz continued. “He’s the Walter Cronkite of TCM. The Johnny Carson. The Alex Trebek. With these intros of Robert’s, we’re celebrating his impact and his continued influence.

“Plus, as we do with the movies we show, we’ll put Robert into context. Additionally, we’ll also look back to those early years and get the perspectives and experiences of the early TCM staffers who helped shaped the legacy of the channel.”

TCM 30th Anniversary Lineup (All Times Eastern) 

Sunday, April 14, 2024 (Late-Night Saturday, April 13)

12:30am — The Breaking Point (1950): Robert Osborne and Eddie Muller’s introduction; original airdate Jan. 17, 2013. Features new insights from Muller for Noir Alley

2:30am — Wild Bill Hickok Rides (1942): “Bob’s Pick” from Nov. 15, 1996

4am — The Guardsman (1931): “Bob’s Pick” from April 14, 2011

5:30am — The Pirate (1948): “Bob’s Pick” from April 14, 2011

7:30am — North by Northwest (1959): “Bob’s Pick” from April 14, 2015

10am — The Breaking Point (1950): Repeat of last night’s Noir Alley; see above

12pm — An American in Paris (1951): Robert Osborne and Dave Karger introduction; original airdate Feb. 23, 2007. Features new introduction from Karger

2pm — Mr. Skeffington (1945): Robert Osborne and guest programmer Mario Cantone; original airdate Jan. 10, 2006. Features new introduction from Alicia Malone

4:30pm — Cyrano de Bergerac (1950): Robert Osborne and guest programmer Kermit the Frog; original airdate Nov. 21, 2007. Features new introduction from Alicia Malone

6:30pm — Private Screenings: Robert Osborne (2014)

8pm — Gone with the Wind (1939): First TCM film introduction of the first movie the network broadcast; original airdate April 14, 1994. Features new context from Ben Mankiewicz

Monday, April 15, 2024 (Late-Night Sunday, April 14)

12am — The Wind (1928): Robert Osborne and cohost Sally Field; original airdate April 25, 2008, as part of The Essentials. Features new introduction from Jacqueline Stewart for Silent Sunday Night

1:30am — Robert Osborne’s 20th Anniversary Tribute (2015)

2:30am — Diabolique (1955): Robert Osborne and cohost Drew Barrymore; original airdate May 12, 2012, as part of The Essentials. Features new introduction from Alicia Malone for TCM Imports

4:30am — The Petrified Forest (1936): Aired on TCM’s first day, April 14, 1994