Originally created 09/12/99

Book highlights best shows, movies of week



Inside Sunday's edition of The Augusta Chronicle you'll find our new television guide, TV Week.

It's bigger than our previous On TV guide, and we've made many improvements. We started work on this new book more than a year ago. We pored over other television guides, borrowing the best ideas from each. Next, we gathered a focus group of TV watchers to give us feedback on our test designs. We also incorporated reader requests, such as grouping the movie summaries, rather than spreading them throughout the book.

I think you'll like our new guide. Let me know if you don't. We'll continue making improvements to keep pace with the rapidly evolving world of television and TV viewing. Watch for similar enhancements on the TV pages in our weekday editions, beginning Monday.

Here's a brief introduction to TV Week:

LARGER PAGES:

We've switched to a larger format, increasing from a letter-size book to a guide about the size of Parade magazine. The smaller guide was handy, but the pages weren't big enough to accommodate new channels. We hope the larger book doesn't inconvenience you. The staples in the middle should keep pages in place throughout the week.

MORE PAGES:

We've expanded from 36 to 52 pages to give you more content.

MORE CHANNELS:

This larger book allows us to provide 24-hour programming for 62 channels. In the old guide, we had only 50. New channels include Bravo, CSPAN, the Food Channel, Encore and FX Movies. WB, Pax TV, Comcast Sports Southeast and Speedvision will be included, beginning Sept. 26. The larger grid also gives us more room for program descriptions.

MOVIE INDEX:

For easier reference, the alphabetized list of movies is at the end of the book.

PRIME-TIME HIGHLIGHTS:

On top of each night's prime-time program grid you'll find descriptions of the day's best movies, sitcoms, dramas, specials and sports and children's programs.

COLOR-CODED PROGRAMS:

The new guide has color on every page. This allows us to highlight specific types of shows for easy reference. For example, if you're interested in children's programs, just look for the yellow-shaded shows. Movies are shaded blue; sports programs, peach; and news and talk shows, green.

NEXT SUNDAY MORNING:

A special addition to this book is a grid on Page 42 that tells you what's the next Sunday morning. So you'll know what's on in the event your newspaper is late or if you don't feel like going out to the street to pick it up in your pajamas.

SNEAK PREVIEW:

Page 42 also highlights the best shows for the next week.

CELEBRITY NEWS:

Our larger guide means more room for interviews with TV stars and articles about what goes on behind the scenes. Celebrity Scoop on Page 2 profiles a different actor each week.

SOAPS:

Page 5 is devoted to soap operas. There's a question-and-answer column, a summary of last week's soaps and a chart of VCR Plus numbers to help you tape your favorite show.

TALK SHOWS:

Page 4 includes a column about talk shows and their hosts, as well as a guide to guests and topics.

SPORTS SCHEDULE:

We've increased our sports highlights to a full page.

CABLE CONVERSION CHART:

On Page 51, there's a chart to help cable subscribers learn the channel numbers for their system. In addition to channel assignments for cable systems in Augusta, North Augusta, and Aiken, we've added channel lineups for residents of Allendale, Fairfax, Bamburg, Denmark, Barnwell, Edgefield, Saluda and Johnston, S.C., and Grovetown, Harlem, Lincolnton, Louisville, Millen, Swainsboro, Sylvania, Warrenton, Washington, Waynesboro and Wrens, Ga.

CROSSWORD:

Our TV puzzle is still on the last page of the book, but we've increased the size of the type to make it easier to read.

MORE ACCURATE LISTINGS:

In the past readers have complained that the TV book listings are incorrect. And they were right. Networks often change their schedules after we've printed the book. But TVData, the new company we're working with to produce this guide, has an aggressive, proactive research department that seeks last-minute scheduling changes from networks instead of waiting for updates to be submitted. While advance printing still makes it hard to keep up with all the changes, we believe this guide will be more accurate than ever before.

As always, the most up-to-date program information can be found on our daily TV page and on Page 3 of our Sports section.

REACH Elizabeth Kemple Adams at (706) 823-3348 or eadams@augustachronicle.com.