Monday, November 23, 2015

I ran home to watch Dark Shadows and lived to tell about it

We've all heard the tales of children "running home from school" to watch DARK SHADOWS.

I've had at least one cast member of the series cast shade on that legend, with good reason. Local affiliates had a lot of flexibility about when (and even if) DARK SHADOWS aired. Scheduling fluctuated wildly, with a few affiliates broadcasting the show in the mornings, with other airing episodes later in the afternoon. While it wasn't a universal truth, the "I ran home to watch Dark Shadows" meme was probably true somewhere, though.

Apparently, there was some concern about the phenomenon creating traffic hazards in San Antonio, Texas, back in 1971. The San Antonio Express once published a regular feature called "And Now a Word from Channel 12," which let readers fire off questions about programming to KSAT-TV staff. At the time, DARK SHADOWS aired at 3 p.m. during the week, but one reader asked why the series couldn't be moved to a time slot better suited for younger viewers.

The station's response is kind of surprising.
"At one time we did delay the program until 3:30 p.m. However, we received several letters and phone calls saying that children were disregarding safety measures in their haste to get home after school for the program."
You can read the full exchange below.

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