Saturday, December 31, 2016

How Network Television Keeps Losing

How can a certain part of television be free to access, get the most viewers, have mostly all of the notable live events throughout the year, and yet still lose? Well, ever since cable networks were introduced, there were problems that this caused for network television and these problems still persist. In a way, the most common and easily accessible part of television is also destined to keep losing.

One of the most notable ways network television loses is when it comes to award shows. Most of the award nominated shows are not on network television. Some aren’t even on television at all! Mostly cable shows get all the love from the Emmys and Golden Globes. And these are award shows that always air on network TV. (The Daytime Emmys, which are so irrelevant now, I’m not even sure that they still air on any network, much less network television, is something that I’m not sure if I care enough to know whether or not they nominate most network shows or not.) When all the critically acclaimed series are no longer on free TV, there is a problem as a result because of it.

So many people claim that nobody watches network TV. Obviously this is wrong because, except for maybe the CW network, whatever is shown on network television keeps getting the highest set of ratings that not even most cable networks could possibly compete with them on the same standards. Cable shows have far less ratings than whatever you see on network TV. And yet, there are tons of people who never watch network TV and always find it odd that there are people like me who do. I can’t understand why people would never watch anything on network TV, but there are so many buzz worthy shows not on network TV that nearly everyone talks about instead of, for example, the show Reign (which is doing tremendously terrible against many cable shows).

The main appeal of network television is the primetime shows that it airs. You can find primetime on cable. Sports air on network TV, but most of what people would want air on cable. Some channels are dedicated entirely to sports so why watch a game on FOX when ESPN is always going to give you a fix? There are 24 hour news channels, so why watch any local news since most important events will be on them before it will be on your local news? You can pay to watch movie channels instead of just hoping that sometimes they will air a certain movie on network TV. This leads into my next point:

There is a lack of censorship on cable channels. You can have uncensored swearing on most cable shows. Remember George Carlin’s Seven Dirty Words? You can say all of them, uncensored, without fear of problems from the FCC on cable. You can also have as much nudity as you want to on cable. Butts, boobs, vaginas, and penises are all allowed without blurs or bars covering the naked parts. This is all part of how it works and is different. There can be as much violence and gore as can possibly happen. You can’t do that on network TV. What you get for free comes with limitations.

Reruns don’t always happen the way they used to on network TV. Whatever they have is limited and subject to change. A lot of cable networks always air a lot of reruns. You could probably watch whatever you want to of NCIS on USA and you wouldn’t have to get them on DVD. Just find the channel you want and you can get reruns of the shows there. And while they might change, they are far more common and often then whatever local programming you’ll find on network TV.

Another problem with network TV is a lack of foreign shows on it. Sure, we get American remakes of foreign shows, but we don’t get unedited versions of foreign shows except for when we watch British shows on PBS. Cable can fix this problem by airing these shows on their own networks.

Well, that’s about it for me. I enjoy network TV a lot and will probably be happy never having access to cable TV, even if someone else would pay for it and continue my freeloader lifestyle. But the most easy to access part of TV is also the most likely to pale in comparison to whatever else might be on other networks. While I enjoy getting TV for free, it does come with many limitations and many shows that I’ll probably never be able to watch without borrowing it from someone else. While I’m okay with missing out, many would rather stop watching network TV in general and that’s why it’s destined to keep losing over and over again. It has the most ratings, but not much else to offer.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

My Planned Viewing Habits: Midseason 2017

Before the midseason starts, I might as well tell you about what I plan on doing in terms of what I will be watching if I can. I can now watch as many as four shows at once if I wanted to, but I don’t know yet just how much I will be watching. But, I’ll tell you what I plan on watching.

Here are the existing shows on the schedule that I plan to continue watching: The ABC shows that I will keep watching when they air at midseason are Once Upon a Time, Quantico, The Middle, Fresh off the Boat, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Match Game, Modern Family, and Grey’s Anatomy. I might watch some of The Goldbergs during the winter hiatus of Survivor, but I might not get that chance. I might watch Shark Tank and 20/20 whenever what I normally watch isn’t on. The CBS shows that I will keep watching are NCIS: Los Angeles, Madam Secretary, Elementary, The Big Bang Theory, Scorpion, NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans, Survivor, Code Black, Hawaii Five-0, and Blue Bloods. I’ll also watch 60 Minutes whenever it works out.

