Thursday Open Thread: Network TV

As you can tell, Raked has been a bit of a ghost town recently. There are a couple reasons for this. For one thing, I’m moving, which is limiting my time spent on the couch. The other, I’m switching cable providers, leaving me with an apartment that has no cable and no internet. You can see how difficult it would be to watch and write about TV in this situation.

On the bright side, we do have a digital antennae, so we get the basic networks (as well as some lesser known ones, like MeTV, where I spent too much time on Saturday watching The Brady Bunch). Now, this is well and good if I want to watch the latest episode of New Girl, Smash, and The Amazing Race. But little did I realize how much time I spend watching channels that are on basic cable.

So I’m curious, how much time do you spend watching the basic four: FOX, NBC, CBS, and ABC? How much time do you devote to the wee little duckling The CW? Or do you spend a lot of time elsewhere?

I’m discovering that I do spend a lot of time outside the networks for primetime, on stations like ABC Family, TNT, HBO, and SyFy. Not including some guilty pleasures on HGTV or TLC (ok, TLC only has my wedding shows). And as for the other hours in the day — non-primetime — I’m sure spending most of my time on stations that are anything but the networks and free local stations. (There are only so many reruns of The Big Bang Theory you can take. I am getting damn good at Jeopardy, though.)

So tell me. What’s your time on the networks? Would you be lost without dish, cable, or whatever you’ve got? Or are you on the other side of the spectrum and content with what’s free?

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2 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread: Network TV

  1. I think a lot of people, like us, often have the TV on in the background while they’re doing other things and not specifically focusing intently on the program on the screen. Cable is great for this, because they rerun stuff constantly, and you can put inoffensive things and familiar things, like sportscenter, or house hunters, or chopped, on in the background and then get along with whatever else you’re focusing on in the house. But this is really hard to do with the networks, outside of syndication times betweeen 5-8 on weekday afternoons. The times that I’m looking for easily tuned out background programming, like on weekend mornings or afternoons, the big four networks (or some of the weirder ones, like MeTV) are running infomercials, repeat newscasts or super old shows like the Brady Bunch that are so anachronistic, I can’t help but be bizarrely drawn to them. It’s a strange feeling.

  2. Actually, that’s not entirely unlike our set-up at the moment — we’ve been sans cable for about the last five years now. At the moment, our DVR is picking up Elementary, Castle, Community, HIMYM, Big Bang Theory, Once Upon a Time, Masterpiece, Jeopardy, and old Twilight Zone re-runs (the last two I have it keep only the most recent handful, regardless of whether we watch them). Supplemented by Netflix, that works out to be a good amount of TV for us. (Admittedly, we’re not a TV-for-background-noise house.) A bunch of those shows are getting a bit long in the tooth, and I know they’re not the freshest thing out there, but I haven’t found many new shows recently that have really grabbed me.

    Last summer, I was using Hulu to watch Bunheads, and the catch there turned out to be that since I wasn’t watching other things on ABC Family, I had no idea that the second half of the season was coming on, and missed it entirely! Whoops.

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