Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Must See Television According to My DVR

Big week for television. The Emmys were handed out Sunday. The new television season debuts this week. It's time to check that the DVR season passes are up to date.

After the jump, a comparison of what Hollywood thinks I should be watching with what my DVR is actually capturing for me to watch.

PBS won 14 Emmys. HBO won 19. The four commercial broadcast networks (CBS, Fox, ABC, NBC) won a combined 34. It looks like the industry thinks PBS is worth keeping. And, despite the awards industry telling us that premium cable is where the quality is, I still don't have HBO and I am not tempted to add HBO to my already high cable/Internet/cellular/DVD total monthly bill. Sorry, Boardwalk Empire.

The big Emmy winners:
  • Outstanding Drama Series: Mad Men
  • Outstanding Comedy Series: Modern Family
  • Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series: The Daily Show
  • Outstanding Reality Program: The Amazing Race
My DVR season passes, in priority order within each category:
  • Drama Series: Mad Men
  • Comedy Series: The Big Bang Theory; Modern Family; The Middle; The Office; Parks and Recreation; Community
  • Variety, Music or Comedy Series: The Daily Show; The Colbert Report; The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson; The Late Show with David Letterman; Conan; Saturday Night Live (opening and Weekend Update only)
  • Reality Program: Project Runway
  • Science: NOVA (What Emmy category does this fall into?)
I note with satisfaction that my DVR season passes match up very closely with the programs the television industry itself thinks are worthy of awards. Those industry insiders have good taste! And, mostly, programs the Emmys overlooked are not on my season pass list, either.

If a program is not on this list, I probably don't watch it. Exceptions are sporting events. Those, I pick and choose and watch live (or almost live, so I can skip commercials). Some shows for which I have season passes, e.g., the lower-ranked late night talk shows on my list, are often recorded but seldom watched (Conan, anyone)? But usually, if I record it, I watch it, a day or two or three late, but rarely do I let shows build up and get overwritten when my DVR's hard drive fills up. I don't watch programs twice. The one and only show that my DVR is programmed to record both new episodes and reruns is "The Big Bang Theory."

Is there anything else I should have on my DVR? What new shows are likely to find a place on this list? Stay tuned.

Tomorrow, how Netflix is driving me to a change that marks a milestone in my movie watching behavior.

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