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Wednesday, May 09, 2007
(Not) watching television
If your household is like mine, you seldom watch TV shows when they first air anymore. And that's a problem for the broadcast networks, as The Associated Press reports.

The networks are being hurt by a variety of factors. Some shows -- particularly serials -- had long breaks, and the audience didn't return when they did. Others may have overstayed their welcome, and in a multichannel, multimedia world, viewers aren't going to stick around after the shark jump.

Besides, with all those channels -- and DVRs and DVDs -- there's no need to watch a show right away. My wife and I have gotten in the habit of watching "House" on USA Network late Friday night before bed, so we don't bother with its initial Tuesday broadcast. A colleague prefers to watch "24" in one marathon session, so she waits until the season's over.

And, maybe, the TV's not on at all. (In my house, if it's on, it's often showing a movie or a baseball game.)

How about you? What are you watching -- and when? Or are you watching at all?
I am not watching. I am actually doing other things more creative that parking it on the couch.
I a 25 -year-old female graduate student. At the end of winter, I became overwhealmed with the constant visual and aural onslot of the television. Everything is overstimulating and lacking intelligent substance, so I've simply stopped watching. Instead, I've turned to the New York Times' Bestseller list, and find I'm much happier, and peaceful.
We still have a few appointment shows: Heroes, Lost, Idol, The Office, 30 Rock. We will usually just sit down and watch these, ads and all. This is for no other reason than that we're tired from work and just want to veg. More and more, though, we will have something else better to do - online gaming - and we will catch our shows on the Web. We've been thinking lately about getting rid of cable all together and just paying one bill for Internet service. Internet and TV are becoming so redundant anyway - why pay twice for the same thing?
I am watching much less television simply because most of it is just not worth watching. Even the news is infortainment at best, designed simply to grab eyeballs rather than to report news. I read much more and just don't spend as much time in front of the black box. I don't miss it at all.
I've switched to FOX NEWS for honest and balanced reporting and unbiased commentary.
I watch Law and Order, even the re-runs. I don't have much time, it's a great show and it's always on.

I don't watch TV news at all anymore, as I no longer believe it (that unfortunately includes CNN). I get news from what's left of the NY Times and the web.

No time for TV generally! Life in the New Millenium...
Gee, you put on shows like "Nanny 911", "Trading Spouses", "Thank God You're Here", "The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman", "The Apprentice LA", etc and then wonder why viewership is down? Could it be because the shows suck?
Or maybe its the commericals every 7 minutes...
TV viewing has always been a last choice for me. This year I have enjoyed Raines, but resorted to the online episodes when they switched to Friday nights. I had family activites or event tickets on every Friday night it was broadcast. Online viewing has probably not been considered in the ratings. Thanks for the opportunity to comment!
Lost, The Office, American Idol, The Amazing Race, House..

I watch it on Tivo AFTER they air (skip those commercials!)

Some shows, like Thank God You're Here, are NOT worth watching with the commercials on! (really good content is only about 10 minutes worth!)
Nothing on worth watching. Tired of reruns, medical shows, reality shows. Only thing worth watching is Survivor, CSI's, Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters. The rest is just trash.
During the day my TV is tuned to Fox News. In the evening we watch the CSIs (Miami, etc.) and Law and Orders. We also like Shark and American Idol. We watched Americas Got Talent last summer and may do so again this summer.

We TiVo what we don't get to watch when it is broadcast and watch it later or when everyone interested can be there.
My family DVRs almost everything. We rarely watch a show when it airs, and some shows sit in our DVR for weeks with several episodes building up before we ever get around to a "mini-marathon". I prefer to watch tv when I'm bored, not on the networks' schedules.
TV executives need to find ways to do more product placements in shows due to DVR's. I watch more TV programs than I did in the past in a shorter amount of time due to skipping %100 of the commercials. When watching an hour drama, I record it and tune in roughly 15-20 minutes in to the show to "catch-up" to live TV. This saves time and annoying advertisements.
There is a perfectly good reason that people are not watching TV like they used to in the past... They have had to take on either a second job or work more overtime just to pay their mortgages (due to home loan scams), choose between food or prescription medication, or just keep their automobiles filled with gas. When you have the economy changing as quickly as it has in the past several years under Republican rule--who cares what is on TV. We are all more worried about gas prices, keeping a roof over our heads, prescription costs, food prices, and how will we survive when we get old.
I rarely watch shows when they are run "live" on TV anymore. I, like many people, have DVR and record most of the shows and watch them later, sometimes days later. One of the major reasons is that I can skip commercials and enjoy the show when I can fit it into my schedule.

I can enjoy a show like Lost at 7pm the next day with no commercials in about 45 minutes. Count me in.
We don't watch television in our home at all. We haven't for the last 10 years. I don't think we're missing a thing. There are so many other wonderful things to do besides watching television!
Unfortunately, there's really nothing entertaining on TV anymore. It's loaded with reality TV shows and other nonsense. When I flip through 150 channels and find nothing interesting it almost to the point where I'm considering canceling my cable service altogether.
The television is dying. Why would I let someone tell me what to watch, when to watch it, and also bother me with countless commercials, when I can download pretty much anything I want from the net, for free, and watch it when I want…..without the intrusion of ads. There doesn’t seem to be any comparison for me. And while I realize that commercial pay for programs, well, we’ll figure that all out when the time comes…
The TV is not on in my house and for the most part hasn't been for almost three years. Music is always on and occasionally a DVD to watch a good movie. Life is busy. There are far more important things to do than watch the dribbling of entertainment and mindless shows. There are plenty of fun/entertaining activities in the real world. We run, we hike, we canoe, we read, we talk, we cook, we travel. We are current on local and world events by reading daily newspapers, the WSJ, and staying informed via the Internet. We don't miss TV one bit in our home. It was like getting rid of a BAD habit and has been truly revitalizing. I wish more families would break the nasty habit.
The amount of commercial time is ANNOYING....Most of the commercials appear to be written by the village idiots. I just tape whatever I want to watch and then God bless the FF button and the MUTE button.
When they turned off the remote networks (east coast feeds) from my satellite dish, I stopped watching the CBS,NBC,ABC FOX channels. The local channels are horrible. The announcements are hokey and the newscasters are gawky. So I wait for reruns on anything but local channels. With the remotes (east coast feed) I was able to watch the networks earlier, and get some decent ads and announcements. I could get good newscasts. Now I watch reruns. I do make An American Idol once a week however.
I find that I go to the network web sites and watch the episodes at my convenience. There is usually just one commercial whereas
on TV they show so many commer-cials during one break that I forget what the first one was.I can also pause and go back at my
convenience. I would definitely watch more if more shows were accessible in this way.
I think viewers not sticking around after a shark jump isn't a problem so much as networks not giving new shows any chance whatsoever. Smith got cancelled after 3 episodes, Black Donnellys got cancelled after 6, and many others I never got a chance to check out had similar fates. The networks are suffering from worse ADD than the public is, and it leads a large segment of the public to not give any new shows a chance now because they'll get cancelled anyway. If networks at least gave shows a full season you'd see more viewer retention and some of those new shows would actually find an audience.
The fcc should fine the net works for sex an cursing on tv.Then put on 26 weeks of a show each year.When the writers can not think of a storey,they put in sex an profanity.
My family and I don't watch most TV. Why? Networks create new shows and remove shows. Over and over trying to find the magic numbers. I'm tired of getting hooked and getting dumped! I made the mistake of watching "Men in Trees" and look what happened. I'm tired of it. We watch LOST and NCIS, when we are ready to watch. I DVR those 2 shows. You have to LOVE not being chained to a time or day that the BIG GUYS choose.
My time is limited in watching shows, so when I do finally sit down to watch them, I don't want a rerun stuck in a week between two new episodes. I gave up on Grey's Anatomy because they put reruns in the middle of the season. I DVR Brothers and Sisters for the late time it is on and the middle reruns. I won't watch American Idol anymore because the talented ones get voted off due to what I believe the inability to get through on phone lines. I also can't stand the way they drag out the show. So I am very selective now.
I have been waiting for a forum to voice my opinion. I am ready to turn off the tv and just rent a year at a time of shows I like when they come out on dvd. Why????

1. Shows that are good have long, long breaks in the season now. It ruins the momentum entirely and I feel as though I am being bilked for profits.

2. Shows just aren't as good. I love Grey's Anatomy, but last week they hyped a two hour mega show. I was eager, and then it was a lousy (and I do mean lousy)show to hype a new spin off. Very little was Grey's, and the spin off (which could have been good) was totally juvenile and insulting. I am not interested in it, and again feel ripped off for profits.

3. People like to sink into an easy chair at the end of the day to watch a show they enjoy on a predictable schedule.....a moment of escape..........a moment of relaxation. TV executives are hardly providing that anymore, and there are simply better things to do with one's time to achieve escape and relaxation. TV is doing a job on itself by underestimating its viewership. We are not all 20 and stupid.........not that the two are synonymous! But the shows mostly are that, and they even now have found a way to ruin the good ones.
My Wife and I are to the point where we only turn on the TV for sports, news, and King of Queens. (need some balance). Reality TV has turned us off. The question should not be 'Where have all the viewers gone', but 'Where have all the good shows gone?'
There aren't many shows that I'm extremely excited to watch. I watch Grey's Anatomy, but it's not a big deal if I miss it. I know I can just catch it online. I also love Law & Order: SVU, but it's ALWAYS on so I know I'm bound to catch it.

Honestly, there really isn't anything on TV that I feel is a "YOU CANNOT MISS THIS!" event.
You mean other than the fact 90% of commercial TV is idiotic attempts to save money by showing vapid "celebrities" going through carefully controlled "reality" instead of paying actors, writers and technical artists to put together slightly better serials with forulaic plotlines and dialog all in an effort to fool people into staying around long enough to watch the commercials?

My remote has a Favorites button. Stored there are PBS, History Channel, Science Channel, various Discovery channels, HBO and Comedy Central.

I watch South Park once in a while because that crudely drawn, low brow comedy is more entertaining and does a better job exploring important issues of the day than any else on commercial television. The one major exception being the Simpsons. It says a lot when two cartoons are so clearly above anything else ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox can come up with.
I hope a TV executive or two reads this, but they probably will not. What does network TV offer these days? Reality shows, game shows, violent shows? No wonder people are abandoning networks in droves. There is very little creativity on the networks. As soon as one show or genre gets a little bit of attention, they just copy it or spin off as many clones as they can. And the number of commercials is ridiculous! I know they pay the bills this way, but I hate having the same product pimped to me over and over every commercial break. Annoying! The only good ones anymore are PBS, Discovery and the like.
There are only 5 shows that are regularly watched at my house, and they're all time-shifted. We watch The Sopranos On-Demand and we DVR Lost, 30 Rock, The Daily Show, and Colbert.

The rest of the time, it's Science, Home Improvement, Cooking, Old Movies and BBC America. TV is becomming too Balkanized for the Networks to even hope of maintaining much of a grip on the audience.
The last network primetime sitcom I watched was Sienfeld. Now Because of the numerous "Reality Shows" and the "Stupid Subject Matter" of many of the sitcoms, I only watch educational cable programs such as Disovery and History Channel and other cable channels, but no longer Network channels such as ABC,CBS,NBC or FOX.
Our family lives & breathes TiVO. We record multiple shows and watch them when convenient - usually on weekend mornings or rainy Sunday afternoons. Sometimes we save whole series to watch in the summer (i.e. Discovery Channel's "Planet Earth" series.) There are very few shows we actually watch live anymore - among them, "Survivor" and "Amazing Race" for fear a friend or co-worker will spoil the ending for us. Otherwise, it's all TiVO - ER, Gray's Anatomy, My Name is Earl, The Office, 24, Heroes, Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, Lost, Dirty Jobs...
For several years now, I've only watched television when I'm on the road. I'm constantly haveing to tell the people trying to sell me a satalite or DVR system that "I don't watch television." Often servral times, because they don't believe me. I guess that's the Indian stereotype of Americans. They must think we're all couch potatoes.
Until such a time that primetime network programming returns to family oriented or appropriate productions, our family will boycott primetime television all together. Each year the programming becomes more extreme and outrageous. It is irresponsibility at it's worst.
I am not watching the BIG 3 because I find myself on Discovery, etc. I dislike most of todays 'REALITY' and fake game shows like 'IDOL, Dancing with the stars' etc.
I'm a working mom, there's no time to watch TV until 10 pm or later and after the news there's nothing on. How about rethinking 10-midnight as prime time II in spring and summer? I do Netflix instead of cable, c'mon and court me broadcast TV!
I agree with your colleague who prefers to watch "24" in one marathon session...a week is too long to wait! When I do that...I completely lose the trend of what's going on...and you know that 24 changes dramatically from time to time.
I don't like watching TV...after work I like running or going for a long walk with friends. There is plenty to do in Chicago and TV is nothing more than a waste of time. I do enjoy a good movie from time to time and I praise Blockbuster for the Total Access because I always have a movie at home rather than some show that I only get to see once a week.
It is very good that Americans are getting out and aren't sitting at home watching TV! I praise the news that 2.5 mil people aren't watching as much junk!!

Julie
Chicago, IL
DVR changed my life, now I can watch on my schedule. But I'm still watching, so don't cancel Law and Order!
Gee, maybe because there's nothing on but CRAP TV. Between these horrible 'reality shows' and just bad TV shows in general.
Why Bother?
Question? Do we need a 2 HOUR show for the next Hooters Cover Girl? Or the next P.C.D.? Between this and the shows that are geared towards idiots I see no point in TV anymore. They were correct in saying "DESTROY YOUR TV!"
24 fantatic until this season. The sceaming Palmers sister character was the start of a lot of bad ideas. Also like many, Tivo is our friend now. Sorry networks, Im not really interested in endless Dodge Ram commercials. If you want me to watch your ads make them interesting or funny. What are we watching? Galactic, Sopranos, 24 (still yeah) Lost and Simpsons. All Tivo'd. Poor networks are going to have to do something with the billions to find a new approach. boo hoo.
I try to keep my TV away in the cabinet as much as possible. I got tired of it being the center of attention, it is mindless. If open and on, its PBS, an athletic event, or the news. Half of the channels I get aren't even in English, but that because of my location. Most of my news and entertainment comes from the Internet. The computer has replaced the TV in my living room as the main source of entertainment as it is truely a multi-media machine: music, news, movies, and a lot of TV programming availabe online. I dont pay for cable because of things like CNN.com, thank you!
For me the biggest problem is the CRAP that networks are giving us to watch. If they really want us to watch, maybe they should give us some quality programming that is not stupid phony "reality" junk they call entertainment.
There are so few shows that are actually worth watching now. The office/UK and USA is very funny, but for the most part. TV today is terrible. Reality shows are getting old. All time classic. The Bachelor who was an Italian Prince who couldn't speak Italian and lived in New Jersey, Holy Cow! Thats the best they have to offer. Follow the Brits, they have good TV!
hello - tv is horrible, that is why people arn't watching. We don't want to watch people sitting around on a sofa discussing their problems (reality). We usually watch golf, or the food channel, because all the shows on local channels are so bad. We need more quality viewing, like variety shows, situation comedies, like "friends" not "ER", we like romantic comedies, not violence.
As a 48 year old woman, I find very little content on television that interests me at all. Now I am using my iPOD and am downloading podcasts like 'Manic Mommies' and that is the only way advertisers are reaching me. I would think advertisers would be interested in reaching me, I have more money than the 20-something set TV is geared for now. Now I can wear my iPOD while I clean house, run on the treadmill or drive carpool. TV just lost me when the whole reality thing started. No intellectual stimulation AT ALL.
I'm watching, but with streaming and information from websites, it's not as critical to catch the show on the tube.
Sadly, there is too much crap (and I use that term lightly) on TV. All too often the commercials are more entertaining than the shows themselves. Cable/satellite is not much better.

