My Very Own Television Network

November 7, 2009
By | 11 Comments


As we begin our new blog, it seems an appropriate time to launch my new television station. Or, rather, my new primetime schedule. If I could have only one channel, yet had free claim on any and all current series, what would that network contain?

The exercise wasn’t simply to pick my favorite shows, but rather to try and schedule them in appropriate, thematically interesting ways. After all, if the world lost all but one television station, I think it would lose DVRs too, so we’re back to pre-DVR scheduling.

And so, without further ado (with Daily Show and Colbert on every night too, you understand):

Monday: 7 Flash Forward, 8 House, 9 Dexter

Tuesday: 7 The Simpsons, 7.30 Modern Family, 8 Glee, 9 Family Guy, 9.30 South Park

Wednesday: 7 Survivor, 8 Lost, 9 Mad Men

Thursday: 7 How I Met Your Mother, 7.30 Bobby Flay’s Throwdown, 8 Iron Chef America, 9 The Amazing Race

Friday: 7 Primeval, 8 Fringe, 9 CSI: Miami

Saturday: 7 America’s Next Top Model, 8 Next Food Network Star, 9 Vampire Diaries

Sunday: 7 The Office, 7.30 30 Rock, 8 Chuck, 9 Californication, 9.30 United States of Tara

Of course, looking at the above, it reminds me of the importance of crap on television, since we can’t watch that much television, so we positively rely upon broadcasters to give us bad shows to put between the good shows. It’s their gift to our productivity in doing anything other than watching television. So I built in some fluffy time (e.g: CSI: Miami, Vampire Diaries), but the above schedule would still probably need much worse shows to keep me happy. (So maybe the problem with The Jay Leno Show isn’t that it’s on, it’s that it should be on at random times, to enforce no watching periods, as in the BBC’s early days when gaps separated programs to make “idle” / flow-like listening an impossibility?)


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11 Responses to “ My Very Own Television Network ”

  1. Matt Sienkiewicz on November 9, 2009 at 12:27 PM

    Unforgivable oversights: Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, Frontline, Venture Brothers

    Forgivable oversights: The Big Bang Theory, Bill Moyers, Community, Sarah Silverman, Curb Your Enthusiasm

    Maybe it’s just me: Gary Unmarried, Eastwick, Michael and Michael Have Issues

    No One Would Watch, But Still: Arab Labor, Mosaic

    Seriously?: You know, I kind of like Cougar Town. There, I said it.


  2. Jonathan Gray on November 9, 2009 at 3:27 PM

    – Haven’t yet seen Breaking Bad, Venture Bros, Michael and Michael Have Issues, hence non-inclusion
    – Sarah Silverman, of course. Let’s replace Californication
    – FNL never stuck, though I didn’t watch much either
    – Big Bang, Community, Gary Unmarried all meh
    – Eastwick really bad
    – Haven’t seen Curb in long enough (no HBO) for me to feel I can’t include it, though otherwise it’d be on there
    – Frontline and Bill Moyers: news, really? who watches news? 😉 Maybe I’m hoping they can fill the 6-7 slot?

  3. Erin Copple Smith on November 9, 2009 at 3:38 PM

    I always feel weird commenting on posts like this, because I don’t like suggesting that what I like to watch is somehow better than what other folks like to watch. I also suffer from insecurity about not watching all the “cool kids” faves. Ha!

    But–some shows I love that aren’t represented on Jonathan’s list…

    For my own schedule, I would revise the proposed Friday schedule to: 7pm Bones, 8pm Castle, 9pm Fringe. Bones and Castle are two of the most consistently entertaining procedurals currently airing, IMO.

    I have to agree with Matt–Big Bang is definitely on my own weekly schedule. I’d make one of these days half-hour-sitcom night and schedule: 7pm HIMYM, 7:30pm Big Bang, 8pm New Adventures of Old Christine, 8:30pm Modern Family, 9pm The Office, 9:30pm 30 Rock.

    And, one last note–I’ve given up on ANTM, and there has to be room for my beloved So You Think You Can Dance.

    Fun exercise, Jonathan!

    • Jonathan Gray on November 9, 2009 at 4:41 PM

      Bones was a last min. removal, in place of Primeval, since the Brit show needed some love, and though I like Bones, I never seem to watch it. Ditto with New Adventures

  4. Nick Marx on November 9, 2009 at 4:55 PM

    Oh Lord. We could make this like a fantasy draft, with everyone assembling a dream-team from the entirety of TV history. Slots could range from “1999-2009 HBO dramas,” “live anthology dramas,” and “Peter Engel productions.” Saved by the Bell would be a first-round pick, for sure, but I like Hang Time as a late-round sleeper.

    • Lindsay H. Garrison on November 9, 2009 at 7:48 PM

      I’ll take California Dreams…

  5. kglass on November 11, 2009 at 9:56 AM

    I have to add on to the call for Big Bang Theory, not tv for the ages but pairs well as the cotton candy to go with the more substantial HIMYM. As a hopeless addict I vote for replacing a reality show already on there, maybe Survivor, with Top Chef. And just personally, perhaps uniquely, I need one soapy good cry a week, so if it was my schedule I’d have to switch up one of my less favorite shows above for one of the following (Grey’s Anatomy, Mercy, Three Rivers). Don’t ask me why but in a whole week of viewing I need a little melodrama.

    • Jonathan Gray on November 11, 2009 at 4:01 PM

      I cry when I watch Grey’s too, but for different reasons 🙂
      How about Vampire Diaries for melodrama? Mind you, I did comment to someone recently that I think TV’s remarkably underserved in the good, decent melodrama dept of late (Buffy, where art thou?)

      • Erin Copple Smith on November 12, 2009 at 10:31 AM

        We *really* want to watch Vampire Diaries at our house, but that hour on Thursdays is so packed that we weren’t able to add it to the DVR at the beginning of the season. Now that the CW is airing repeats, we’ve been recording those, but need to catch up with the eps online. *sigh*

        • Annie Petersen on November 12, 2009 at 11:07 PM

          Vampire Diaries is the best straight up primetime melodrama I’ve seen in years. Lots of intertextuality (one of the vampires reads Twilight!), anguish, good and bad vampire brothers, witches, amulets, Civil War flashbacks! What more could you ask for?

          • Erin Copple Smith on November 13, 2009 at 12:35 PM

            Oh man. Now I *have* to catch up, Annie! Amulets?! Sounds awesome. I’m going to get on that ASAP.