The CW shows that I will keep watching are Supergirl, Jane the Virgin, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. The FOX shows that I will keep watching are The Simpsons, Family Guy, The Last Man on Earth, Gotham, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and New Girl. I might watch Scream Queens in the future, but I don’t know yet if I will. I won’t go out of my way to watch it. There are also times when I watch Bob’s Burgers, whenever that fits in my schedule. As for NBC, I’ll keep watching Law & Order: SUV and The Blacklist. I do want to watch Blindspot during Survivor’s winter hiatus and am trying to watch it online, although I seem to not have time for it. Hopefully I can see some of it. I also started watching Chicago Med.

Here are the new fall shows that I’m still into watching: On CBS, I’m still watching Kevin Can Wait, Bull, Pure Genius (if it is still on), and MacGyver. I’m still watching Son of Zorn on FOX. I’m still watching Frequency on the CW. I’m still watching The Good Place and Timeless on NBC. On ABC, I will still be watching Designated Survivor.

Here are the returning shows not on the schedule until midseason that I plan on watching: On NBC, I will watch the final season of Grimm in addition to Shades of Blue and, possibly, Hollywood Game Night if that works out. I’m not sure if any of CBS’s returning shows at midseason will be something that I’ll watch. I used to watch Undercover Boss, but that show has since become dead to me after they aired an employee insulting someone with autism. But enough of that.

On the CW, I will be watching iZombie and Reign. I’m undecided yet on if I will return for the fourth season of The 100 or not as it seemed to have lost me a lot in its last season. I don’t know if Masters of Illusion will be on before the summer, but I do plan on watching that if I can. The same can also be said about Whose Line is it Anyways? On ABC, I will watch The Catch and, if it returns, I’ll watch Beyond the Tank if and when that works on the schedule. Of course, I have no idea if that's ever coming back. On FOX, I will watch the final season of Bones and Sleepy Hollow as well.

Here are the new midseason shows that I plan on watching: On the CW, I will tune into their new show Riverdale. On CBS, I will tune into all of their new shows (if I can), which are Superior Donuts, Doubt, Ransom, and Training Day. On ABC, I plan to watch Time after Time. On FOX, I plan to watch Making History, Star, and Shots Fired. On NBC, I plan to watch Trial & Error, The Blacklist: Redemption, Emerald City, Powerless, and Taken. I might watch Chicago Justice, although I’m not entirely sure if I will watch it or not just yet.

Here is a new fall shows that I watched that isn’t on at midseason: Notorious. It was sort of cancelled, although it seems unlikely that any of them will be official before May due to the false hope that networks like to give us when they either cut the episode order or decide not to order any new episodes. There are other shows that never had more episodes ordered, although they will be on during midseason. Those shows, that I’m interested in, are Conviction, Pure Genius, and Frequency.

Here are the fall shows that I watched once but wasn’t interested in seeing again: No Tomorrow, Man with a Plan, and The Great Indoors. No Tomorrow lost me at the pilot due to a lack of any characters that I would care about long term. Man with a Plan was overall bad (kids with cell phones? I know that really happens, but still!) and it seemed like Matt LaBlanc with always overacting in it. The Great Indoors seems to do in promos what Hardees does: insult the people they are targeting with their ads. They don’t need to go after my generation especially since they are in the 18-34 demographic that’s so important. Why insult the people you want to watch the show?

Anyways, this is my current plan on what to watch. I have no idea what will end up happening in the end. I had planned at one point last season to watch American Grit and Game of Silence, but I ended up seeing neither one of them. And I did start watching The Grinder towards the end of its run. Different things can happen and change and you’ll see with future reviews what new shows, at least, of what I did end up watching. Plus, I'm going to loan out my second VCR, so I'll have even less options that way.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Back to School Commercials 2016

Even though I have not had to go to school in quite some time, I find the fact that there are as much back to school commercials as there are to be highly irritating. We do not need a high number and we don’t need them to start after school has only been out for a month. Now the number may get less ridiculous now that I’m keeping track of it. But we’ll see what happens this year compared to the previous years that I’ve kept track. Hopefully, I can update this earlier in future years.