Banal banter, cop/lawyer shows, infomercials and fake reality just aren't appealing...
I have watched no television for the past ten years . I got so tired of profanity, promiscious activity, and homosexuality. Every show had to push the envelope a little further and I just decided that I no longer had
to watch. Needless to say this had nothing to do with daylight savings time coming three weeks earlier this year. That's just a cop-out for the networks who refuse to address the actual reason for the loss of viewers.
tv has become boring. We just put the tv in the basement and don't even bother with it - except for occasionally watching the weather forecast.

Instead, we buy old tv shows on DVD - the really great shows - and watch them.
I watch Amazing Race (now over), How I Met Your Mother (live), Veronica Mars (DVR), Lost (DVR), Survivor (Live/DVR), Ugly Betty (taped), and Big Spender (DVR).

That's about 6 hours a week (now 5), mostly DVR watching because I'm in bed by 9:15 pm. (Lost wants to know how they lost the live audience? I don't stay up until 10 pm, and there's isn't a chance in heck of my staying up until 11 pm.)

I love the automatic commercial skip feature of the DVR.

Mostly, I am chasing a toddler, cooking dinner, walking outdoors, watering my tomato plants & reading a book if I get a chance.
There's just not much worth watching. Too many reality shows and a lot of silliness. The two shows I really looked forward to--"Cold Case" and "Bones"--have become elusive. "Cold Case" was moved to 9:00 Sunday, after that stupid "Amazing Race," so I lost interest. "Bones" keeps getting preempted for "American Idol," which I wouldn't watch if it was the only thing on t.v. We find ourselves watching reruns of the CSIs.
My children have a lot of activities going on now - start of summer sports, end of school. The one show I must see is My Name Is Earl. Lately, I've had to catch it on nbc.com because we have been so busy with these other activities. But I do NOT miss it!
I only watch House, American Idol, and Two and a Half Men. I am tired of all the drama - get enough of that in real life. I would really like to see some intelligent comedies - until that time, I have other ways to waste my time.
I am not watching 'reality' shows, poker, or CNN Headline news. There is too much talk and not enought news on 'Headline' news.
I am watching the NHL playoffs.
Most cable channels are the same.
There is poker and home makeover shows on seemingly all channels. Is this what HD TV was invented for?
I cherish Seinfeld and Dick Van Dyke reruns. The networks won't give shows like that anymore. They give us 'Survivor' clones. No wonder no one is watching.
Bring back variety! What happened to sci fi shows? Westerns? How about samurai and kung fu drama? Historical costumers? When was the last time you saw a comedy/variety entertainment show in prime time? Why would I want to watch the same copycat comedy/crime drama/reality show ad infinitum?
The TV isn't on that much these days. None of the series have captured our interest; they seem to be remakes of so many old ideas (but with better cinematography). Honestly, the History Channel, the Travel Channel and Food Network have become more interesting (information we can use). Most entertainment comes from DVDs.

News usually comes via the internet where we can get it faster and with more detail. The BBC seems to do a better job than any of the domestic services in providing broad global coverage and depth. For local news, we go to the websites of local newspapers.

A lot of this has to do with the availability of our free time. There's so little of it these days (or at least that's our perception), so why waste it sitting in front of a box; especially one that dictates what you get to see and when?

We don't have a DVR but we might get one sometime in the future. Even then, we'd probably not use it that much.

When the TV is on, it's usually for a live broadcast.
I for one along with many others are tired of all the violence and sex on TV. If people realized how many of us dont want our families watching that stuff and having it affect them and their ways of thinking, I am sure you would come up with more family oriented programs. All my friends rent of buy decent movies to watch or just dont turn on the tv anymore. Just look at what is happening on campus or the kids killing kids and you dont have to go far to figure out where they got the ideas for what is happening out there. We need some drastic changes in programing.
I am watching TV but I find that there isn't a lot of quality shows on. I like Grey's Anatomy, CSI's all of them Law and Order all of them, Criminal Mind, Cold Case, and basketball (Pistons) Football (Lions) and Tennis (only when Venus and Serena play). I love Shark, October Road, House and absolutely love The Closer. Those shows are well written and it shows in the way these shows have not only stayed around, but kept my interest. One thing that I hated though was how ABC moved Grey's Anatomy from Sunday's to Thursdays. I hate the amount of reality shows on. I live in reality, I want to be entertained when I watch tv. The quality of the reality shows are bad also. There are some good ones like Dancing with the Stars, and Extreme Home makeover. But survivor, and Fear Factor, I hate and will not watch no matter what.
I am disappointed that the quality of the writing in TV has declined so badly. I see a glimpse of hope in the shows that I watch though.
I totally agree. With DVR it's nice to time shift the show by 15 minutes and still finish the show ontime and skip all the commercials. I realize that those commercials pay for the show I'm watching, so it'll be interesting to see what happens in the next few years when less people are watching the shows in realtime. More crap-tastic reality shows?
The networks' use of the extended hiatus destroys the season for most people when they get into a routine to watch a favorite episode. After waiting six long weeks for a new "The New Adventures of Old Christine", the finale aired last night. Not very satisfying and it really gives a great show an uphill battle for viewers.

I DVR most of my viewing: Sopranos, The Office, Entourage, Christine, Brothers & Sisters, Friday Night Lights, Amazing Race, My Name is Earl. All fabulous shows that are well-written and entertaining. However, if the networks keep changing the schedule and showing reruns for several weeks in a row during a season, I will stop watching out of frustration.
I watch only cable movies and or series that do not have any commercials. Commercials do not make me want to buy things. They are an annoyance and I usually get up and leave or change to a different station.

Also, I am an avid sports fan. I watch football, hockey and baseball and know most of the players and these are sports that entertain me all year long. The major drawback are the commercials so sometimes I miss some of the game while I am channel flipping during the commercials.
More people have thing's like tivo and DVR's so they just record it and watch it later!...
The only live TV I watch is Heroes. I catch Ugly Betty on ABCs website or download it. I catch L&O reruns when I am up late with nothing better to do and I check out my favorite shows that are no longer on the air on DVD.

I just don't have time or energy to schedule my life around TV. Most of the shows that are on right now aren't worth the effort anyway.
I watch so many shows including Lost, Desperate Housewives Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, Brothers & Sisters, Six Degrees (not sure if it's still on, it seems to be cancelled every other day) and many more. I started watching even more once I got hooked on the streaming sites from the Networks. ABC is still the best for me somehow (maybe because they have some of the best shows, or it's easier to watch from). Some advertisements are really great and interactive (please, please add interactive elements if you can. If I already have to wait, give me something to do). Sometimes I do switch screens but since commercials are only 15-30 seconds it usually doesn't pay (plus I have my earphones on so I get the message anyways).

I watch shows whenever I have time (usually too late at night). I sometimes do other stuff while watching. I love it because Weekends and late nights are usually the times I can get to watch stuff and now I don't depend on ANY schedule but my own.
Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Health, History Channel, and PBS. These are the only channels with anything worth watching. If there were cable packages featuring only these channels for a reasonable price, I'd be all for it. Until that day, I'm TV-free. But explain to me why I have to pay for cable (or satellite) TV and still sit through so many loud, obnoxious commercials. TV in general is just a big rip-off.
ABC, NBC and CBS have nothing to offer. TV shows have gotten terrible. Their all Cops chasing the bad guys or shows making the police / military / government look bad. Enough with the reality shows. Can they get any dumber? The cable channels aren't much better. About the only thing were watching is Discovery, Travel, and the History.
Ah, the commercials. When they take up nearly as much screen time as the actual show, I turn it off. It is an assault and not only does it not entice me to buy the product, rather I make a mental note to never buy it. I will watch the Turner Network commercial free movies.
We don't watch much TV at all. I watch PBS on Saturday mornings if I'm in my sewing room. Sometimes an evening program if we are interested and not doing something else. We'd rather read. Remember books? Conversations? 99% of TV programs are shlock meant to fill time between being harangued to buy more stuff!!
I watch a few select shows on network TV, but mostly watch cable channels. The serial shows I like on network programming get chopped up by long breaks, which is frustrating, and there are no end to the stupid reality shows and aggravating commercials! I don't know who's picking what to air, but it's definitely not working for me! The networks better wake up - cable TV outran them a long time ago!
For the most part American TV stinks. You are bombarded with noisy adverts and boring shows. When we watch it's PBS.
I am a 26-year-old career woman. I watch Lost and Heroes--unless I'm busy, or away, or I forget--so I get them on iTunes, or the network website, or I just read the Television Without Pity recap. There's no reason to mold my life around a TV schedule. I'm busy living, thanks.

When a major television event occurs--Jon Stewart on Crossfire, Don Imus's indiscretion--I know I can find it on YouTube.

As for quality, in the past month I've rented the DVDs of two short-lived series: Freaks & Geeks and Firefly. Knowing that these two shows were canceled while so much drivel survived makes me despair.
If I were an advertiser, I would be more concerned with the number of people watching shows recorded on DVRs. If these people are like my family, we watch almost all our TV from DVR recordings and when we watch them, we always fast forward through the commercials.
Most of the material presented on the networks is written by morons for morons. There are good programs on the science channel, discovery, DIY, etc. If I take time to watch TV I will go to one of these sources. I used to watch CNN Headline news but they have replaced it with opinion shows so it also fell off the list.
We use to watch a lot of network TV, mostly specials and movies, but the number of commercials got so ridiculous that we started renting movies. We now have DVR and we just record what we want to watch and then watch it later and skip the commercials.
I've stopped watching all but shows on the National Geographic or Discovery channels because it seems as if now more than ever the rest of T.V. is, well, nothing but mindless cr**.
We have not had a TV in our household for three years. We get our news from the Internet and occasional newspaper or weekly news magazine. If we want to watch a DVD of a film, we have a computer monitor hooked up to our DVD player and that works just fine.

If I were going to watch a television show, I would watch it on the network's website - but that rarely happens because there's very little that interests me.

When I travel, I will turn on the TV in my hotel room, seeing it as a "treat" to watch it since we don't have one at home. But after surfing through the channels a couple of times, I quickly am reminded of why we don't have one - and turn it off. Other than to check the weather or news, there is nothing to watch.

I agree with another comment posted here: television is dying. Much in our media culture that does not serve the common good of humanity is losing its footing, so to speak, right now - and while that may be difficult to experience, I think it's a good thing.
My wife and I we agree that the reality shows have made TV viewing a little boring. Who really needs to know what a batchelor is going to do next? Another factor is by the time they show a full commercial break we have left the room or are asleep.
We gave up watching because of the way the networks have been jerking us around this year. New times for shows we faithfully watched, mid season starts for well established and watched shows and too many re-runs.I won't even mention the (Hold your nose here) reality shows which clutter the airwaves.
I got tired of tuning in to watch 1 or 2 new shows then back to reruns. Also a new show that may be good, but you only get 6 episodes then it's gone for 6 months. I hate reality shows and I won't watch a show that takes 4-5 hours a week. I read, exercise and when I want to watch TV; BBC America, Discovery, science, news & health and other cable channels are more interesting. Murder She Wrote reruns are better.
The only channel worth watching is Independent Film Channel because you can watch a whole movie with no commercial interruptions or cuts. Besides hollywood movies have become so predictable and we are sick of happy endings - make us think! As far as reality tv, there is nothing real about it and its 15 minutes were up 3 years ago. I'm very happy to read people are turning off their TV's and reading a book, gardening, enjoying their families and their lifes! Great!
As far as I can tell, my friends, family and I are watching just as much TV as ever. Only, maybe not as much of the new stuff like 'New Adventures with Old Christine' or 'The Bachelor'. We're still in to reality shows and the crime dramas, and watching a lot more on cable and OnDemand. I like shows like 'Little People Big World' on TLC or 'Planet Earth'.
Don't watch TV its a waste of your time!!!
I think America is finally realizing there is more to do than watch TV for 8 hours a day, which is typical in households. There is so much more to do outside. It is more entertaining than any show on the tube. You just need to break the cycle of watching and you will be pleased with what you find out about yourself.
I forgot to put my city and state so have put it here, so I hope you will still post the comment I just sent. Thank you.
It is a scheduling thing. I watch the CBS shows and NBC shows when I can, streaming from the net. Commitments and work do not allow me to park myself in front of the TV for 3 hours of primetime 3 or 4 nights per week. Also I am able to watch two shows that are on at the same time later at my leisure. I do not mind the commercials from the net broadcasts as I normally use the products advertised. I do not own a DVR but if I did I would use it to the max. Also streaming allows me to catch up and keep interested in shows that I might not normally get to watch. I have never been a Survivor fan but this season I have watched them all on the net. Jericho is another marginal show that I thought was dumb until I watched the entire season (so far) on the net. Raines is one of the best written shows on TV, at this time, with a poor broadcast night. Heroes is a serial that you can not miss the previous week or you miss the plot line, it is easier to catch up with it on the net. Streaming TV over the web will become the norm for most viewers rather than the exception.
"We let them get out of the habit of watching television a little bit, and it's going to take some time to get these people back in front of their television sets," said David Poltrack, chief researcher for CBS (owned by CBS Corp.).

Excuse me? LET them? This is the very attitude that has sent me scurrying from the couch to find more productive things to do during prime time.

I hate having my intelligence insulted by the commercials that are currently aired. Take this pill and with the nod of your head, the beautiful woman will fall into your arms. Buy this truck and... TV is the nothing but the cheese in the consumer mouse trap, and frankly, the cheese is not that good.
Our viewing habits are 70% "On Demand" thru our Comcast cable company. No
commercials with SOME "On Demand"
series like Jericho, Public
Television and AMC movies.

For TV series, we only watch two,,
24..and Law and Order .. There
is not much else on unless you like
being bombarded by all the reality shows,,,which are boring and offer
too many commercials..

We also spend our time online
or outside, enjoying our yard NOT
transfixed in front of the Tv unless one of us is ill.

Networks need to put on something
worth watching and trim down the
commercials, maybe then we will
tune in to more than 2 shows..
For a number of reasons, I have utterly drifted away from TV. Kids is one. Internet is another. Commute time and the like is eating away at free time for anything.

Haven't had cable in years, don't watch network. My oldest (just turned four) watches DVDs from time to time, but his patience for even that is limited if we're doing something else in the house.

Don't miss it at all.
I don't even know why I bother paying for cable anymore. Everything nowadays is trash. Just what is the point of reality TV anymore than the excuse to show how much innuendo, pointless, scripted drama and cuss words these shows can get away with before getting a red flag from the FCC? Even the commercials aren't making any sense!

As an art major, I used to be an avid Cartoon Network watcher. Unfortunately, even the cartoons are going down the toilet (Adult Swim, CN's late night programming spot, did a great job acknowledging that). The channels that I wish I could have (Discovery, The Travel Channel, National Geographic, etc.) I'd have to pay extra for, which I find ludicrous.

So really. If you can't find a show that can leave you on the edge of your seat without making you say to yourself, "So how many IQ points did I lose that time?" then what is the point of watching TV anymore?
I get all my news on the internet (cnn, google News, EPSN), and dont waste my time sitting through standard new faire. As for TV shows: Who has time to watch shows that are all clones of one another (the new thing is "reality shows")? Come on guys, once you've seen one, you have seen them all; dont waste my time.

On the other hand, if I want to catch one of the "in shows", I can buy them on-line and download to my iPod, which is a real time saver.
I'm 25 years old and the quality on TV is terrible now. When I was younger there was Full House, Growing Pains, Friends, and countless other shows I loved. Currently, I watch 24, Lost, The Unit, and few other shows. Most of my other shows got canned by FOX. I also have a DVR and I just finished spending a rainy Saturday afternoon watching 8 eposidoes of Lost. In addition, with all the Sports on TV, Video Games, and the countless rounds of Golf and other activities I enjoy, I just record a show and watch it when I have 22 mins or 47 mins.
No cable, no satellite dish, no TV! It's wonderful! We can hear the birds singing outdoors! We can listen to great music! We can even surf the internet! :) Not to mention read books!

