TV Guide

TV Guide

Infobox Magazine
title = TV Guide

image_size = 102px editor =
editor_title =
frequency = Weekly
circulation =
category = Listings magazine
company = Macrovision
publisher =
firstdate = April 3, 1953
country = United States
language = English
website = []
issn = 0039-8543

"TV Guide" is the name of a North American weekly magazine about television programming.

In addition to TV listings, the publication feature television-related news, celebrity interviews, gossip and film reviews. Some even featured horoscope listings and crossword puzzles.

United States Magazines

:"Related links: List of TV Guide editions, List of TV Guide covers"The national "TV Guide" was first published on April 3, 1953. Its premiere issue cover featured a photograph of Lucille Ball's and Desi Arnaz's newborn son, Desi Arnaz, Jr.

"TV Guide" as a national publication resulted from Walter Annenberg's Triangle Publications' purchase of numerous regional television listing publications such as "TV List", "TV Forecast", "TV Digest", "Television Guide" and "TV Guide". The launch as a national publication with local listings in April, 1953 became an almost instant success with the magazine becoming the most read and circulated magazine in the country by the 1960s. The initial cost was just 15¢ per copy. In addition to subscriptions, "TV Guide" was sold from familiar grocery store counters nationwide. Until the 1980s, each issue's features were promoted in a television commercial. Under Triangle Publications, "TV Guide" continued to grow not only in circulation, but in recognition as the authority on television programming with articles from both staff and contributing writers. Over the decades the shape of the logo has changed to reflect the modernization of the television screen. At first, the logo had various color backgrounds (usually black, white, blue or green) until the familiar red background became a standard in the 1960s with occasional changes to accommodate a special edition.

Under Triangle Publications, "TV Guide" was first based in a small office in downtown Philadelphia until moving to more spacious national headquarters in Radnor, Pennsylvania in the late 1950s. The new facility, complete with a large lighted "TV Guide" logo at the building's entrance, was home to management, editors, production personnel, subscription processors as well as a vast computer system holding data on every show and movie available for listing in the popular weekly publication. Printing of the national color section of "TV Guide" took place at Triangle's Gravure Division plant adjacent to Triangle's landmark Philadelphia Inquirer Building on North Broad Street in Philadelphia. The color section was then sent to regional printers to be wrapped around the local listing sections. Triangle's Gravure Division was known for performing some of the highest quality printing in the industry with almost always perfect registration.

Triangle Publications in addition to "TV Guide" owned "The Philadelphia Inquirer", "Philadelphia Daily News", 16 radio and television stations (WFIL AM-FM-TV Philadelphia, PA, WNHC AM-FM-TV New Haven, CT, KFRE AM-FM-TV Fresno, CA, WNBF AM-FM-TV Binghamton, NY, WFBG AM-FM-TV Altoona, PA and WLYH-TV Lancaster/Lebanon, PA) "The Daily Racing Form", "The Morning Telegraph", and Seventeen magazine and various cable TV interests. It was under Triangle's ownership of WFIL in Philadelphia that Dick Clark and "American Bandstand" came to popularity. Triangle Publications sold its Philadelphia newspapers to Knight Newspapers in 1969, its radio and television stations during the early 1970s to Capital Cities Communications and various other interests retaining only "TV Guide", "Seventeen" Magazine and the "Daily Racing Form" which were also later sold to News America Corporation in the late 1980s in one of the largest media deals of the time.

The advent of cable TV was hard on "TV Guide". Because most cable systems published their own listing magazine reflecting their channel lineup, and now have a separate guide channel on the remote that opens up to available programming, a printed listing of programming in a separate magazine became less valuable. The sheer amount and diversity of cable TV programming made it hard for "TV Guide" to provide listings of the extensive array of programming that came directly over the cable system. "TV Guide" also could not match the ability of the cable box to store personalized listings. "TV Guide"'s circulation went from almost 20 million in 1970 to less than three million in 2007.