In 2014, the official count of back to school commercials before Independence Day is 1. The official count before August is 48. The official count before September is 158. The official total of the whole year is 170. In 2015, the official count of back to school commercials before Independence Day is 0. The official count before August is 44. The official count before September is 125. The official total of the whole year is 136.

In 2016, the official count of back to school commercials before Independence Day is 1. The official count before August is ~61. The official count before September is ~261. The official total of the whole year is 286. There were even 2 during October.

You might be wondering why I have the approximately sign (~) in this blog. Well, I may not have the right number for part of the post. I may have had to guess at some points. This means that in future years, if the official known count in higher, I will certainly remove this year from future list mentions in future years. We’ll see what happens with that later for sure.

This is all for this post. I don’t know what else there is to say with this. I got really confused by some of the October commercials. There was one using the School’s Out song, two back to school commercials, and the start of Christmas commercials. This was all mixed with the mudslinging of the election. And don’t get me started on the “let me hear you say truck, yeah!” bullcrap that Ford has been shoving down our throats for quite some time. Ugh. Anyways, as I was trying to say, I’m done with this blog post and sadly looking forward to the vast Christmas commercials since it means that the election will finally be over. And this is the latest an election can ever be in this country. At least that’s over with.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Week in the Life of a TV Junkie

I watch a lot of TV. Too much? Probably. But I figured that it might be a good idea that I should tell you about what a week might be like for me. Every week is different for me, despite the fact that most shows are not changing on a constant basis. I have decided to tell you what a week is like and how it goes down for me. Want to know how I catch all the shows that I’m a fan of? Well, now you have your chance. From Sunday to Saturday, I will tell you what my viewing habits are.


This is the weirdest day of the week. NBC is airing football in the fall and only after football season is over do they actually air worthwhile programming. The CW doesn’t show anything on Sundays anymore which is kind of weird. Even with all the programming they now have on the network as a result of over-renewal, they still haven’t brought back Sunday primetime, something they did use to have. FOX is airing a World Series game tonight, so this means that the normal programming of theirs that I watch won’t be on tonight to watch anyways. ABC is coming in, so I will watch that. CBS is not delayed due to sports so that’s good and won’t mess me up.

I watch 60 Minutes live while recording nothing. I plan to then record all of the CBS shows that follow- NCIS: Los Angeles, Madam Secretary, and Elementary. I will watch ABC live from 7-10 and they will be airing Once Upon a Time, Secrets and Lies, as well as Quantico. I haven’t seen Secrets and Lies before and am only watching it now to see if an actor formerly from The Good Wife has a big enough role on this show now for me to include it on the cast updates of that blog. I will record the CBS shows on my TV tuner. That’s my first choice for something to record on whenever possible.


I watch a recording of Grey’s Anatomy with breakfast. Normally I watch exactly two hours of shows that are recorded on my laptop as I feel that’s the best way of doing that. So hopefully after the news, I can get the other hour of today in.

Most shows are normally airing tonight so I watch Gotham, use to TV tuner to record Kevin Can Wait, and record Supergirl on VHS. (There is someone else who watches shows that I record, which is why I did that instead of putting the half hour show on tape.) I was able to start the recording on VHS at the time the show started, but there were problems with the TV tuner loading which happens a lot. I was able to start the recording of that show near the end of the opening credits. I also, thus, missed some of the beginning of Gotham. But I was, more or less, able to see the rest of the episode.

With the change of half an hour that can be a problem, I end up recording a lot of Man with a Plan before I’m able to stop the recording. I’m not into that show since seeing it once. The recording also goes over on the tape, meaning that I miss the beginning of Jane the Virgin, the next show I watch, due to the difference when networks air shows, as I’m still watching the end of Gotham before I can change to the next show.

At 9:00, I’m ready to record the next show, but then there is a bit of a complication. The show I want to record on my laptop, Timeless, is not coming in well on the TV tuner, so I decide to watch it live instead and record Scorpion on my laptop. Conviction is not on tonight since ABC aired one of its many specials instead after Dancing with the Stars. Later, while it does go past midnight, I am able to watch Pure Genius from earlier.