Try it -- you might like it.
We stopped watching TV network news a long time ago; CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox etc news is just a hyped up Hollywook flavored info-stream. Big flashy sets and lots of makeup do not serve our information and news needs.
In my home, we watch Law and Order. We watch Nascar's Nextel Cup racing, and watch The Weather Channel when expecting severe weather. There are simply too many commercials and too many other things to do. We read, garden, birdwatch, walk, play with the pets, and try to avoid the TV most days. Reality shows are really stupid. Movies we do on the dvd player. There is too much vulgar, sexually explicit, rudely behaving folks on the TV. Give me some intelectually stimulating television, such as the discovery channel shows, and I will watch. Family entertainment is just not the TV any more. At least Nascar has no bad language, expects sportsmanlike behavior, shows patriotism and even prays before a race. Pretty sad when watching traffic go round in circles is more decent than prime time broadcast tv.
I watch 24, Brothers & Sisters, Grey's Anatomy, Entourage and Desperate Housewives, all online. That way I can work the shows around my schedule.
I prefer reading to television, and between working full time and medical school, I have little time for either these days. When I do watch, it's often something on one of the educational channels, such as Discovery, History, or TLC. I particularly enjoy the Discovery Health Channel, when it's not reruns. I do enjoy watching "Numbers" on Fridays and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" on Sundays, though.
I watch 24, prison break, greys anatomy, house, falcon beach, and lost. If it wasn't for having the dvr recorder i wouldn't watch near that much t.v. It also helps that some of the networks offer viewing it on the internet which is great cause when my recorder goofs up cause of weather or the show switches time slots without my knowledge i can still catch it. But none the less as summer gets closer my t.v. watching will decline, somewhat cause im busier in the summer and also because there aren't as many good shows on in the summer like the ones im watching now.
I actually love television..it is an escape for me..however, it seems most things on TV anymore insult our intelligence..I am a big fan of the Law & Order series (even in reruns) and things like 20/20 and Dateline..but the bottom line is there are more commercials every year and in order to avoid them you have to be watching two things at once so you can jump back and forth during commercials and it gets old.
It's called record and speed through commercials which seem to be every 6 minutes these days. I am really tired of all the CSI, criminal intent and shows like this. They have drove them into the twilight zone. Lost, Jerico, Heroes, House, Idol all are great shows but recording allows me a chance to watch at my liesure and loose the commercials.
We haven't had TV in 12 years. We have never seen American Idol, Survivor, Lost, etc...TV is simply not worth watching anymore. On graduation day each of our kids has said, no TV was the best thing we did for the family. When we need news, we can go on the internet and chose our news media not be force fed.
Personally, I just can't stand the advertising anymore. Most shows have so much of it and very little content. I often go away during an ad and don't come back. Bored to death with this junk.
I have not watched a show on local TV in years. The last show I used to watch was Cheers before Shelly Long left and even that was starting to get dumb. I stopped watching when all those ridiculous reality shows starting coming out. I am probably the only person who has never seen an episode of Survivor, Lost, Dancing with the Stars, or American Idol. I just don't find that crap entertaining. Give me an episode of anything on the History Channel any day. And I just can't get through an episode of any of those shows with that foolish laughing machine. It's the same recycled humor for the past 50 years that's just not funny anymore, except to the machines.
For me, it's very simple. I can't afford the 60 bucks a month to subscribe to cable just to get local channels.
BBC America, PBS, Discovery and History are about the only channels I watch on the TV. Sports and the news networks are something I let play in the background occasionally. Rare network shows I stream, mostly because the networks are too stupid to realize what a decent show is! Kidnapped on NBC was great. After it was cancelled early on it became available only at the website - and was obviously rushed to finish the story in one season.
I don't watch anything live. I have a DVR and record the show to watch when it is right for me. I have also become very picky on the shows I do watch. There are shows leaving this year and I don't plan on adding to them when the new season starts.

The networks need to find other ways to get $$$. Because the way we watch TV has changed and is going to keep changing.
Personally I've become so sick of the doom and gloom created by the administration of Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and uh, oh yeah, the puppet on a string "President Bush" and how it gets portrayed on the news that I have almost stopped watching TV. With all the free time I have, I am researching how we've become a 3rd rated country now that China, India and other Asiatic countries control most of our debt and foreign countries are buying up America.
Prison break, 24 and heroes still rock and i watch. If the networks want more people to watch t.v. Get more shows out there and less reality shows!!! Sometimes i don't watch a good show cause it conflicts with another i'm watching, yet there are days like usually friday, saturday, and sunday that there is nothing on good!
We're not watching. We're tired of all the drama and junk. There is enough stress dealing with all types of personalities every day without going home to cope with more of them. We'd rather spend time as a family in more creative and intellectually stimulating ways. Whatever happened to shows that inspired people to live better?
These reality shows are really stupid and they run these shows in timeslots by bumping shows that I enjoy. Like delaying new House episodes for weeks because of American Idol tryouts?! I really think it is sad that the networks have gone to cheap entertainment in hopes to make big profits... I am glad they are losing viewers.
If they'd quit moving the shows around--it's hard to find what you want to watch because it is always on a different night, or different time, or twice this week and not at all for the next three weeks.
As a person who recently retired from the work force, I find Network programing geared for the horney moron type, which is why I tend to watch more old movies. I used to watch/listen to CNN but listening to commentary on our inept current administration, an election that is over a year away, and Lou Dobbs constant yammering about the illegal immigrants (a situation that is highly unlikely to ever change), it's just easier to turn off the noise.As far as watching network news, I only have maybe 30 good years left and I don't have that kind of time to waste.
My wife and I have done away with our cable subscription and just watch the shows we like, Lost, Heroes, 30 Rock, online at our own convience.
Why watch this garbage? Nothing of substance is being offered, except on PBS or a select few cable channels, like History and Discovery...Enough with the "reality" shows. Enough with the stupid game shows!
I dont watch TV anymore. There's youtube, liveleak, DVD's and other fun stuff you can watch on your pc and laptop monitors.

I have a big 33 inch tv sitting and collecting a lot of dust in my living room like a big tombstone.

And a lot of folks are even giving their TV's away on the craigslist website.

It's all about evolution of our society the TV is phased out of our lives.
To echo the comments of others, there is very little programming that is worth my time. Reruns, reality junk, etc. I can literally surf channels for hours and not find anything that keeps me watching for more than 10 minutes. The most annoying aspect is the increase in commercial time. I don't sit on my couch to watch an hour-long program only to be subjected to 20 minutes of commercials. No thanks. I PVR things I want to watch or download commercial-free episodes to view at my convenience.
Stopped watching television altogether five years ago (didn't watch too much prior to that), with the exception of an occasional sporting event or SNL episode.

There's just not much on TV worth my time, and I can get much better information online. The networks have been foundering in the "entertainment" department since the '88 writers' strike (however, I believe there was a severe decline already underway by then), and their "news" divisions have lost most of their credibility - Katie Couric occupying a spot once held by Cronkite and Murrow? Please...

As for cable, there may be some worthy choices, but nothing I'd want to pay a regular subscription fee for. And "cable news?" Sorry - even the once-proud CNN is but a mere shadow of its former glorious self; I mean, how can you expect us to take any CNN property seriously if one of them features an oaf like Glenn Beck?

Now, it's Netflix and the backlog in my personal library. Television is indeed a vast wasteland, best avoided by thinking folk.
Maybe it's because people are sick of the same o' stale thing. or they're wanting more than the corperate media can give them.
My husband I rarely turn the TV on except for a Tiger Woods match. When we do, it's to watch HGTV, The History Channel, or "Made In America" on The Travel Channel.

The three major networks offer very little of interest. If we need any "mindless brain-candy", we may flip on NCIS or Boston Legal
but aside from that, it's all just
the same old, same old. Reading a
book or just watching the birds from our back porch offers more
excitiment than the old boob-tube.
Most of the shows I watch via DVR due to time contraints and the fact that I can catch up on a 2-3 episodes on one night and skip thru the commericals. I would say the HBO (and a couple of Showtime) shows are my faves; 24 was good but has become repetive; ER has it moments. battlestar galactica oddly enough has me hooked, even though i cannot see where they are going at the end of this season and you have to wait until next year to get new shows.
Not a lot of quality shows, and as an African American, there are only a hand full of shows that even star other African Americans.
Most of my 5th graders here are busy with sports activities in the evenings, play video games, or watch sports. They also watch a lot of movies or cartoons. Not network t.v.! I tend to watch more movies or take a break from the t.v. totally.
I shut off the cable. I rarely watch network shows. I order what I want to watch from Netflix. Basically, I've created my own dream network that has no commercials. The shows are on whenever I want. This week is a mix of vintage movies, animation and the old PBS series, "Smiley's People". No network can compete. And, at the end of the month, it's costing me less than half of what cable used to cost.
I stopped watching TV 5 months ago. I canceled my TV cable service. Why? Because the programming was complete garbage. Too many commercials. Poor quality programs containing too much violence and sex. A complete overkill of news reporting on the most depressing of topics. Instead of watching TV I listen to music, read, and work of projects around the house. Life is so much more enjoyable. I believe and hope many more people are doing what I did.
Well, I'm 50 to tell you what era I come from. I work and have hobbies and managed to find a fair amount of time to watch television. My problem with it all is too many reality and cop shows. It's been this way for years. They're stupid. So most of my viewing time is on the vaious cable channels.
I don't watch those moronic, reality TV shows. I watch Ice Hockey! New York Rangers what else.
I am not watching because I have already seen that episode. When I was younger TV shows ran roughly 22 weeks straight without a rerun and then it was summer and you went out and played. Today, you get a season premiere and one other new episode then seven weeks of reruns. ABC started it with West Wing, now they do it with Lost. Sorry but if you are unable to produce a new epsiode, Im not waiting around like a monkey for a banana to see a new episode of some tv show. Im sorry but the networks need loyalty for advertising revenue but are not ready to produce loyalty to their viewers. Change your arrogance.
I watch 2 shows on regular TV--Brother's & Sisters and October Road. I used to watch more, but it's frustrating when I get started to watching a show and the network moves it, then interrupts it for a lame special, then shows a few reruns and then goes back to it. I've lost interest! I watch some cable series because when they come on in a time slot I can plan on it and watch it every week until it goes away, it's more open TV in terms of content, so it's more fun to watch. To me, nothing is further from reality than "reality TV", it's boring, forumlaic & past it's prime. Give me something that doesn't involve continual violence, that has great acting and I'll find it and watch it.
I think the onslaught of "reality" shows has taken its toll. First of all, how "real" is anyone when there is a camera rolling? Most of these shows seem very contrived to me. I still watch a lot of the prime time drama programs, but the schedule is so chopped up I'm never quite sure of I'm getting a first run version or a rerun.
I am a Red Sox fan living in Florida. Although NESN is "available" on my cable, ALL of the games are blacked out. My cable company says it is a NESN policy, it wasn't the policy when I lived in New England! I REFUSE to pay to watch ALL of baseball - I want to watch the BoSox! So sorry television, I "watch" gameday on the internet and listen to the radio broadcast for about $15 for the season.
Bring me something to entertain me, bring me back MY sport teams, bring me intelligent programming, and then I will watch.
I remember back in the day enjoying TV movies, and sitcoms like Frasier, Friends and the like. Now there is hardly any variety---games shows, reality TV, and police/medical drama over and over and over and over. What happened??
I am not male. I am not 18-49. I do have a discretionary income and an IQ that demands stimulating discourse. What does TV have to offer me? Nothing. Why? I'm not male and 18-49. How did this group ever come to such prominence in what is offered on TV?
There just isn't anything good on TV right now. I watch Deadliest Catch on Discovery and that's about it. Too many bad shows during the week. I love NBC's Biggest Loser when it's on, as well as Fox's Hell's Kitchen.
I do watch my shows, everynight - I DVR them, and this is why the ratings have been down lately.
I did follow Lost and Heroes pretty regularly but you miss a couple of episodes or they go into hiatus and I had no idea what was going on the next time I watched. Waiting for the DVD or just realizing that they are going to end disappointingly have taken me out into the yard. Still love the Office and the other NBC Thursday night stuff, I don't have to take notes to keep up with them!
Im a 35 year old male. I have mostly stopped watching television and prefer to online game, read a book or watch a dvd.

I used to watch on average 4-5 hours of tv a night, that is easily down to 1 hour max.

Basically, todays television programming sucks! Everything, including news, comedy, drama, are boring re-treads of previous shows or are so outlandish as to be tacky. They tend to try and "outdo" the other programs with more rediculous or sensationalistic stories, all of which leaves the more intelligent viewers wondering who watches this crap.
Frankly, there is not much to choose from. There are so many commercials/programs today that are totally disgusting and shocking. With garbage like that going into homes, how can we wonder why society is the way it is? Have you ever heard the phrase, "garbage in/garbage out"? We like the 'family friendly' programs. Thank goodness for cable. Everything we watch, we have prerecorded, we watch the History channel, Discovery channel, TLC. We rarely watch live TV, unless there are local weather advisory's going on. Other blogs on this site seem to have come to the same conclusion. Please take this feedback into consideration.
Who are these "I stopped watching television" people trying to impress? They either never watched to begin with or are lying through their teeth,(both or 'em). The reason viewership is down is because there are so many other channels to watch. Even a third grader should be able to figure that one out. There are also too many caveman mentality "reality" shows that appeal to our baser instincts like Survivor, and don't forget all of the old geezers who love Danicing with the Stars and Idol.
I still watch and enjoy 24 and the Sopranos despite all the whining about the lack of action, which really means all the idiots only want to see killing, killing, killing, things blowing up, and of course some skin. The problem isn't just with content it's with the decline in IQ the nation as a whole seems to be exhibiting.
I play an online game (Star Wars Galaxies) that I find far more entertaining than most of the stuff on television. I Tivo Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Scrubs, CSI and Jericho. I am married and have two kids, so after they go to bed is the time my wife and I work on our own stuff. We watch the Tivo when it fits into our schedule.
The reason my Family has cut back on
watching TV is: TOO MANY RERUNS.

Just whe you get interested in watching a show, here comes another RE-RUN.

This causes people to loose interest.
I watch 24 after it comes out on disc so i can avoid the commercials. Everything else sucks so I don't waste my money on cable or satelite. Several of my freinds have followed suite.
With the increased distribution of interesting programming on "cable" channels, it becomes more difficult to get into the flow of some of the network shows we used to watch. After the seeming endless breaks and re-runs this season, programs like "Dirty Jobs", "Deadliest Catch", do detract from our network viewing, and we are true tv-a-holics. We've given up on Lost, Jericho, and ER, because they are getting too bizarre to follow the plot, or have lost their appeal to us. Take heart though....Thursday nights we still debate what we will watch...Grays -vs- CSI, and which will get recorded for later viewing!
We DVR House, CSIs, and Naruto, then watch them in marathon sessions. During the week, we're usually too busy to watch anything. Then we sit down on the weekend and skip the commercials. Unless they can grab my attention with the opening shot, I hit the minute-skip button.

I've always gotten my news from newspapers. I check CNN.com for latest, then get the rest of the story from my local paper.
The biggest issues currently would have to be:

1) The fast removal of shows. How are you supposed to gain a fan base if you immediately yank it from the schedule? NBC has a horrible habit of this, and they wonder why they are constantly last?

2) The long breaks - it's hard to stay excited about a show when they take three months off in the middle. Heck, Lost isn't supposed to be coming back until January! I'm borderline ADD to the point that I'll forget about it by then!