From its inception until 2003, "TV Guide" offered listings for the entire week, 24 hours a day. Beginning with the June 21,2003 issue (in just a few select markets), the 5am-5pm Monday-Friday listings were condensed down to four grids: 5am-8am, 8am-11am, 11am-2pm, 2pm-5pm. If programming differed from one weekday to the next, "Various Programs" was listed. This change became permanent in all "TV Guide" editions beginning with the 2003 Fall Preview issue. Beginning in January 2004, the midnight-5am listings (and also 5am-8am on the Saturday and Sunday listings) did not include any out-of-town broadcast stations, just the edition's home market. Starting in June 2004 in most editions the channel line up page showing the stations for each local edition was dropped. Starting in July 2004 the overnight listings were taken out entirely, replaced by a grid that ran from 11pm-2am and had the edition's home market broadcast stations, with a handful of cable stations. It also listed a small selection of late-night movies on some channels. The daytime grids also changed from the 5am-5pm listings, to 7am-7pm. In early 2005 more channels were added to the prime-time and late night grids. The magazine also changed format to start the week's issue with Sunday listings, rather than Saturday listings, changing a tradition that started from the magazine's first issue.

On May 18, 2005, "TV Guide" launched TV Guide Talk, a weekly podcast available for free. The podcast was headlined by "TV Guide" reporter/personality Michael Ausiello, and was co-hosted by his co-workers, Angel Cohn, Daniel Manu, and Maitland McDonagh. The podcast was discontinued in 2008 with Ausiello's move to Entertainment Weekly.

"TV Guide" was purchased from Triangle in 1999 by United Video Satellite Group, parent company of the Prevue Networks, which itself was later purchased by the maker of the VCR Plus+ device and schedule system, Gemstar-TV Guide International, partially owned by News Corporation.

On July 26, 2005, Gemstar-TV Guide announced that "TV Guide" would change in format from its digest size format to a larger full-size national magazine that will offer more stories and fewer TV listings. All 140 local editions were also eliminated, being replaced by two editions, one for Eastern/Central time zones and one for Pacific/Mountain. The change in format was attributed to the increase in the Internet, cable TV channels (like TV Guide Network), electronic program guides, TiVo, as the sources of choice for viewers' program listings.

The new version of "TV Guide" hit stores on October 17, 2005, and featured Ty Pennington from "" on the cover. The listings format, now consisted entirely of grids, also changed format to start the week's issue with Monday listings, rather than Sunday listings.

In September 2006, TV Guide launched a redesigned website with expanded original editorial and user generated content not included in the print magazine.

On December 22, 2006, TV Guide introduced the magazine's first ever two-week edition. The edition, which has Rachael Ray on the cover, was issued for the week of December 25, 2006 to January 7, 2007. In early 2008, the daytime Monday-Friday and late night grids were eliminated from the listings section, and the television highlights section was compressed into a four-page review of the week, rather than the previous two pages for each night.

With the acquisition of Gemstar-TV Guide by Macrovision on May 2, 2008, that company, which purchased Gemstar-TV Guide to mostly take advantage of their lucrative and profitable VCR Plus and electronic program guide patents, has stated they are possibly looking to sell both the magazine and TV Guide Network to other parties.


In the 1990s, "TV Guide" was acquired by the Prevue Channel, which was then renamed TV Guide Channel. Like its predecessor, it scrolls TV listings on the bottom portion of the screen. However the top portion now features celebrity gossip, movie talk, and commercials. Until recently, the programs on the TV Guide Channel generally only lasted from 30 seconds to a minute, and thus were usually scheduled to play on the hour. For instance a show might appear at 12:45 and again at 1:45.

In May 2007, Gemstar Media re-named the TV Guide Channel to the TV Guide Network, stating that the new name reflects a new direction towards more original content and entertainment features in addition to its traditional listings function.

Today, TV Guide Network runs full length programming, including programs such as the weekly entertainment news magazine, "The 411", and red carpet event coverage (originally hosted by Joan and Melissa Rivers). In 2007, the mother-daughter duo were unceremoniously dropped by TV Guide in favor of Lisa Rinna, whose popularity had been on the rise in the wake of her recent appearance on "Dancing with the Stars".


"This is just an overview for the main article on former publication see TV Guide (Canada)"For many years, the Canadian edition of "TV Guide" was virtually the same as the US version, right down to the US ads in the colour section (prior to the mid-1970s, some Canadian "TV Guide" editions were also sold in some border American markets). The only differences were the price (in 1972, the US edition was 15¢, while in Canada, it was 25¢) and the publisher (the "Saturday" listings featured the disclaimer, "This Canadian magazine is distributed, assembled and prepared by McMurray Publishing Company, Ltd...."). At least eleven editions were available across the country covering the major cities.

On October 19, 2006, Publisher of TV Guide Canada, Transcontinental announced it would cease publication of the Canadian print edition. Its website remained active.