I don’t work today, so I woke up later than usual and watched more recorded shows. I started with Modern Family from last week and then watched NCIS: Los Angeles. Then, I watched Kevin Can Wait. While this does cover my two hours, I actually can watch more in one use options that I have at the moment. I then watch Elementary later and work on a blog post for it as I’m starting a new blog about it. Next comes primetime.

Since there is another World Series game tonight, there is nothing for me to watch on FOX that I normally would. It’s possible that I might watch Scream Queens in the future, but I honestly don’t know when/if that will ever happen. I record The Middle on tape, put NCIS on my TV tuner, and watch The Flash live.

It turns out that CBS decided not to air their originally planned new programs tonight. This has to be to avoid competing against game six of the World Series. I can see them doing the same tomorrow as well, if there is a game seven. This means that I ended up recording an old episode from last season of NCIS. I might at least see whether or not it is one I haven’t seen of it somehow.

With Bull being a rerun, I switch to live watching Fresh Off the Boat. I then watch The Real O’Neals afterwards for the first time. There will not be a second time. They almost never air something good with a comedy that I like. They just air a very crappy comedy with it. That’s why I normally watch a drama at the same time to record the comedy for later. I watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. live and then watch local news and the ABC late night shows afterwards.

Now is when they started airing the reruns of the last season of shows in syndication, so this means having to catch whatever Modern Family episodes I missed last season and seeing most of last season’s The Middle episodes for the very first time. Now is the first season where I can watch The Middle long term as it airs instead of having to wait until it airs in syndication.


I watch Scorpion with breakfast and part of Madam Secretary with lunch. I’m not able to finish the rest of Madam Secretary until later. I watch Survivor live and record Arrow on a tape for later. The CMA are on ABC so I won’t have to worry about missing anything on that network. FOX is airing game seven of the World Series tonight, although I wouldn’t have watched it anyways.

At 8, I’m able to record Frequency on my laptop instead of leaving it on the tape that is recording Arrow. I live watch Law and Order: SVU. Afterwards, I watch Code Black. I don’t know how much of the late night shows I’ll be able to watch today; I just know that I’m probably missing the news or some late night show to finish watching the Madam Secretary episode.

ABC late night is delayed, but I watch that after I watch game seven of the World Series up until the Cubs win. I’m a Cardinals fan, but I’m not going to whine and complain about this win. It doesn’t matter if I like a team or not, a win is a win and it is well deserved for them.


Without the necessary two hours of laptop recordings to watch (I would more than likely have what I need if various shows weren’t preempted due to the World Series), I don’t watch the one hour I have. I record The Big Bang Theory, The Good Place, Chicago Med, and Pure Genius on my laptop. Chicago Med is a show I might get into since the episode order of Notorious was cut, effectively cancelling it at the end of its run. However, with Thursday Night football about to start on NBC, I might need a different replacement in mind.

I live watch Grey’s Anatomy, Notorious, and The Blacklist. I record Legends of Tomorrow on tape for later. For late night, I wind up watching The Late Show then The Late Late Show. Normally I watch Jimmy Kimmel Live, but I didn’t do that today.


For the first time since I remember starting my whole “watch as much as possible” thing that I do, I don’t record any shows on Fridays at the moment. This means, basically, that I watch the three hours that I can watch and I don’t record any extra hours tonight. All of my watching tonight is on CBS, starting with MacGyver, continuing with Hawaii Five-0, and ending with Blue Bloods. I run out of time to watch recorded shows today.


Today, the only show that I watch on TV is Saturday Night Live. The rest of the shows I watch are what are recorded on my laptop. I watch Frequency, The Big Bang Theory, The Good Place, and since I have the ability to watch more than two hours if I wanted to, I watch Chicago Med as well. Guess that I’ll have to save Pure Genius for later.