3) Reality TV - enough is enough. TV has become oversaturated with them to the point where a lot of people couldn't care less.
With ads every 5min watching TV live is impossibile these days. Its nice to watch a show like lost or 24, but the ads make me fall back on my DVR so i can skip all the ads. I used to watch ads when they were every 15min, but those days are gone. Now i fast forward all ads. What happend to the good old days of product placement instead of ad spam?
Planet Earth was probably the best documentary I've ever seen. Worth watching over and over. Cable has a few good shows on here and there.
Who has time to watch reruns? I have a few shows that I hate to miss such as ER. But what's with the several weeks of reruns and now that the weather is nice, they are showing new episodes??
TV is awful now - as is most entertainment in general. Desperate reality show after desperate reality show or 10 variations on a theme like Law and Order: Space Trauma Division or CSI:Montpelier. They could take all of the shows off the air and just run ads and I probably wouldn't even notice. Television needs a serious overhaul and advertisers need to back off - I think I know what Coke and Pepsi are by now.
Family of three consisting of a nine year old and two parents can't find much offered by the networks that is both entertaining and appropriate. Reality TV is just tired...medical shows are overabundant. Until '8:30 bedtime' for our daughter it's discovery, disney or nickalodean...can't even allow abc's(not very)Family. The one show my wife and I do watch regularly is The Unit Tuesdays at 9:00. Other than that the trade-off for watching network tv is being pitched an SUV, prescription meds (Don't need either, thank you) or over sensationalized local news every 5-8 minutes. We sit in the living room TV off and get caught up on each other's busy lives.
I watch television; I am in my late 50s'. I find myself on the Discovery channel or A&E watching Dirty Jobs, Myth Busters or Blue planet etc. I am not a 'TV snob' just someone that does not want to put up with the drivel like the Reality shows that TV execs. like to foist on us!. I do like CSI: Miami which is in reruns. Put some descent programming on that does not insult our intelligence and you may actually get some of viewers back. By the way NOT being a twenty year old means I have some bucks to spend; maybe your ADD people should rethink their target demographics.
I have read most most of the comments listed I like what one blogger wrote:
"What does network TV offer these days? Reality shows, game shows, violent shows? No wonder people are abandoning networks in droves. There is very little creativity on the networks. As soon as one show or genre gets a little bit of attention, they just copy it or spin off as many clones as they can. And the number of commercials is ridiculous! I know they pay the bills this way, but I hate having the same product pimped to me over and over every commercial break. Annoying"!

Cable and some network shows have way to many Beeps! If you have to Beep every other word, then is it wasn't worth watching?

You can forget ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and CNN for news. You don't get the whole story or they don't tell the truth.
I think that my wife and I watch as much TV as we always did, but at different times thanks to DVR. Partly that's for reasons of convenience, and partly it's so that we can fast-forward through the ads.

I wonder if there should be two separate Nielsen ratings: total views and live views. Advertisers would care mostly about the live views, because you would have to assume that anyone recording the program and viewing it later will skip through the ads. The rest of the universe (people who don't care about the dollars and cents) would be more interested in total views.

Incidentally, though no one else has mentioned it here, the level of violence on TV shows has bothered me for several years. The writers don't have a clue how to create drama, so they substitute something violent or shocking instead. After 9/11 I couldn't watch anything violent on TV for about a year. I've gradually gotten used to it again, but I still hate it.
It's spring - time to work in the yard, no time for TV. If we watch 5 hours/ week, we would be lucky. Also - what to watch? More 'reality' shows?

Enough.
I watch Veronica Mars regularly, but I'm really afraid they're going to cancel it soon.

Part of the problem is that networks don't seem to be willing to give new shows a chance. I didn't start watching VM till the middle of season 1, and I didn't start watching Lost till the middle of season 2. If those shows had been canceled early on, I never would have gotten hooked at all. Networks should at least try to let their shows build up some buzz before they decide to cancel.
The golden age of the family sitcom has passed. Prime time TV was once a time you could send with your kids watching quality entertainment.

Maybe if there were any decent shows on TV, the networks could regain some viewers.

Today's TV focuses on the dysfunctionality of America. Bad parents, bad relationships and bad decisions. There are current *NO* family-friendly shows on TV at this time.

And if the show doesn't focus on dysfuntioncal familes or the pursuit of sex, it insults the intelligence of the average viewer (the so-called "reality TV" shows).

On a rare occasion we find a show to watch as a family, now we have to censor or explain the commercials.

Fringe programming is necessary, but if you want to regain the attention of the masses it's time to offer (again) something for the masses.
I quit watching ALL major network (ABC, CBS, NBC) broadcasting after 9-11-01. After the attacks, I watched news coverage exclusively for a month or two & realized then that I did not miss prime time broadcasting on the major networks one iota. Since 9-11, I watch only news, and satellite "learning" channels like Discovery Channel, History Channel, etc. I feel so much better not watching the mental pablum dished out by the "Big Three" every night!!!
Well it is Hockey playoff season so I am watching the games. But most of the time the network shows like to pull a disappearing act without giving a reason why they are not going to show the series for four weeks. So I forget about them being on and when I remember I am like 5 episodes behind and I just watch them by downloading them.
Honestly my family has cut down extensively on TV watching. The content of current shows has taken such a nose dive that I don't want my children watching them and there are so many cookie cutter shows out there that there is little variety to choose from. In addition to this the quality of "live" TV such as news and such has moved into the entertainment realm that I find the newspaper more realistic. We are finding the watching older videos and dvd's and reading to be a much wiser us eof our time.
What should be added to the discussion, is how the nets schedule shows to make watching them highly inconvenient in the first place:

1. The TV viewing season is 40 weeks, yet a series consists of 22-24 episodes? If the nets were actually interested in their viewership, instead of being beholden to the advertisers, they would have two viewing seasons, say August-December and January-May, and show a series straight through without interruptions. This worked to increase ratings for "24" in previous years. It might mean decreasing the number of shows per season to 18-22, in order to fit into a 22-week season, but I'd be more likely to watch straight through.

2. The nets would not play "hide and seek" with show scheduling. These days, the viewers have to guess when a show is on. When a show is four weeks on, four weeks off, three weeks on, two weeks off, etc., viewers aren't going to stick around. Again, this is the result of trying to stretch 24 episodes over 40 weeks.

3. They would not schedule juggernaut shows to compete against each other, or against smaller niche shows such as "Supernatural", which is really quite excellent (IMHO better than "Grey's Anatomy") yet is continually pummeled in the ratings. Great shows get cancelled or banished to the "ratings graveyard" as a result.

4. Currently, new shows have only 6 weeks to prove themselves. Usually it takes that long just to introduce the characters to the viewers and get the plots rolling. If the nets gave a full season to nurture new shows, more viewers might stick around and viewers might have more quality shows to choose from.

5. Finally, the amount of advertising time is ridiculous. "Hour-long" dramas are only 42-44 minutes now, when they used to run 48-50 minutes. Not only that, but also more dramas are allowing product placements within the show. I'm not interested in 40-50% of my viewing time taken up by ads.

The nets need advertisers for money, yes, but it's the viewers who are choosing not to watch, partly because of the ads. The pendulum needs to swing more to the viewers now, if the nets hope to reclaim them.
That TV execs are sitting around wondering why no one watches the crap they air doesn't surprise me. Have they tortured themselves lately by watching the downright STUPID shows on TV lately? Anyone who thinks people would voluntarily watch that junk has clearly lost contact with reality. I haven't regularly watched a network television show since the days of 90210. That's because pretty much everything on network television is just so DUMB. I know some intelligent people who watch Lost but I don't honestly know anyone who regularly watches TV. When I do "watch" TV I usually just put it on as background noise while I do something else. And I'll usually just put on something from Court TV, HGTV or the Food Network. The only show I actually make time to watch is South Park because for all its crudeness it really is one of the most politically savvy shows out there. And I have rented Laguna Beach and The Hills on DVD for marathon watching (so that's my secret vice). I do mean to watch This American Life because I enjoy the radio broadcast, but I haven't because TV has made itself something that is no longer a priority of mine.
i like to watch the deadliest catch on the discovery channel
Mostly I use the TV to watch DVD's, or occasionally the scifi channel, rarely the news, which I usually get on my computer.

I work evenings, prime time, and days I am busy living life, going places, doing things. My wife watches one show, and the evening newes- and occasionally the weather channel, which I have in my browser.

Consider who is your audience; and what do they offer you that is of value? when tv goes over to Hi Definition, who will be least able to pay for the upgrade? Who has the lion share of disposable income to spend on advertised products and services? Will you offer subscription baised media on the internet to fiber, cable and DSL customers? What will become of broadcast? Start thinking, the dynamics are already happening, which is why the viiewership is down. Adapt, or die.
I got Tivo almost 4 years ago and I have not watched a live show since then. Why? It takes 40 minutes to watch a one hour show. I can watch any time I want on my own schedule. I never miss an episode.
Has it reduced the time I spend in front of the television? Yes, but I probably watch more shows than I ever did because I waste less time.
The problem that the networks have is caused by them paying more attention to advertiser than to viewers. Networks care about a narrow demographic that is supposed to bring money to advertisers. Well, they cannot expect that the rest of the people still watch their shows.To many shows get canceled after a short run leaving the (few in their opinion) viewers disappointed? Do they think that after someone see a few of his favorite show canceled, he will invest any time in the next new show?
Want more? Dear network executives, if a kind of show is successful, that doesn't mean that the 5th clone of it will be successful too. Invest in new ideas rather then in recreating the same thing over and over again.
Maybe people are tired of seeing "junk" and would like to see more family viewing. We don't watch nearly as much t.v. simply because there is only trash most of the time. I don't want my kids to see 70% of the commercials and 60% of the cartoons any more. We bought several atv's and are much better for it.
I rarely watch TV anymore, and haven't for years due to the stupid, annoying, and endless commercials. I still enjoy a good movie and when I want to watch one I put on a DVD. Other than that, there's nothing but junk on TV anymore and life is just too short to waste your time on this garbage when I can think of lots of things that I would rather be doing.
I stopped watching television news a long, long time agoe, when it became very clear that the networks were pandering to whatever would bring them numbers of viewers. What they offer isn't news, as Robert Butche documents on his Newsroom site, it's "infotainment."

The truth is easy to see for those willing to look. The networks get paid by advertisers per audience size. Therefore, whatever is most likely to induce people to turn on the screen is what the networks are most motivated to show. And they do.

What few are asking is: What are the long-term effects to the country from the networks' pandering? What does it mean when a demographic, the 25-54 year olds, is being conditioned by what they see on TV to think that America is a place of random violence and little thinking? These and other questions at least are being talked about on the Newsroom blog (http://newsroom.lookie.us/Newsroom-Blog/), but that conversation needs to be taking place all over the USA.
I haven't watched television in 7 years. I quit watching when I enrolled in law school and never got back into the habit. I don't miss it at all. I don't watch anything streaming either. I do read some newspapers and check online news sites, but that's about it. My time is spent doing things that are more productive.
the stations offer nothing but reruns. when the new season starts, they have maybe 6 new shows in the series and its back to reruns. I used to enjoy the crime shows, csi, law and order, etc,. but no more. i know the dialog as well as the actors. when the stations offer a full year of new episodes, instead of 6 teasers and 46 reruns I might consider watching their channel on a rainy, sleeting,freezing night when i've had 36 continuous hours of sleep the previous night. in other words, NOT!!!!!!!!!
Networks drive viewers away with their "strategies"

1. Moving shows to "compete" with shows on other networks make me and even my DVR loose track of shows. I don't have time to try to resolve conflicts.

2. Breaking up the season makes me loose interest and loose track of what shows I'm interested in.

3. Broadcasting repeats that were only shown a few weeks ago.

4. Too many filler episodes of various flashbacks.

So this all translates into loosing viewers, lower ratings, more shows being cancelled. More network desperation.
I don't have cablle, I watch '24' on TV mondays and 'The Black Donnellys' on NBC.com through out the week. I hate that they cancelled that.
I watch the dramas, movies and network news. I NEVER watch the reality shows, which are occupying increasing percentages of the three networks. As these low budget trash shows increase, my viewing time decreases.
Why my family won’t watch the idiot box? Juke, junk and more junk is what being shown on T.V. now-a-days. You can’t turn on the T.V. without hearing curse words or people screwing each other. I’m sorry; I have small kids and its better if we just watch cartoons. At least they are halfway entertaining. We don’t watch them 24 – 7, we get out of the house and do something productive.
I think the networks are passing the buck in blaming daylight savings. For about a year after 9/11, they blamed the terrorists. They also blamed the dot.com bust for lack of advertising dollars. They always have some sort of excuse rather than believing that I just don't want to watch Howie Mandell making a bunch of bimbos open up brief cases for some game that just absolutely makes no sense to me.
Shows we watch:

Desperate Housewives (for dark comedy) But it is getting to be too soap opera like.
Jericho: To prepare for what is to come. (Pretty telling series on what would happen, if we suffered major terrorist strikes. (Yuppies do not fare well as they have no common sense and don't know how to take care of themselves.)
The CSIs, CSI Las Vegas is our favorite.
American Idol, Survivor, Dancing with the stars. Monk. Lots of old movies, cartoons.

Most of the network offerings are abysmal. When one hit show works, they all copy. There must not be any imagination left on either coast and I'm fairly certain that there isn't any common sense on either coast as well, at least that's what I garner from the news lately.
Hate ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN news. Too much pontificating by the newspeople there. They all hate Fox because it truly is fair and un-balanced.
Our interests are outside the box, so we pulled the plug on cable years ago. We rent any programs we may be interested in watching (and there aren't many of those).
I am a 46 year old female living in Carefree, Arizona. I gave up television about 4 years ago. Prior to moving in with my boyfriend I didn't even have a television. I have high speed wireless on my laptop and have my explorer page set to CNN. That way I can pick what I want to read about. I think there is too much junk on television......I have decided if I have the time I'd rather read. I still enjoy a good movie, rented dvd or at the movie theater. I love music, traveling, reading, hiking and there is no time for television.
I used to love '24" but the show has become soooo boring and ridiculous, so i quit watching about 6 weeks ago. TV shows in general are not worth the time any more.
We have not had cable for several years now and it has been great. I download the shows(minus commercials) my daughters will watch and avoid a lot of hassle. When we did have cable my daughters were no match for the advertisers and constantly asked us for the latest toy.
I think the idea that the quality of TV shows has gotten worse is incorrect. The "Good Ole Days" were also full of crappy shows too. I think the percentage of good shows is constant but since there are so many shows produced today you have to weed through a lot of crap to find the good ones. We watch The Office(US and UK version), My Name is Earl, Lost, Good Eats, Heroes, and the Simpsons.
People would probably watch TV more if there was something worth watching.
ABC,CBS,NBC,FOX,....Tag you're it.
I think the issue here is that you really get hooked on a show and then all of a sudden it's gone for weeks on end or all you get is repeats. Then you start looking for something else to watch or just move away from TV altogether. I think this big idea of holding off on shows for a few weeks for sweeps or whatever reason is finally backfiring on the networks. I know there are lots of shows I used to watch that I don't anymore for that very reason
People are waking up to the fact that TV is a waste of time, full of overpaid, inflated egos in the newsrooms and on the regular shows. My computer keeps me informed and entertained in more ways than TV ever could.
NCIS and Extreme Makeover Home Edition are the only shows worth watching. I don't watch anything else because there is nothing but trash and clones of trash. There is far too much violence, profanity, sex, and truly horrible scenes of death. I'm very disgusted with the way tv shows have degenerated and have not watched ANY regular series shows all the way back to Hill Street Blues.
I recently updated my television plus programming. I now mostly have the jazz channel on, and still CNN, in the background. I like to watch a good movie, every now and then, or something that makes me laugh, but I only see reruns, again and again, and of very old movies. But mostly it is advertising. There is not much that I like. I am interested in good debates, good laughs, and a few good artsy movies. Then I can always use how-to shows, but most of what is on is above my ability now - I am old and do not do carpentry - and otherwise I already know it. I would also like to see and hear international debates and shows without voice-overs, thank you. I like to hear it in the original language. Of course, I only speak four languages, and not all languages, however, for those I do not speak, subscripts would be appropriate.
I rarely watch live TV anymore. I rely on Tivo's season pass feature as well as it's recommendations or suggestions.

And regarding the serials that took long breaks and lost viewers, count me as one of the many who fall into this category. I do still Tivo lost but sometimes two weeks will go by before I'll watch because I've lost patience with the show.
I used to watch a series for a whole season but now I watch for a few weeks and then - BAM! - the show goes to reruns and new shows of that show are aired in two months....

What's up with that?

