On Groundhog Day, the main question many people may be asking themselves has nothing to do with whether Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. (Really, for those who have been experiencing 60-degree temperatures in the middle of January and February, the matter of whether winter continues for six more weeks seems even less relevant than usual.)
The answer is a somewhat bizarre one.
While one might assume that a TBS or a Comedy Central would jump on the chance to air “Groundhog Day” for 24 straight hours — a move that would allow said network to avoid coming up with additional programming for a day, and mount a marketing campaign that smartly capitalizes on the meta-ness of airing a repetitive movie on repeat — only one network is showing the film today, on a single occasion.
Strangely, that network is CMT. Yes, Country Music Television. Which makes so much sense, since Murray and his co-star, Andie MacDowell, are such huge country music stars. And the film takes place in Pennsylvania, whose state motto is “Virtue, liberty and independence, y’all.”
Look, we’re thankful that at least one channel is showing this enjoyable 1993 movie (tonight at 9 p.m. ET, FYI). But the fact that it’s CMT is puzzling.
For one thing, CMT is part of the Viacom family, which also includes Comedy Central and Spike, networks that seem like far more appropriate fits for “Groundhog Day.” Secondly, it’s not like either of those channels is airing earth-shattering programming tonight; Comedy Central’s prime-time schedule includes reruns of “Chappelle’s Show” and a Katt Williams special, while Spike has episodes of the prison reality show “Jail” and “Impact Wrestling.”
An e-mail seeking some insight into the CMT/“Groundhog Day” synergy has not yet been returned by a CMT rep.
Update (6:50 p.m. ET):The CMT press team sent a Twitter message to Celebritology that said their e-mail response bounced back. A second tweet added: “CMT viewers love to laugh, and they love groundhogs. Did you know Tayor Swift is from Pa? Did you know Taylor Swift is from Pa?” Points taken, and points won by the CMT press folks for having a sense of humor.