Well, there you have it: a week in a TV junkie’s life. No two weeks are the same even if they are airing the same shows they normally do. I’m not sure if I’ll track this again. We’ll see what happens for sure later. Now you know what a week for me can be like.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Award Shows Reviews

You might be wondering why I didn't update the blog last week. Perhaps I was too busy with Thanksgiving? Well, considering how I could have scheduled one in advance, that might not actually be the reason. You probably know that I don't update multiple blogs on the same day. Well, that's why I didn't update this blog last week. I decided that it would be best to update a different blog instead, moving a cheat that I had from this blog to that blog. I don't know how long these Saturday posts will last. I'll keep doing them as long as possible, but it's likely to change sometime. I'll let you know more about that later. I should get to the regularly scheduled (er, posted as usual) blog post. I should stay on most Saturdays for the foreseeable future. We'll see what happens later...

You might be wondering if it would be better for me to just review each award show that I see as it happens, but I’m honestly not sure if that’s a good idea or not. The shows are very similar from year to year and it seems that any show can have its own format in a way. I’d have to say that I would like more quality from all the of award shows, except for maybe the Tonys since they always tend to be so good. Regardless, I’m still reviewing all the award shows that I’ve seen.

Emmys: Sometimes called television’s greatest night, the Emmys are all about giving awards to what’s considered the best of television. Now the network it airs on always changes each year as it rotates between the four major networks. Thus, the host of it always changes. You might see repeat hosts on the same network, but it tends to be who or what is big on the network at the time. Now I’ve never regretted watching the Emmys when I’ve been able to see it, but it never had the best quality when you think about it. It has never been more than average. Few of what is nominated is something on network television and the same shows tend to fill the same category year after year. I’ll still watch this when I can, but it tends to not be as good as it should be. Overall Grade: C+.

Golden Globes: This show covers both television and movies. It always airs on NBC in early January and there tends to be new shows competing against it when nearly every other time, networks refuse on a typical basis to compete against major award shows. It has had regular hosts, but they have not always been that good. Ricky Gervais tends to be highly offensive when he’s on while Tina Fey and Amy Poehler don’t always do as much as they could when they host. I do wonder if many people think this show is even serious or not as it tends to not be counted as that huge a winner if you do win a Golden Globe. I do normally like the show, normally in spite of Ricky being a terrible host, but I don’t think that I miss much, if anything, if I ever stopped tuning in. There is too quick of a time, in my mind, between when the nominees are announced and when the show is. Sometimes the movies aren’t even out yet when they do the show or nominate them, at least. It can cover too much (since it does both movies and TV shows), but it does seem interesting and good in the end. Overall Grade: B-.

Oscars: I normally don’t watch this, unless I like the host, but that’s mostly just because I don’t watch movies as much as I watch TV. The host always changes, although I’m not sure why. This always airs on ABC and it tends to get good ratings, possibly due to a lack of counterprogramming from other networks. It has been criticized for its lack of diversity among the people it nominates. Movies nominated are sometimes still in theaters sometimes and there’s normally a ton of movies that you’ve never heard of that got nominated over those you have probably seen. I’ve actually hated a lot of Oscar winning movies. So while they can get stuff wrong, in my mind at least, you do have to wonder if this is such a good show in the end. It certainly always goes over more than any other award show. Ultimately, I’d give it a good score, but not really one that’s that good. Overall Grade: C-.

People’s Choice Awards: Some may question whether or not this is, in fact, a real award show since it isn’t the actual people with TV who do the nominees. Yet, in a way, the fans have more input into this than any other award show. I sometimes watch if I like the host; otherwise, I don’t bother with this one. You tend to see very different shows and people nominated here and it isn’t all that interesting like most other award shows are. But, I’d still ultimately give it a passing grade in the end. Overall Grade: C+.

Tonys: This show is for the best in stage. This is my favorite of all the award shows for many reasons. First, it is highly entertaining. Second, it is something that a lot of people wouldn’t be able to see and, thus, would need to watch this show in order to see anything from Broadway. I’ll watch this probably any time since I will probably always like the host. It is always fun to see and watch and I recommend it to everyone. Overall Grade: A+.

Grammys: This is probably the one I least like of the award shows that I’m actually reviewing. While it is a good show, it seems to drag on and on. Plus, I normally don’t care enough about the music industry to wonder what they think is the best here. It’s kind of like the Oscars, only I can never really stay into this show that well. While it is actually good and entertaining, it fails to be much of a show. They overload it with one musical number after another and one can forget that there’s actually a point to it. Overall Grade: D+.