I used to watch UGLY BETTY, GREY'S ANATOMY & MEN IN TREES. Then BETTY went into reruns, so did GREY'S and MEN IN TREES, a show I loved, was taken off the air for some other show...... So my Thursday night was interrupted and I've never returned to it.

I watched LOST in the first season because it was heroic. Now it's just mean-spirited and cruel. I don't understand it or care about any of the characters anymore. I've watched one show in the last two years. Yuk.

I like cable shows because they show them several times during the week.

80% of the time I watch movies otherwise KCET, Discovery and Larry King. Occasionally a few network shows here and there. But the interruptions of programming into reruns and then on the air months later with new shows is a disastrous way to go, in my humble.

Hope this helps the people in TV-land.
People get let down when networks decide to air the first 10-15 episodes of the season followed by 3 MONTHS OF NOTHING and then another 10-15 episodes. I don't know anyone who likes waiting for the new episodes for so long.

I would rather have 20 really good episodes in a row than 25-30 mediocre episodes spaced out over 10 months.
I am afraid if I turn on network television their will be a reality show on. Thus I avoid them like the plague.
My wife and I both work full-time, and our evenings are booked to spend time with our children, ages 7 and 3. We put our kids to bed at 8:00, and we're both in bed by 10:00.

We usually tape shows during the week, and then watch them on the weekend. These include "CSI: Miami", "CSI: New York", "Jericho", and "The Unit".

There are also some "must watch" shows that we watch during their scheduled air times. These include "NCIS" and "Survivor". On Sundays my wife usually watches "The Amazing Race" and "The Apprentice", both of which ended in the past two weeks. She also watched "You're The One That I Want" while it was on. My wife watched "Dancing With The Stars" for the first time this season and enjoyed it.

All in all, our total TV viewing time per week, including watching taped shows on the weekends, averages less than 12 hours. Our family spends a lot of time reading and enjoying hobbies. We do watch quite a few movies, but we don't have service other than broadcast television, so what we watch is either from our movie collection or from a local rental source.
As one gets older, one realizes there is more to life than sitting on a sofa watching a flickering box. Life is too short to be a passive consumer of weak shows and ads urging us to buy, buy, buy.

Maybe American viewers are wising up!
I dropped cable four years ago and honestly don't miss it. Got a good antenna to tune in the local channels so I can catch the weather (not even the entire local news broadcast -- because local news here is really poorly done). I'm so tired of "reality" TV -- the entire schedule of shows reminds me of the movie "The Running Man".

What do I watch? "Two and a Half Men." That's it. I used to watch "Grey's Anatomy" until I got tired of seeing one new episode every six weeks. If I really need to see "Grey's" I'll just wait for the DVD.

Otherwise -- I now have lots of quality time with my computer!
My 8 year old likes Nick and we will record occasional Travel or Food channel shows with the DVR, but that's about all. The commercials are way too many to tolerate now.

Besides, if the show is good, we can always get the DVD and watch it uninterrupted!
Television has become boring. I have pretty much abandoned the television and the poor quality shows. The shows need to be more creative. Reality television has never been appealing to me as a viewer and it seems that is all we are bombarded with. I watch roughly 3 hours of TV per week. 24 (Starting to get repetitive), Lost (Going way to many directions without closure), and Heroes (The one show I enjoy the most). Other then that we stick to Discovery Channel, and occasional sports.
We rarely watch live TV any longer. The DVR is set up to record favorites such as House and Heroes so that my husband and I can watch them at a time that is convenient to us, and usually after the children have gone to bed. The DVR is a huge blessing to our busy lives. (And not having to sit through the commercials is a HUGE bonus too!)
I gave up cable in 2005, as a cost cutting measure, during a period of sudden unemployment. I've since returned to work but can't justify having cable turned back on to watch the junk that's on. I'm thinking of giving my TV to a thrift store!
Wow. After reading all the comments, I'm not sure I have anything new to say. But I'll summarize:

- Current programming insults the intelligence of the average person.
- There's nothing interesting on.
- There's nothing new (content) on.
- Reality TV is crap and not worth watching.
- There's nothing I'd want to watch with my kids.
- There's nothing my kids want to watch.
- TV schedule doesn't fit my own (life isn't as "regular" as it used to be).
- The commercials are as offensive as the show (sometimes more).
- TV doesn't listen to what the viewers want.
- Even most news is crap, biased.

If I can think of anything else, I'll post another note.
We watch mostly Netflix and Tivo. Since we got Tivo, my family's TV watching has actually decreased, as strange as that may seem. One theory: when we have a spare 20 or 40 minutes we can watch exactly what we want (fast forwarding through most of the commercials) and be satisfied.
NETWORK EXECS APPEAR TO BE CLUELESS. IT ALL COMES DOWN TO ONE WORD: CONTENT !
The more "reality" shows, the more you cheapen production values, the more stupid the premise, the less the viewership. Are you seeing a correlation yet, guys?
TV - thank god for TIVO! I could watch Stargate the rest of my life and be happy. There's too much garbage on TV.
Not everybody out here has a 6th grade education.
Shows that have substance, entertaining or make you think get dumped, for example: 7 Days, E Ring, The Lone Gunmen and many more.
Also, when networks change times and days of long running shows they don't get the same viewers.
There are just a few shows I like to catch when I can. But honestly, with so many re-runs if I miss one, it's not the end of the world. There's too many other interesting things to do than sit and click the remote all night. Reading, enjoying neighbors, etc.
Lost, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Friday Night Lights, and Jericho are what I watch, usually catching up with most on the internet the next day or two. Occasionally, I'll catch Dateline or other like show, if the subject is of interest.
TV fulfills its promise of being completely inane. It doesn't make you do anything - it just spoonfeeds you mindless blather, with increasingly pornographic and violent content to keep you hooked. I haven't watched T.V. in five years and ever time I run across it I am struck by how much the profanity and lasciviousness have increased. Instead I read books, ride my bike, or build toys out of wood for my daughter (who will NEVER watch T.V.). Oh, and I shop less as well - don't forget that T.V.'s primary purpose is to make you buy things. The outdoors are free.
I love all the Law & Order shows, Rescue Me, The Office. Lately I've been watching more and more PBS. I can't stomach the Amazing Race/Batchlor/Nanny/Model/Weight Loss/Survivor etc. etc. reality shows and some nights that is all that's on. Those people are all idiots!!! The writing on most shows is horrible. New shows aren't given a chance to get legs. Thank goodness for Netflix and AMC/TCM.
We've been using a TiVO for the last several years. We let favorite shows stack up, then pop a bowl of popcorn and watch them when we feel like it - rather like going to the movies. When we hear good things about a show from friends we record a few episodes to evaluate it. "Lost" didn't make the cut, but we liked what we saw of "Heros", so we bought all the existing episodes off of iTunes and caught up with the series.
In my house, we may watch American Idol, House, all the Red Sox baseball games, and The Crocodile Hunter repeats - also maybe the occasional Animal Planet or Discovery Channel show, and maybe (but usually not) a show on the Sci-Fi Channel. There really isn't many interesting shows to watch these days! We find that most TV shows are boring. I think better quality shows with more interesting characters but there just aren't any really good shows out there anymore.
I faithfully watch:
Monday: Prison Break and The Riches (on FX and the greatest acting ever!)
Tuesday: Boston Legal
Wednesday: LOST
Thursday: Survivor
I sometimes watch House, Grey's Anatomy, Criminal Minds, and Des. Housewives.
Where have all the viewers gone? Where I'd like to go if I could tear myself away. The networks absolutely mangle the schedules with horrendous breaks between shows, moving them to another night permanently, moving them to another night for one or two shows only, putting them on too late. But mostly it's very short seasons and many months break between seasons. Very difficult for us viewers to maintain the momentum and enthusiasm for what was happening in the story. What happened to the days when we could could on a certain number of shows being shown right through until May then starting again in September? Those were the good old days. Now I have my beloved LOST leaving at the end of this month and not returning until January! Are they crazy! I'll follow but fewer and fewer viewers will when they schedule like this!
I'm a 30-year old female, and I think in the past year I've watched less tv than I ever have in previous years. One factor is that I have a newborn, but another is that there's just nothing good on television. I miss the days of Friends, Seinfeld, and other fun sitcoms. Now it's all reality junk and trash. The only thing I watch nowadays is reruns - Friends, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, and King of Queens.
It is definitely the quality of the programming. I'm not interested.
Two words: Reality Tv. Do the networks think the majority of us are idiots? With shows like American Idol and Are you smarter than a 5th grader, I'm beginning to think so. Maybe they should look to some of the cable networks and follow their lead. We stick to watching The Shield, Rescue Me, Nip/Tuck, The SciFi Channel, Discovery, The learning channel, Food Network, or Animal planet. We DVR most of that to avoid the annoying commercials.
The networks are asking themselves where have the viewers have gone? But we aren’t gone, we have just gone digital. Take my department, for example. Every Tuesday, someone calls out, “Who hasn’t watched Heroes yet?” to make sure we don’t start our discussion about the episode before everyone has had a chance to see it. Why would we do that? Because we all use our DVRs to record shows and watch them at our leisure.

We are no longer chained to the networks’ fickle and ever-changing show schedules. Nielsen has started to pick up on the DVR phenomenon, but it sounds like their sample hasn’t. If only 17% of their sample have DVRs, they are way off. In my sample of just 10, everyone but 2 has a DVR. That’s 80%, quite a big difference. In fact, there are shows that we used to skip because of the time slot or it showed at the same time as another show, that we now watch. So when the networks start to fret about viewership, I think it is unfounded. What they should fret about is commercials, because none of us watch them anymore. My suggestion to the networks is--stop cancelling and moving shows because you think the ratings aren’t high enough--focus on getting product placements in all of them, because we are double and triple speed zooming past your source of income!
Trust me, if there were ANYTHING worth watching, I'd watch. But the networks seem to think the only thing we want to see are psuedo-reality shows where the very worst of human behavior is encouraged and exploited.

Give us a break! We are simply not going to reduce ourselves to watching that dreck, or exposing our children to it. What they're putting on the air is NOT reality...it's perversion.
The shows we watch weekly are: Extreme Home Makeover, American Idol, Gray's Anatomy and our favorite night of TV here is Wednesday when we watch Bones, Crossing Jordan and Medium. We used to watch more.

It's REALLY frustrating that the stations keep changing what night shows are on. I understand that they're trying to find the best combination but it makes it hard to schedule our lives so that we can see our favorite shows.

It also takes time for people to become attached to a show. I didn't watch Friends the first season but got addicted after that. It takes time to "get to know" the characters. The broadcast companies aren't giving people time to do that. And since many new shows all start at the same time, it takes time to see which one we like best. They pull shows too quickly. It's frustrating. We finally find one we like and then it's gone. We've finally pretty much thrown up our hands and said "whatever". We're scheduling our lives to do other things.
I am a married 41 year old Man with 2 children. I don't find TV interesting anymore as it is nothing more than a constant continuous commercial these days.
10 mins of program then 20 minutes of commercials I know that's overdoing it a bit but that's what it seems like. I recently moved back from Australia where they have no more than 1 minute in commercials maybe 2 minutes at the max. Most of the time I'll just play World of Warcraft and make time for maybe 1 show a night like SG1. Otherwise TV is a waste.
I agree with many other posters: the content available on both network and cable TV does not appeal to me. Not that TV in the 1950s - 1970s was anything to write home about either: bland, superficial, and just plain dumb. Today's programming adds moral idiocy and a vicious tendency to make public fools out of poor schmucks picked off the street.

Many of us have better things to do than sit in front of a 42-inch sewer main.
I am so digusted with the television networks this year. The season was short and then most of the time they showed reruns. If this is what tv has come to I'll watch cable, which is what I did most of the season anyway. If the networks are concerned about viewership they better figure out a way to run the popular programs that have been successful. Perhaps the executives can take a cut in pay so they can afford to pay the advertisers?
When the bulk of your time is spent watching commericals, when biased reporting predominates, when reporters are no longer reporters but TV personalities, then clearly one finds a better way to spend their time!!
I only watch two primetime shows-- grey's anatomy and american idol (occasionally-- now that sanjaya's gone what's the point?). my boyfriend and I watch grey's on the weekends on his computer, and he watches CSI and heroes streamed on his computer as well. we're both very busy with school and work so we don't have time to sit down every night and watch tv as it is scheduled for us-- rather, the web allows us to watch them at our own convenience.
In my opinion, more and more people are refusing to watch TV because the content available on the Internet is more entertaining - and when it omes to news, much more truthful.

To the news networks..."Stop Lying, and your lost viewers may eventually return".
House is entertaining, Stargate is entertaining. If I'd been bored, I might have flipped to the Discovery Channel or National Geographic, depending on what was on. Now, however, having moved into a different apartment, my roommate and I aren't getting cable and I think the TV died a couple days ago. So, I get my news through the internet.
I will say, though, that the news channels like CNN and Fox News are very frustrating to watch. They'll advertise a story for hours before they actually show it, meanwhile managing to repeat the same insipid spacefillers at 20 minute intervals.
Between the horrible onslaught of "reality" tv and the spawning of "crime tv", there just isn't anything on that appeals.
I prefer watching BBC America anymore. After the fiasco with Sanjay, I stopped watching American Idol. I dont even watch Dancing with the Stars anymore.
Sopranos I still watch even tho there are only going to be a few more shows of Sopranos. I also watch PBS whenever everything else on t.v. does not appeal to me. I used to watch 24, but for some reason, I don't watch it anymore.
I am also tired of all the sex and violence on t.v.
Thank you,
Nancy
We don't watch much evening/night time television because there are not many good shows on anymore! And the ones that may be good are on at 10:00 and I can't stay up till 11:00! Too tired!
I love 24. Every week I Tivo it and watch it about a half hour later when I can speed through the bad Victoria Secret commercials.
The absent of consistent new shows makes our household lose interest. (Criminal Intent & SVU)

We faithfully watch Heroes, The Office, 24. We TiVo everything to skip the commercials (and the long intro's). However 24 Has been lame this year with to little Jack Bauer.
I believe the reason viewer ship is down is due to the networks catering to only people under 30 with lousy drama’s, comedy’s and money-saving reality shows that are terrible. Not to mention any show you try to follow now has a fall finale and doesn’t come back on for several weeks, by then, who cares. The networks should stop giving less and less and expect more and more people and money to come their way. Go back to writing shows for adults, it worked in the past and stop trying to sell the public something every five minutes.
Don't even turn the TV on anymore. Too much violence, sex, trash.
I have given up on Broadcast TV because they give up on good shows too soon. Just as I was getting into "Studio 60" NBC took it off of the air for the "Black Donnellys", which was a horrible show. All of these half seasons or quarter-seasons that they run on new shows do not give the audience time to buy in to a show. Ever go back and watch the first 6 episodes of Seinfield? Not very good.

It is not that I don't have time for TV, but I can't get into the habit of watching a show if the network pulls it after a few episodes. And all of the reality shows are mostly garbage. Its as if the Networks are pushing me to watch movies and play video games.
TV stinks! I have Comcast Cable by default and the programming stinks. To paraphrase Woody Allen: TV is "mental mastaurbation." If its not constant slaughtering then its soft porn: Eveeryone seems to act their best in a bed. Even CNN HN has lost my interest. They have Pit Bulls like Beck and that fermale lawyer. And at 6pm prime news hour, they have a blonde lady with a house show. What!!!!!!!!???
We watch 4 network shows religiously: Lost, Survivor, CSI, and Apprentice. I also watch the Unit. But we watch them when we want by DVRing them and zooming past the commercials.
The biggest turn off is long commercial breaks. The next is unpleasant medical ads, especially during meal times.
These two things can cause us to turn the TV OFF.
if the networks would get rid of the annoying logo in corner of the screen, get rid of the tickers at the bottom of the screen, stop the annoying pop up ads, decrease the amount of the commercials, and stop altering the closing credits of shows and movies (both audio and video) to do some kind of a promo. more people would watch!!!!! we own the airwaves!!!! we want and deserve logo free television!!!!!
#1 thing is Cable is to high !