Other usage of the "TV Guide" name

* The term is also commonly used to describe other TV listings appearing on the web and in newspapers. is an active site registered since 2003. [] Read/Write Web published "Your Guide to Online TV Guides: 10 Services Compared." [ [ Your Guide to Online TV Guides: 10 Services Compared - ReadWriteWeb ] ] Techcrunch in 2006 offered "Overview: The End of Paper TV Guides." [ [ Overview: The End of Paper TV Guides ] ]

* TV Guides is also the name of an interactive video and sound installation produced in 1995 with assistance from the Canada Council and shown at SIGGRAPH 1999. [ [ TV Guides by Don Ritter ] ] National TV guides are also published in other countries, but none of these are believed to be affiliated with the North American publication.

* In Australia, during the 1970s a version of TV Guide was published under license by Southdown Press. But that version soon merged with its competitor publication, TV Week, in 1980. TV Week has a very similar logo to the TV Guide logo.

* New Zealand has is a digest-sized publication called TV Guide, although it is not linked in any way to either the United States or Canadian publications. It has the biggest circulation of any national magazine, and is published by Fairfax Media. [ [ Fairfax Media: Publications ] ]

* Mexico offers a digest-sized publication called "TV Guía", unrelated with the US publication. It is published by Editorial Televisa.

Other notable television listings magazines

* In the United Kingdom, the Radio Times and TV Times are amongst the most popular. In Germany, people have the choice of about 50 different TV Guides; some of them showing the TV listings for the next 2 or even 4 weeks ahead.

In popular culture

* "The Lost Boys"- a bored Sam notices a "TV Guide" magazine in Grandpa's house and excitedly asks Grandpa if he has a TV. Grandpa responds "No, I just like to read the "TV Guide". You read the "TV Guide", you don't need a TV."
* "Seinfeld"- George's dad, Frank, collects the magazine. He enjoys the fall preview editions the most. In 2000, Frank was featured in ads for the Canadian "TV Guide", singing the praises of its new features, including perfect binding.
* "Curb Your Enthusiasm" - Larry David ("Seinfeld" co-creator) playing a fictional version of himself, upon his deathbed (S05E10 'The End') tells his friend and manager Jeff Greene (Jeff Garlin), that he shouldn't have let him do the "Seinfeld" TV Guide cover because he " ... really looked like an asshole" - referring to the actual TV Guide of [ 21-27, 2004] .
* "Mama's Family", Vinton Harper reveals that he has been collecting "TV Guide"s for more than 25 years. He knows off-hand how many times Mister Ed (Naomi's favorite TV character) has made the cover: twice.
* The Bundys from the TV show "Married... with Children" also enjoy reading "TV Guide"; in fact, it is their only reading material, especially for Al Bundy.
* "The Simpsons", Homer says the 'Three Rs' are "Reading TV Guide, Writing to TV Guide... Renewing TV Guide."
* On the Family Guy episode Boys Do Cry, Brian is on the phone with his dimwitted girlfriend, explaining the Cheers And Jeers section to her.
* In the 5th episode of Season 2 of "Hell's Kitchen", the reward for completing the challenge was a photo shoot at "TV Guide".
* "The X-Files", Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) holds up an issue of "TV Guide" to a bunch of mental patients, asking if the person on the cover (Jay Leno) was the person they claim committed the crime. They all agree he was. (She is holding up a copy of the Canadian edition of "TV Guide". While the show at this point was filmed in Vancouver, this episode was set in the United States.)
* In the "Animaniacs" song "I'm Cute", Dot mentions that TV Guide has her on the cover.
* In the sitcom "Roseanne", Dan (played by John Goodman) has many issues of TV Guide.
* In the sitcom Friends, Chandler has a TV Guide subscription. The name on the address label is Ms. Chanandler Bong.
* On an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Geoffrey makes Will promise something, and Will's response is "I swear on the stack of TV Guides."


* Lucille Ball has appeared on TV Guide more than anyone else. Her image has appeared on 39 covers.

ee also

* List of TV Guide editions
* TV Guide Canada
* List of TV Guide covers
* TV Guide Network
* TV Guide's List of the 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time
* TV Guide's 50 Greatest Game Shows of All Time
* TV Guide's List of the 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time


External links

* [ TV Guide Canada]
* [ TV Guide United States]
* [ US TV Guide for iPhone]
* [ Clips of TV Guide free at AOL Video]
* [ TMS XTVD Java binding] (Tribune Media Services eXtensible TV Data)
* [ - The Online Video Guide]

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