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The following is a snippet from a conversation I came across in an English student book (Touchstone 2nd edition 1 - unit 5 part B)

Eric) ... sometimes I think you watch too much TV. Mandy) I hardly ever watch TV.

Eric) are you serious ?!

Mandy) well, sometimes I watch the morning shows and I usually watch the late movie.

what does she (Mandy) mean by "the late movie". is "the late movie" a TV show ? a late night show of some sort ?

if it's not a name for a TV show and she's saying that she watches a movie that airs late night, then why does she use the article "the" ? shouldn't it be "a late movie"

I have a few guesses myself by I am just not sure. according to Wikipedia though:

The CBS Late Movie is a CBS television series (later known as CBS Late Night) during the 1970s and 1980s. The program ran in most American television markets from 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT) until 2:30 a.m. or later, on weeknights. A single announcer (in the early years, CBS staff announcer Norm Stevens) voiced the introduction and commercial bumpers for each program, but there was no host per se, or closing credits besides those of the night's presentation. (The bumpers announcing the stars of the movie notably rotated names, two or three at a time, so more of the players would be mentioned.)

beyond this, I didn't find much on "the late movie" on the internet.

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    Used to be that many TV channels in the US would air an old movie in the evening, starting somewhere between 10pm and 12 midnight. Not so common anymore. – Hot Licks Jan 7 '18 at 22:28
  • so just to confirm, "the late movie" does refer to a TV show that used to air old old movies, right ? – Shahab Samkan Jan 7 '18 at 22:30
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    Unless with leading caps, "the late movie" does not imply a specific show on a specific channel, just some show which fits the pattern. – Hot Licks Jan 7 '18 at 22:33
  • I was very careful about writing it the way it is, which is all in small letters. thanks a lot @HotLicks (curious name :) ) – Shahab Samkan Jan 7 '18 at 22:37
  • The elders among us remember a nuance to the "the late movie" idiom. For some reason, "the late movie", B.C. (before cable) was a black and white 'B movie', often with lurid or disturbing content. So, if someone was acting a bit odd at school or in the office, you'd often ask them: "Whatsa matter? You stay up and watch the late movie last night?" – Oldbag Jan 8 '18 at 0:24
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I am not a teacher, but I think that by "the late movie" she refers to movies which air in mid night and after. And if the "the" were to be ommited, one would get the idea that she is talking about 50s movies. Again I am not a teacher, just expressing my opinion

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