My basic went to $50.00 last year and I dropped it. Just getting mine over the air now.

Cable, Internet & Phone are traveling over the same lines now come on company's give us a break.
For the first time in years I have started to read again. Even Survivor it not worth watching. (No, I will not watch the remaing shows.) When the networks decide to run decent programming, I will continue to read. I will return to the television when any one of the networks decides to run something worth watching.
DVR!
Way too many adds and not enough actual program time has driven us away from TV programing.
Aside from the fact that TV shows nowadays consist of mindless, pedictable, inane trash (esp. the reality shows), another factor, at least in my case, is the availability of broadband internet, which has infinitely more interesting content.
You mean the local networks still exist? Wow.. I had no idea.
In addition to a lack of entertainment, people who stare at a Computer screen for 8 hours a day are looking for something to do besides stare at the TV screen at night. This is a good transition.
Advertisers can spend more effort on Web Cookie Ads I guess. And maybe a reduced advertising budget towards TV Ads will translate to lower shelf prices for the consumer...ok, I can wake up now.
My husband doesn't watch much TV because he hates the commercials. He doesn't like digital cable...too many stations from which to choose so when he does watch anything it is usually hockey and football.

I don't watch as much as I used to watch. I rarely watch any of the major networks as there is just nothing on that's really good and anything that I used to consider as good is on too late for me to watch. There are also way too many re-runs. Once I have watched it, why would I watch it over and over again?

I look for at least an hour of no minded entertainment before my bed time, but find that all I do is channel surf, so I will probably be giving up channel surfing and reading instead.
I've totally abandoned network television. The so-called "reality" shows are so contrived and stupid that they insult all but the juvenile audience they're seemingly aimed at. The "celebrities" as as inept as the contestants much of the time.

Why does just about every network television program speak to the demographic lowest common denominator?

Even programs that do have a snipit of wit and intelligence are spoiled by the long, 10-commercial interruptions between scenes.

Come on guys, it's the 21st century and the American people are a lot more saavy and sophisticated than you think.

Make us think it's in our interest to watch your progamming. Give us programs that are entertaining, elevating, interesting, intelligent and timely -- or timeless -- with moderate interruption, and you'll soar in prime time.

Sure, you'll lose the "Reality" viewing crowd, but hey, there's a lot more of us than there are of them, as your viewership numbers indicate.
I have never been a big TV watcher, but as someone else wrote, you start liking a show and then it is yanked in 4 weeks, cuz the numbers were not right,,

lots of junk on TV,, I like Dancing with the Stars and Nightline,,the rest is a waste and the news is like watching a entertainment show... I have basic cable and refuse to pay any more for TV,,,
I don't watch TV at all anymore. I find it boring, actually. Occasionally I'll watch the news or something, but definately not network TV. I prefer a book, playing with my kids, going running...but not TV.
Too many reruns...commercials, crime dramas, etc. Give me something new that shows that TV producers are targeting a smart and savvy audience and maybe I'll watch. TV shows seem to be targeted at developing a stupid thug generation.
Sports and movies, not the made for TV variety, are pretty much all we ever watch if and when we do. I can't remember the last "network" TV show we watched. TV news is anything but, thank god for online news.

We have to remember that 10% of the population is all that is needed to support "pop" culture, and to buy the mindless products being hawked. TV has long since dropped below the line the Newton Minow had anticipated.
There is absolutely no reason any more to watch a particular show during its scheduled broadcast time. On the flip side, it is entirely convenient to watch at a time of our choosing. Why are broadcasters and advertisers surprised to discover this?

How's this for an idea? Broadcasters should inform the ad agencies that the 30-second commercial in its current form is dead. Instead, they should concentrate on "interesting" and "creative" in-show product placement which is made a cohesive part of the story (not just a prop) and, alternatively, to create extended, cinematic commericals that are creative, funny, and even serialized, which people might want to actually watch.

For example, NCIS's agent Gibbs might actually start drinking Starbucks coffee, Dr. House may do an entire 2-minute skit about why he prefers United Airlines, or CSI:NY could investigate a murder where the clues come from an Apple computer or an iPod.

And speaking for me, I will buy entire-season DVDs. So there is always that.
The only network TV I watch regularly anymore is The Office, My Name is Earl and Scrubs on Thursdays (and I'm starting to like 30 Rock.) I tape Ugly Betty to watch Friday, but if it were on any other day I'd watch it live. There is just not much else on network TV that I find interesting.

I do enjoy a number of cable shows, including Dr. Who (on break), No Reservations, Gardening by the Yard, Good Eats, and science and history shows on Discovery or History channel.
We are getting in better shape and giving our children something to live for instead of the JUNK that is being shown on television. Whatever happened to the fun shows like ALF?
One gets tired of reruns after reruns to the point one stops looking a TV altogether.
Who cares about time slots when we have Tivo and FF on the remote. Not good for Advertisers.
We stopped watching the sit-coms when they started getting vulgar. Talk of sex, affairs, dirty language and people thinking it is funny to have many adultrous affairs is something I do not appreciate in my home. The networks have told us all along if we don't like it, turn it off and I personally think that is what Americans are doing. Even the ads for Victoria Secret with young women in a bra and brief underwear are not anything I want to watch. I am sure you have your usual sex offenders who get off on this but does it really sale the clothes.

I too am tired of the 2-3 minute commercials that interrupt a show every 8-10 minutes. I get the taped shows at my local Blockbuster and watch a marathon and enjoy it twice as much.

What do we do with this screen in our family room. Baseball, Dancing with the Stars and Fox News. That is about it, that takes up about maybe 2-4 hours a day.

Hey, what do you networks think of that. I don't want filth in my house and I choose to turn you off. Now it is up to you to bring the quality up so that we MIGHT TURN YOU BACK ON. MIGHT.
When I am at someone's home and the television is on I am mesmorized, but when I am home I am usually too busy doing other stuff to watch. There may be one or two shows that I actually sit down to watch, but mostly I am on the internet reading several different newspapers and now that its Spring, out doing yard work or playing with dogs. Not to mention Netflix.
I gave up on TV about three years ago when the news programs ALL lost their credibility (including CNN). I get all my news and "entertainment" from the web now. Many blogs have much, much more credibility, especially when they actually report news and not "infotainment".
Some shows I never miss and some I try never to miss. They are:

Antiques Road Show
Everybody Hates Chris (they are on at the same time, tough picking!)
Gilmore Girls (gone now)
The Unit
My Name is Earl
The Office
Grey's Anatomy
20/20
Dateline
48 Hours
60 Minutes
Cold Case
Without a Trace

Love "Medium" but it comes on too late. Watch most of the "Old House" genre on PBS.

Don't have cable so I don't watch anything else.
The only time I watch an entire show is when I am on the treadmill. I watch American Idol, Medium, House, SG-1, and Atlantis. Anything else, I am half-watching when I am moving around the house or on the computer. There isn't one show out there that I would set aside time to sit down and watch.

What kills me is that I have cable with about 1000 channels and I can't find anything that is "Must See TV."
I watch the Today Show every weekday morning while I'm getting ready for work and eating breakfast. Before that I watch my local news. During dinner I usually watch Seinfeld reruns on TBS, or if it's too early I watch the local news. I watch My Name is Earl and The Office regularly. I watch 24, but I prefer to record it and watch it later without commercials. I have rented and watched the last 5 seasons, so I'm used to watching as many episodes as I want without commercials. Besides this, I watch the news or flip around. I also watch most of MTVs reality shows. I don't like any of the other prime-time shows that are on now.
The best time management device I ever purchased was a VCR in 1980. Ever since, I record virtually all programs of interest. VCRs freed me from inconvenient TV schedules, forced time expenditure on strings of commercials, and not having to watch “news” snippets of little interest (“In the middle east today”…. fast forward).

Over the years, programs have become so mindless and un-interesting that I now only look forward to three programs. News programs are no exception, they have become so “dumbed down” (or I have gotten more informed through other media) that they literally provide no “news” (ironic). For example, in my viewing area, CBS used to have a somewhat informative morning show between 5 and 5:30 am with in depth interviews, but alas it was replaced with this mindless blabbering show that looks like it was designed for Saturday morning infant audiences; it is just awful. The channel I watch the most, is the history channel; you actually learn something from that station.
Could it be that there is not much worth watching?Seems to me that the more channels we have the less worth watching is on. I know I stopped watching CNNHN when they went to the FOX look-alike format with Nancy Grace and that idiot Beck. If I wanted to watch that right-wing reactionary stuff I'd watch FOX.

Speaking of FOX, I absolutely refuse to watch them. Any aoufit that calls Jeraldo Rivera and Ollie North "journalists" is unfit for human consumption.

I do watch PBS, History and the like but selectively. I must admit to enjoying the various CSI: series but don't go out of my way to watch them.
I stopped watching tv because everything I saw was so disturbing. Everything is so graphic... murder, violence, dismembering bodies and homosexuality. We need more clean shows like "Friends", "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "According to Jim".
I'm a faithful watcher of JERICHO, but it seems to be running out of steam and probably won't be back- which will leave the however many of us who do watch the show hanging wondering what happened to all those characers.

ER is the only other show I watch every week, and it seems to be on its last legs.

There's CSI and LAW AND ORDER in their various incarnations, THE SIMPSONS and KING OF THE HILL and RENO 911 and that's about all that's worth watching.

There may come a day there's just flat nobody watching.
TV has gotten so bad that I turn it on only for specific shows, and spend the rest of my "prime time" reading or sewing.


"Bones" and "The Closer" are two good shows that are shown whenever the stations seem to have an opening--bad move. "American Idol," in my estimation, is a terrible show that deliberately humiliates people. I don't watch that or any other "reality" show.

I wonder if the networks have ever considered buying quality shows instead of cheap ones.
I am a 55 year old gay male with a graduate degree and the only TV I watch in real time is the local news. Otherwise I watch on demand digital (movies and specials like "Rome" and "The Tudors"), some BBC America, Discovery Channel and some Here! Channel. The networks are just in terrible decline. Nothing there for me and, it seems, many others as well
What exactly is on network TV worth watching anymore? It's a glut of same-old sitcoms that aren't that funny, a glut of competition game shows, and "reality" shows that are just... stupid. Add to that the ever-increasing amount of annoying commercial time, and I just tire of watching network TV. It would be nice if the U.S. would follow the British model - show episodes uninterrupted. If they need a ton of commercial time, dump them at the end before the next show starts.

If any of the networks would have the guts to change to this model, they might win me back on principle.

Add to that the fact that any show the time needed to develop an audience. If it's not an instant hit, it's cancelled immediately. Take FOX, for example, which cancels shows nearly instantly.

The only show I'm watching on network TV is Heroes. Otherwise, it's usually the Discovery Channel, or BBC America imports such as Doctor Who, Blackpool, or Little Britain. I'm looking forward to Torchwood, too - programs that our networks would never bother looking into.
My family is watching very little live, maybe some FOX news which we find at least a little more balanced than the other networks and unfortunatly where CNN has moved toward the far left. We do DVR the CSIs, 24, House, Bones and Numbers regularly and often watch on weekends.
I sit down and watch Heroes, Jericho, and Grey's. But I view Lost the next day on my laptop (it's on too late for me!). I also catch Heroes and Grey's on the computer when I miss it during regularly scheduled times.
I watch NBA basketball, Planet Earth on Discovery, De La Hoya V. Mayweather on PPV, CNN pipeline, The NFL draft on ESPN, Inside the NBA, Red Sox games when their on TV locally in Vegas or on my streaming internet league pass, Real Time with Bill Maher and the Sopranos. Also occasionally watch something on the History Channel and news on CNN, and Sportscenter. Sometimes the Simpsons, or the Cosby Show. I watch a lot of movies on DVD and lots of I Love Lucy on DVD... and some shows in Thai that I don't understand but my wife is Thai. Haven't wached anything on network TV except sports since the reality TV thing started and I gave up.
I watch Lost, Bones, Drive (oh wait, that got cancelled), Wildfire, Battlestar Galactica, Nascar, the PBR, and other sports. Everything else on tv these days isn't worth the time. I refuse to watch mindless reality tv garbage. Instead, I'm outside spending time with my horse.
I wait until the season comes out on DVD so I can enjoy my favorite shows when I want and free of irritating commercials. I utterly despise the idea of scheduling my day around a network's show line-up. I have things to do, people to see, and the last thing I need is a show telling me when I can and cannot enjoy it. I wouldn't mind at all if some of my shows went straight to DVD and doubled their cost. It would be more convenient until waiting until the end of the season to watch each episode.
I am a loyal "24" fan and watch every week, but have to admit I am getting bored...this is the 3rd time CTU has been infiltrated! (okay...forget the fact that it likely WOULD happen under our current administration's "leadership"). The writing is stale, predictable and unimaginative. I also agree that the networks do not give new shows enought time to capture an audience: "Studio 60" is outstanding, but its future is up in the air because NBC execs can't commit? The writing, acting, character development and storylines are outstanding and thought provoking; the religious right's pressure on NBC (ie: Book of Daniel) continues to dilute and "dumb-down" what we all get to see..."Drive" on Fox was given only 2 episodes!! C'mon...special interest groups and lobbyists need to stay out of the network programming process--they already control network news. Pretty soon, everything we see and hear will be controlled by only 2 or 3 conservative corporate entities. We are giving away our country, culture and freedoms, and the lack of quality TV programming is just one more example...oh well, at least Bravo and HGTV are still good!
I have been passionate about "24" in the past; I loved that show! This season stinks and isn't worth watching.
I'm tired of the numerous and lengthy commercials during primetime TV shows. I watch fewer shows because of that.
Four years ago we moved to the woods and can't even get NBC or ABC. Haven't missed it at all. Now, we watch HBO on our schedule, House, CSI (only Vegas), Shark, Numbers (though this has way too many commercials now and is going down hill, fast), Survivor (every other season, can't take constant bickering), Amazing Race. The rest is awful. Movies and Sports are on most of the time
There is nothing to watch. Reality TV shows are absurd and ridiculous. Networks preempt shows to the point that viewers lose track of episodes. The History Channel, National Geographic, The Learning Channel, etc. have more substantive shows to offer. Reading is even better. Network TV is trash.
Curious, I "surfed" from bottom to top, said to myself: "This is pure unadulterated junk! Who's watching this stuff?" Now I know: Not as many as in the past. It is wall-to-wall junk.
I watch very very little television anymore. Too much of it is not suitable for children, too much sensationalized violence and gore. Who needs it? I get my news from the internet, I have enough real things to do in my life to use up my other time.
I like House and 24, but I hate the interupptions the AM idol causes, because I do not like that show. To many scheduling changes interupt my schedule so I watch less TV.
I've turned away from ABC, CBS, and NBC for news and I solely watch FOXNEWS or my local FOX station for news.

