Made for television movies, TV movies for short, have gained a reputation for being low-budgeted. Still, small screen movies have not disappeared into total obscurity. Some TV movies have created controversies, while some have at least made it into DVD versions for wider distribution. If you are still not clear about what TV movies are, they are feature-length films produced especially for television. People who prefer watching watered-down versions of adult entertainment may find TV movies just right for them. Because TV movies are obviously made for the small screen, they are easily accessible to most members of the household. Sex , gore and adult language are usually limited. Some TV movies, however, prefer to remain in safer, more familiar territory by telling tales of triumph over adversity or dramas from real life.
The history of TV movies
During the 1940s and 1950s, live presentations of feature-length dramas could be seen on television. Because these presentations were feature-length made especially for television, their only difference from today's TV movies was live performance. The 1957 musical, Pied Piper of Hamelin could already be classified under TV movies. However, the label TV movies had only been coined in the 60s. Since then, TV movies have been filmed to make people stay in their homes and watch television instead of going to the theaters.
The role of TV movies
TV movies, as mentioned, are made to make people watch television. Because some networks keep playing the same movies over and over, TV movies become welcome additions to the viewing schedule. Networks may increase their ratings by featuring original movies or network-produced television movies. TV movies of some networks even earned their nominations and took home several awards. Films made for TV have gained a reputation for having high standards and quality.
Controversial and well-known TV movies
TV movies have a tendency to make use of controversial or sensational topics such as abortion, domestic violence and real-life scandals. This melodramatic style engages viewers of similarly themed shows, such as soap operas. A 1972 TV film, "That Certain Summer" talks about homosexuality, while HBO's "If These Walls Could Talk" deals with abortion.
TV movies, however, are no longer limited to sensational dramas. Science fiction lovers may have been happy about the production of TV movies such as "Babylon 5: The Gathering". This TV movie has led to the launching of the series Babylon 5.