As for evening TV...I stick to sports (especially during the NBA and NHL playoffs)...but I always make sure to catch House on Fox every Tuesday. Beyond that its watching channels like Discovery and TLC.
I am definitely watching less television and not just at the start of this spring. I watch more alternative televison because I have found that the major networks do not tell the whole story and sometimes don't report on important issues that I find elsewhere such as LINK TV, PBS radio and Air America Radio. I certianly do not now nor ever did watch FOX!
i only have the basic channels... I refuse to pay for cable, dvd's, recorders, etc.
The only time if find myself switching stations is when the same station plays the same commercial every 5 minutes.. it gets totally annoying. i like variety and creativity. we seemed to have lost that somewhere along the way. "thank god you're here" seemed like a good idea... but it just lacks in humor, it's boring. shows like smallville, 7th heaven are good because if you miss an episode you can catch up on the next one and they dont do an overkill with re-runs. i liked 24 but i missed a few episodes and never got caught up in it again. I think American idol is so good because it's fresh and it's sometimes LIVE you get a true reaction that wasn't pre-recorded. I miss the fun stuff like SOAP, and 3rd rock from the sun, cheers, etc. we need something fresh, less re-runs and LIVE! bring back some old sitcom stars... We want to see something like the Carol Burnett Show, or some real life sitcoms with some of these messed up child-stars...
something that we can all relate to. America loves to see people make fools of themselves! And we need more humor
I don't watch anything live anymore. We have too many extra-curricular activities with our kids to watch TV real-time. I LOVE the ability to watch episodes online and I do that often. (Veronica Mars, Lost, Raines, Numb3rs) I have watched many shows online that I would not normally watch and gotten hooked. I also record them on my computer for viewing later. (Heroes, House, American Idol) I do watch some of the commercials--if they are clever and catch my eye, I watch. (Apple, Geico, Budweiser, etc.) When the TV is on we are watching basketball, PBS, or Saturday morning cartoons :). We don't have cable. I do buy the dvds of the series, also, if it was one I could watch again. (Monk especially comes to mind.)
I also made the mistake of watching Men in Trees. What happened that was a good show? I do not watch much else. I have Netflix. LOVE IT!!!! We rent BBC shows and movies and watch those weekly. Right now I am on season 5 of the scottish show monarch of the glen. It is my replacement for Friends!
Before buying our house, we lived in an apt complex that included cable with the rent. We (including the kids) watched mainly Animal Planet, Nicklelodium, Cartoon Network, History Channel, PBS, CNN or other news networks, and reruns of older sitcoms. Even then we didn't watch that much TV and very seldom watched Network TV because of all the mindless reality shows such as American Idol, Fear Factor, Batchelor, etc. Even Discovery Channel is filled with reality shows. After moving into the house I found out it would cost over $60 a month to get the channels we watched because Animal Planet was part of an extra package for more money. My wife & I decided not to subscribe to cable for just a few channels and we began to use the money we would save to buy complete seasons of the shows we liked on dvd. Since the same news is available on the internet, we keep up with current events just as well as we did with cable. We were also tired of the commercials taking up as much time as the shows. After 3 years using this system, the kids no longer miss cable since they have most of the shows they like on dvd now. The kids also agree completely that the older shows (Home Improvement, MASH, Seinfeld, Hogans Heroes, Beverly Hillbillies, McHales Navy, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Marx Brothers, Our Gang, etc.) are much better than the new ones. We also have several seasons of the Simpsons & other animated shows. The subject of cable never comes up anymore from the kids. It's also easier to get the kids away from the TV since the show they are watching is on dvd and they can come back to it later. They no longer complain when we tell them to turn off the TV because of this. From talking with other parents in my kid's school classes, I have discovered several others that are doing basically the same thing or close to it.
There might be some truth that less people overall are watching "TV", but the overriding thing here should not be a surprise to anyone, least of all the networks: people's media consumption habits have shifted. We don't watch TV anymore... we TiVo things and watch them when the kids are in bed, or the lawn is mowed. We watch them on our iPods, etc. This didn't all happen yesterday; it's been going on for at least 3-5 years now in mainstream America. The networks should have paid more attention so they could better measure acutal media consumption. It will be to their loss as advertisers will likely keep billions until they can figure out how to measure non-traditional media consumption.
DVR's are a big part of it... but honestly the shows are just bad. 24 is a show I like to watch, but i find it less and less entertaining now. It always ends in Jack may die, but we know he has a 3 year contract so that's not going to happen, and how many times can he go through this. Jericho was great, but they took it off for too long. Now they have stretched out the plot to see if it can last more seasons. Stations need to quit chasing ratings and create quality. A show like 24, lost, Jericho and others should not last multiple seasons, they should have an end not decided by ratings, but by the story line. Instead the stations decide to milk it until it is so boring and unrealistic that no one watches. Quality TV is how to win back ratings, not chasing after them and not going after the "hot" night, Heroes and 24 battle against each other and they are the same audience, viewership will go down, duh. Oh, and quit messing with the schedule!
My family watches children's programing because we have 3 year old and a 7 year old with autism and a 9 year old. Because of the 7 year old we usually watch programs that are on DVD. For that we use an online movie rental service. We only seldom watch network television or even the programs that we get through our satellite provider. The one channel that I watch consistently is the SciFi channel. There just isn't anything on Broadcast TV that interests me.
I can't commit to a show when the networks won't either. Deadwood, Rome, Firefly, possibly Battlestar Galactica. But I can always watch NCIS, a show no one I know has ever watched. The amount of commercials has gotten completely out of hand as well.
Treat the viewers as if they're smart, give us some smart TV shows, and we'll stick around.
Network TV doesn't appeal to me any longer. Yes there are some shows that I watch evey week religiously (The Office), but I began not watching when reality shows took over. I hate them. Because of that, I've found that I like not being chained to the TV every night after work. There is not a single night that I watch TV for all 3 hours of primetime. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night I don't watch TV (except for The Shield). It's kinda nice!
I am not watching. Too many ridiculous "reality" programs. There are more important things in life!
It's no mystery, it has been coming for 1-2 years. 1-I'm watching my favorite show and the network is promoting their other shows at the bottom of the screen! I'm watching a major golf tournament live and the announcer is promoting frivilous network shows that most men don't even watch! 2-There are more commercials and less show per hour. 3-The shows are miserable and stupid in content (way, way, way too many reality shows). Too many whatevering with the stars.
In each case I switch to a cable channel.
watch the Today Show every weekday morning while I'm getting ready for work and eating breakfast. Before that I watch my local news. During dinner I usually watch Seinfeld reruns on TBS, or if it's too early I watch the local news. I watch My Name is Earl and The Office regularly. I watch 24, but I prefer to record it and watch it later without commercials. I have rented and watched the last 5 seasons, so I'm used to watching as many episodes as I want without commercials. I also watch South Park. Besides this, I watch the news or flip around. I also watch most of MTVs reality shows (I am an MTV junkie), although lately I haven't been watching as much of them (haven't been as good). I don't like any of the other prime-time shows that are on now.
We are in our mid-forties and television just does not hold it for us any longer. We can buy any season of our favorite shows so it really doens't matter if we miss the season starter or the end for that matter. Reality shows are not really reality, and usually pit immature, whiney, co-dependant people against each other. Not good entertainment in my book. Excersize your mind, read a book, go to the library, take your dog for a walk and enjoy the reality of real life.
There were only two "old" shows that I would watch live every night they were on. Scrubs and ER.

However this I was really getting into Drive (Fox) and Dresden Files (SciFi) Dresden Files in particular was a great and original show that once I started watching I was hooked on. However of both those shows I believe they have now been taken off the air after only a few episodes. Networks only have themselves to blame.
I no longer subscribe to cable; it is just not worth the (grossly inflated) price. The main reason I dropped the TV habit is due to the obnoxious nature of both the programming and the commercials; it is a non-stop barrage of flashing lights, screaming and garish visual and audio effects. Quite frankly, its very stressful to watch. Oh yeah, and there is nothing worth watching.
The movies and shows are unfit for a family to sit down and enjoy without some form of profanity and sex. Clean it up and have programs with a meaning whether serious or funny. I'd rather watch home and garden shows than the silly programs on the networks.
I try to be selective about what I watch - there are so few quality shows on now. HGTV, Food Network, Dancing w/Stars, House, Planet Earth or anything on Discovery Channel, etc. I quit watching because the shows have filthy language, killing and just bad story lines.
I don't watch TV because most of what is aired, new programming included, is psychologically toxic and contributes to our cultural pollution. Many of the reality programs showcase the absolute worst in human behavior. Is it any wonder that these programs can stoke thoughts and fantasies that later morph into some tragic kind of behavior? This state of affairs exists, I strongly believe, because both the news programs and entertainment programs have been business-ified. Rather than being content with informing (news) and entertaining and working to stay financially in the black, networks have been bought up by larger concerns and are forced to turn a profit. Translated, this means that it is a competitive "race to the bottom" to catch eyeballs so advertising revenues increase, thus enhancing shareholder value in the larger concerns. Because raunchiness and other forms of misery sell, that's what have have. Well, since that's what it has become, they can have it. I'm not watching.
I only have a couple shows I always catch. But I know if I miss them, I can always download them on itunes. I don't have cable, and only get 2 channels with my anntenea. And as I told the salesman who called yesterday, I am happy with that. I have also been using Blockbuster Total Access to get TV shows without commercials and can hardly stand sitting through a show anymore.
I am watching Supernatural, perferably 'live', but DVR when that isn't possible.
Dedicated to watching:
House, 24, Hero's (yeah time conflict) and Grey's but I'm going to say it - even Grey's has lost it's edge.

To add to the many comments already posted, there is no quality television. Reality shows are so overdone - c'mon CBS Survivor stinks and how many CSI's do you want? Sorry they are not all worthy. As for Grey's - how can you do the affair bit w/ Izzy and George-EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING - you just lost a faithful viewer.

Everybody is busy and if people are going to spend their time sitting in front of a box, make it worthwhile.
With gas price being what they are and the rise in my other expenses tv is low on my priority list. I am working longer and harder to be able to afford the things in life I enjoy. When I do get a chance to watch tv it's usually the soap or other shows I enjoy such as deal or no deal, Law and Order, HGTV or Crossing Jordon that I have recorded on my dvr. Sometimes if I am lucky enough to relax on a Sunday morning I may watch a pay per view movie that I couldn't afford to see in the theater.
I'm only intetested with Heroes. The other shows just aren't interesting to me. Further, I never watch it on TV, only over the internet.
I am a freelance audio visual specialist in the Dallas area. I work all kinds of different hours. With such an erratic work schedule, I never know for sure when or even if I am going to have a chance to sit down and watch TV.

If we do sit down, it's usually to watch a rented DVD or something like that.

My wife and I are interested in some shows though. Heroes, all of the CSI's, The Unit, Veronica Mars, Medium, Ghost Whisperer just to name a few. So, I go online to the torrents and just download them from there sans those very time consuming commercials.

Some people (the RIAA for instance) may claim that's a copyright violation. Here's the way I look at it. I pay my cable bill and my internet bill every month without fail. To me that entitles me to be able to watch the shows I want. Since I can't sometimes, due to work, I am very fortunate that some very nice person has recorded the HDTV version and posted it to where I can watch it.

I will tell you what turns me off of a series more than anything else. It's when I get totally into a series and they decide to put it on hold for the May sweeps. If it isn't right there in front of me, my interest level dies and it is doubly hard to get it back.


For news I go to (CNN.com and/or Fark.com. Indeed, anytime I have my firefox browser up, the very first tab is always CNN.com and I check it frequently to see what is current. I don't watch the news on TV. I just don't see the point.

So, that's my lengthy .02 worth. Thanks for the opportunity to blog this. Have a great day.
I am no longer watching TV or going to the movies. The films and shows are either violent or have negative topics. Why should I get emotionally sucked into a fictional plot or terrible news? I guess if you keep the majority of people in fear, you can control them better. I let you do that to yourself if you want. I have better, more uplifing things to do or just plain BE.
If TV was entertaining more people would watch it. How many dancing with the stars, American Idol, Survivor, Amazing Races etc can people take? - Not many.

If TV executives would get more creative more often, TV viewership would increase especially with the drop in cost of big screen TV's. But they don't. Instead they throw the same garbage year after year at us. What else can they expect but to have people turn elsewhere for their entertainment.
What's wrong? How about the networks running ads DURING the shows. I'm talking about the promos for other shows they place in the program currently showing, sometimes only moments after running a promo for the same thing during the commercial break. It is an arrogant and insulting practice. It simply makes me angry and drives me to turn the TV off and go do something else.

How about cable news. I have completely given up watching it in the mornings. I won't watch Fox, who have admitted slanting the news. That's an automatic no-sale. MSNBC currently is recycling a crop of editorialists, with nary a reporter among them. And CNN, the network I USED to watch, they can't seem not to employ stupid sound effects and mindless flashy graphics, not to mention the god awful banners and crawls that cover up the bottom third of the screen, blocking a lot of what the camera person so carefully framed.

TV management has completely lost touch, and now they are losing their viewers. It serves them right. Once the advertisers figure out what is going on, network TV as we know it will be dead.
Ditto to what Margaret in Flint said about the current concerns that are priority. But when I have time to escape those concerns, I watch everything saved on the DVR - NCIS, Lost, Heroes, BBCAmerica shows, etc. Networks and advertisers need to change with the technology and understand that we now have more control over when we view.
Most shows are horrible, with a few exceptions: The Office, Heroes, My Name is Earl, Daily Show, Cobert Report.

Besides that, the news has become the spokesperson for the white house and is so full of lies it should not be classified as anything but disinformation. FOX news is the biggest joke of all, clearly spouting lies for bush/cheney and the rest of the thieves and killers in the white house. I spend my time getting the truth from the blogs who are not about profit, and who have no government war-machine ties.
I watch my computer screen, playing EverQuest 2.

f there is anything worth listening to or glancing at [in the background] I may turn the TV on - Science Fiction channel or movie channels only.

Otherwise the TV stays off.
I watch tv, just not live, except for Sopranos. I don't watch any sports (baseball lost me after the '94 strike and football has gotten way too long) since they have become one big product pitch (my favorite is the "AT&T call to the bullpen" - funny the first time I heard it but no longer). Why does every piece of information have to have a sponsor attached to it? Like I am going to buy a car because GM decides to sponsor the lineup or scoring summary?
As for episodic tv, when commercial breaks break the 4 minute mark and go to 4 1/2 or even 5 minutes, well, who in their right mind is going to sit through the show? All praise the VCR (it still takes time to get through the 5 minute commercial break though). I don't watch any reality shows - so that cuts out a large swatch of stuff I don't even have to think about watching. The only serial I watch is "24". I didn't want to watch copycat serials, so I didn't get started on LOST or the others.
So, what should the "networks" do? Think along the line of less is more. Go back to where an hour-long show had a reasonable number of commercial and promo minutes (yes, promos count against them - if it's not the show I'm watching, then I consider it a commercial). I would think that 45 minutes of actual show content and 15 minutes of commercial might make it a little easier to sit through some stuff in "live" mode.
TV reviewers who rave about shows (read: Rescue Me and other F/X shows) don't have to sit through the commercials. So, for them, they can actually decide that the 40 minutes or so are great. But for the rest of us, The Shield, in all its 67 minutes (yeah, an hour and 7 minutes) isn't worth it. Of course NBC, CBS, and ABC have all tacked on an extra minute or 2 to certain shows as well. Gee thanks for that extra commercial minute.
Just because I haven't mentioned them, don't think I forgot about them, but TBS, CNN, USA, Discovery, History, National Geographic, all slice up their shows into 7 - 9 minute bits as well. I enjoy Mythbusters, but everytime I hear the narrator say "and after the break..." I want to scream as I hit the FF button yet again.
As for news, I don't make it a point to watch "the news" as they are even worse than the primetime shows when it comes to commercial breaks. Also their idea of "news" doesn't always jive with mine.
Maybe we should go back to the days of regulation when there was a fixed number of commercial minutes allowed? TV prior to 1978: the land of no infomercials. Remember a few years ago when the SciFi channel announced with a lot of fanfare that they were bringing back the original Star Trek in all its uncut glory? I remember thinking, "oh great! Now we can see them as they were originally shown." My hopes were dashed when I saw that SciFi did show them uncut, but instead of the original hour, they were now 90 minutes long. Think of the goodwill they would have gotten if they stuck to the original plan and put in the breaks as originally designed and kept the show to one hour. I certainly would have watch (in live mode too). Oh well. Good thing there's DVD.

..Stephen - New York City
Show times are inconvenient. I download them from file sharing services and watch on my computer or ipod at my convenience. I watch, but don't get counted in their statistics.
I use to watch the news all the time but we do not get the news anymore we get news personnels opions more than the news. If they started reporting the news instead of their own personnel opions i would watch more.
So sorry the decline in viewership is scary for the networks. Although the Power of Bauer compells me to watch 24, I am cancelling my cable. What is scary for me is not being able to afford an $85 a month cable/internet access bill. Cable TV companies have held me up for the last month with high fees for shows not worth my time. I'll keep the computer and when I want to relax and watch a show-I will either rent a DVD or catch something through the internet. Please apologize for me to NBC, CBS and ABC, but I simply don't have the time money or inclination to give them 7 viewing hours a day.
Having lived overseas for a few years, we were surprised upon our return at the decline in US television programming (read moral standards). What little time we devote to television is now heavily weighted to PBS. The major networks offer little for us and we are unwilling to accept their assault on our values to get what is available.
My household will personally stop veiwing much TV. We prefer nice dramas such as 7th Heaven, One Tree Hill, Gilmore Girls. Guess what - they are going this to finish this season. Unless the networks drop some of that reality TV (which just stinks) and come up with some creative dramas - we will start using our family relaxing time creatively. One exception, in my opinion, to reality TV is "Beaty and the Geek". People participating are actually challenged to change and improve their livestyle - not make a tangled mess out of things. American Idol - more of the same - episode after episode.
Creative responsible drama that is family oriented is that we are missing. Bring in more of those and you will get your viewers back. Viewers are getting more and more selective.
I rarely watch TV anymore.

1) Cable TV is too expensive, and the shows I'd like to watch are not on network TV. (If I could watch, I would watch Discovery Health Channel, History Channel, Battlestar Galactica on Sci-Fi, or Eyes of Nye - which we don't get where I am anyway - on PBS.)

2) I don't really need another distraction. My hobbies include reading, sewing, drawing, and video games. I already find reasons to stay up to finish the next chapter, section, picture, or level, even though I know I need the sleep. These are at least interactive and stimulating activities - more than I can say for 95% of TV out there.

3) When I want to watch something, a movie on DVD will suffice. Most TV shows are available on DVD now anyway, so I can just rent those if I want to see a show.

4) The amount of commercial vs. show is getting ridiculous.

5) Very few shows on TV are worth spending the time to watch. Every time I'm at my parents' home, I see my father spending more time flipping channels than watching the programs.

6) TV news is irrelevant. I think TV newscasters are annoying at best, and the news presented is a fraction of what would be presented in a written story online. You can also get a wide perspective on the news by reading dozens of different websites, in different states and even countries. You can put together a more complete story than TV can provide.

Even if TV could make a turnaround and start providing good content, I am doubtful I would watch again. I enjoy being able to do what I want when I want to, rather than worrying about schedules and whether or not the VCR is set properly. There's just so much more I could (or should) be doing.
Our family is watching less because there are less quality shows to watch. We do watch 24 but that's about it.
I've got a different take on this than many do. We still get our TV the old way, no cable, and some days the signal is terrible and we think about it before we struggle through a show. Is it possible that viewership is dropping in part because local TV stations are no longer sending out a good steady signal, becuase they think everyone is getting cable? Yes, cable's almost everywhere, but there are still a lot of people without it. My mom has a satellite dish but she counts on an antenna for local tv. It gives her enough problems SHE doesn't watch many local shows, which includes the networks.
That could account for hundreds of thousands of people dropping out of the TV viewer world.
I've been a big fan of HEROES this year but you know? I'm about fed up with it. I watched every second last week. The only forward movement of the plot came in the last segment. This week I missed it except for the last ten minutes and suspect I know everything I need to know.
Lots of action, no plot. Do they just not have the budget for writers? Becuase I'm a writer and I'd be willing to work cheap.
I watch a lot of Court TV on Monday nights. I also watch TCM and TNT for Law and Order CI, and wake up to ESPN. I have no idea what comes on network tv.
I'm watching a few Food Network shows (Bobby Flay, Iron Chef America) and TLC's "What Not to Wear." After that, it's either Nick's shows for my son or just plain NOTHING at all! The internet is so much more fun....
Three problems with TV today:
1. Too many of those stupid reality shows. I saw an ad for a new one last night -- something about pirates. Give me a break! I wouldn't watch one of them if I were paid! Give us some variety.

2. Networks move shows around too much, and people can't find them. Without a Trace has been on Sunday nights all season, and, all of a sudden, the season finale is going to be on a Thursday. Thanks, CBS!

3. Networks won't give a new show time to succeed. Why start watching when it may be cancelled too soon with the storyline unresolved? See: Eyes, Invasion, The Nine, Studio 60, that show from last season with Carla Gugino about aliens, etc., etc. I watched all these from the start, only to see them disappear.
I have found a better part of my life without television. You lost me when great shows like MTV is now about "Real Life"- ha ha ha...what a joke. Where does that Real Life come from. Or how about BET? ha ha...Those shows are on all day folks, not just at night time. Your kids 8,10, or 13 year olds can tune in and learn about gay love, or how to cuss like a sailor. Sorry, we are just not available for TV anymore...
In the last couple of years I have transitioned to tivo for almost all tv watching. Anything I can't record (ie BBC Top Gear) I pick up through bit torrent. That combined with purchasing season-long DVDs, I don't watch much live shows..except news/weather/sports.
Why would I want to invest time in a TV series I know will change days, and or, times? It's too exhausting trying to figure out when my favorite TV show is going to be on this week; in other words, I don't want to feel like I have to hunt for my shows. I don't own a DVR so any show I would like to watch, I usually will miss unless I rent it on DVD. When I do watch TV it's tuned to one of the news networks, HGTV, or History Channel. 90% of what's on the networks, or MTV, or VH1 is diarrhea. I would much rather watch the Seinfeld and Simpsons reruns I've seen hundreds of times in syndication than watch any NEW TV show.
IF THEY CHANGE THE SEASONS THEN WE WILL WATCH

I have this theory. If the networks would change the arrangement of the viewing seasons, then we could watch everything.

Fall Season: Begin in September and take a hiatus with a mini-cliffhanger at the end of November. Run holiday programming from December to January.

Winter Season: January to early March have a mini-season for reality shows and other shows with 10-13 week contracts. Stop cutting shows off after 2 episodes.

Spring Season: Bring back the regular shows that began in Fall. This will run from Mid March to the end of May.

Summer Season: I like the way the summer shows air. Continue them and bring some of the Winter Season shows back to wrap up.

THIS IS A GREAT IDEA!! RIGHT?
My husband and I use TiVo for everything. We NEVER watch a show in the time slot that it first airs (this includes sports games, too), and with a new baby, we often don't get to it until days or even weeks after it aired, if we watch it at all.

As for commercials, we zip through almost 100% of them. The only ones we watch are the very first one that airs in a break, as we reach for the TiVo remote, although we will back it up to watch the Mac commercials (genius ad campaign) and movie previews (only the ones we are interested in).
22 year old graduate student with 22 year old electrical engineer husband. No cable. Religiously watch: 24, House, CSI, The Office. Try to catch: Medium, Crossing Jordan. Sometimes watch: Shark.
I know we watch Three and a Half Men, which is funny, not denying it, but every time I watch that nasty show with that young boy in the center of it saying terrible immoral things I think, there goes the next generation of drug addicted former child stars. It makes me feel guilty for laughing. And it's been enough to start me watching Heroes...which is almost good, except so, so, so, so slow!!!!!!!
Good grief, write a plot SOMEONE!
One reason too many COMMERCIALS. The stations are killing themselves by showing too little content and too many commercials. I don't know why American's put up with it at all.
I have stopped watching TV shows because I can't stand the 4 and a half minutes of commercials every 6 and a half minutes. The other reason is the tagging on the bottom of the screen. I have gone back to over the air reception so I can get the news. Plus I found out that they broadcast that in HD and it is even better than my old cable was. It is like the cable company was screwing up the signal.
Well, I WAS watching Imus, every day, for as long as I can remember. Thanks a lot, MSNBC. Now I'm boycotting.
31m, Why I do not enjoy night time prime time, or for that matter pretty much any other time of day on the tube. Mindless sitcoms, mindless reality shows, mindless game shows, mindless action aka 24. It is insulting to the senses, and insulting to the mind. We have shifted from a plot line to attention grabbing nonsense. Sure it worked for the first decade or so, but now it has transgressed into all aspects of entertainment. TV, Movies, and worst of all the News, FOX get a clue, no one cares about Anna, No one cares about Hilton going to jail, it is pathetic and insulting. When I do want to sit down and veg I try to find something that will stimulate my brain. If it’s a short sit then its History, National Geographic, Science ect ect. If its going to be a long sit VOD baby, that’s short for video on demand, where I can pick from one of hundreds of movies and just hit play for the two hours I have to veg. And no at night I normally don’t pick the run of the mill action adventure mindless sensory overload. I go back to some of the old school moves before the days of special affects, were acting sold the movie. I get sensory overloaded at work, -- hence the reason I want to veg. Why would I do it to myself in the evening? Point is, I have and I am guessing others have moved on, the special affects were cool; the attention grabbers grabbed my attention for a few years. The short attention span shows aka reality were great, but now I feel every time I watch one I am loosening what few brain cells I have left. Do I think it can be fixed the problem the networks are having, -- no not really and I hope it does not. I like VOD, I like watching programs that fit me, I like to be challenged.

If something can be fixed pleas fix the news, and start reporting it. I want to know what’s going on in the world because that does affect my future, not Paris, and not Hilton.
Like most of the public, I am sick and tired of the hours and hours of advertisements that are shoved down my throat by the networks. When will they learn that we've seen enough Ford F150 and GMC commercials? TV is supposed to be entertainment - the sooner the greedy corporations go bankrupt the better. TV is no fun anymore - it's obviously all about $$. The networks can all go bust as far as I'm concerned.
I dont watch much TV anymore- shows like the Office, Earl, Family Guy are just to raunchy and keep insisting on pushing the edge beyond which I no longer feel comfortable watching. Also, I am SICK of tv stations having a good show and then juggling the night/time around every week. I am sick of not being respected and valued as a TV viewer.
We watch maybe 4 hours of TV a week, mainly recored from our DVR. No Commericials! Other than that we watch movies.

I noticed this season that many of the shows took exteneded breaks around early spring. Really I feel the breaks are too long, people may loose interest in the story lines etc.

Our favorite shows are Heros, Prison Break, My Name is Earl, The Office and Scrubs.

I also agree that there are too many reality shows on. I feel that day is over. Boring!
all the reruns just get old, really old! some of the reality shows like bachelor, the stupid nanny shows, the wife swap etc.. are garbage! the csi shows are just going too far anymore. without a trace has gotten boring! some of the so called comedies really just aren't funny or were and they have gotten so way out there like two and a half men that it isn't worth the time to sit and watch it. bones would probably be a good show if they got rid of the person playing the lead, she seems to not be able to act her way out of a paper bag. we watch dancing with the stars, heroes, jericho ugly betty, medium and a few others on a regular basis. some we watch because there isn't anything else on and at least we can barely stand to watch it. this is the second season i have not watched survivor. i watch idol sometimes but not all the time. with all the millions of movies that have been made it would be nice to have one on tv and not the same one over and over and over. some stations air the same movies on saturday and sunday afternoons over and over and over and over. i check the tv schedule out if the garbage is on i get on the internet or do other things like read or something. i am not going to waste my time.
I am a viewer from the Ed Sullivan Show generation. We used to make certain that we were home to watch Bonanza and the Sullivan show on Sunday nights. Of course we could depend on these shows being aired unless there was a world shattering emergency. This is not the case today and so I, like my family, do not work my life around the TV schedule. I was an avid fan of West Wing but I got so fed up with the network moving it around and not having it on every week that I just stopped watching. I did rent one of the seasons and watched it in its entirety over a couple of weeks. Viewers lives are much more complex today than in the 60's. Making television that more complex is killing it. If I want to take a course, commit to a meeting or a night out, I no longer check to see if one of my favourite two shows (ER and Hero's) is airing a new episode. Commitment to a program is a two way street - the TV networks have broken their commitments to the viewer years ago.
Erratic programming schedules! Gaps of weeks or months between episodes and storylines.

And, shows that just STOP! Never to be seen again.

You often can't remember what happened in the last episode you saw that was 7 weeks ago.

Men in Trees, Six Degrees, Studio 66, Til Death. WTF!


Why can't the networks play the 13 or 16 episode sin a row?

Pissed off viewer!
I do not watch a lot of TV shows because every few minutes the program is interrupted by a commercial. These commercials just go on and on. It's completely frustating!
For me, because of the internet, I am no longer glued to a TV to enjoy a TV show. I download everything and watch on my tablet PC. I love Heroes, Grey's Anatomy, Girlfriends, etc, but I watch HD versions without commercials. And I don't watch weekly; I gathered 3-4 episodes at a time to watch. Plotlines are much easier to follow that way. The networks will simply have to figure out a better way to get their money.
ABC on Sunday night, nothing on Mon, tuesday NCIS & House, Wed. Bones & Criminal Minds, Thurs CSI, Fri Greys Anatomy & Numbers.
Other than that not really into reality TV, that stuff is just a joke and a waste of space...
we got rid of tv 13yrs ago we do not watch
Television can be best summed up in Zappa's song from the early 70s off his Overnight Sensation album:

I am gross and perverted,
I'm obsessed and deranged.
I have existed for years
But very little has changed.
I'm the tool of the government
And industry too,
For I'm destined to rule
And regulate you.
I may be vile and pernicious
But you can't look away,
I make you think I'm delicious
With the stuff that I say.
I'm the best you can get,
Have you guessed me, yet?
I'm the slime oozin' out
From your TV set.
One word... Tivo. Why bother watching all the commercials. Even for shows I love and hate to miss, i let them record for 10-15 minutes so i can skip the commercials.
One comment from my oldest daughter in particular seems to sum it up for our family -- she said that she's tired of watching "shows about stupid people made by stupid people." A few years ago she was glued to the TV every night from school to bed time. Now there are three shows a week which she considers "must see"; the rest of the time she's on the computer, reading, or playing with her dog or her brother. It isn't that television has gotten so much worse in the last five years (although it has,) but that she has matured and reached her limit of idiocy. From 20+ hours of TV a week to less than 3, and she's in the prime demographic.

Television is losing its audience because by catering to the lowest common denominator they dumbed things down to the point where even morons are bored. As a case in point, I don't even know anyone who watches network news (including CNN,) any more. The myth is that in today's fast-paced world you have to present everything in short bites. The reality is different; when issues get more complex you need to spend more time on them, and you most definately have to make the effort to get beyond the front-end spin to determine the real facts. But network executives are so wrapped up in themselves that they haven't the vaguest idea what their audience wants any more and are completely unable to supply it.

Thus, the search for villans. Tivo, the Internet, censorship -- its always someone else's fault. This is pathetic: we're a nation of more than 300 million people and the TV industry can't figure out why less than 14% of us (and falling!) are ignoring their product. Broadcast television is broken and dying. I haven't seen any signs that it is humble enough to change, so I believe that it won't recover.
I miss the old time variety shows where you could see and judge new upcoming talent no matter what their particular talent may be. No network does that now on a regular basis. Plus the new shows that are on now is not interesting to watch. The reruns of the old shows from the 50's thru the 90's are more intersting to watch.
I confess I love tv. I can't help it. Although I think there are way to many reality shows these days and some of my favorite shows are going downhill as far as plotlines. 24 is a classic example. I still watch it but it is SO predictable. UGH. I watch almost nothing live anymore. tivo and the dvr in my new computer have seen to that- not to mention the awesome convenience of being able to watch some of my shows online.
The TV "season" is getting shorter every year; shows use to run from October to April; now they may start in Dec. or January and start showing reruns in the Feb/Mar timeframe. Commercials are getting longer; some shows start at 9:53 and end at 10:02, making it impossible to watch one show and tape another, since you can only tape on the hour. TV viewing these days is more trouble than it's worth;
I AM watching television, but in a frustrating way. The majority of what I'm watching is 24, Heroes, Jericho, The Unit, Dancing with the Stars, Medium, Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, and Supernatural. But I can give you a pretty good reason why ratings have dropped. Because of the idiots at the networks. What happened to new shows coming on in May and STAYING on and being new consistently until September?! Half the time you don't know when the show is going to be new, if on at all. Then you better hope they don't change the time slot 10 times. People have become annoyed by this and rightly so. They expect loyalty but give none in return. People don't have the time or desire to keep up with the shows in that manner, when they have busy lives of their own. This new "TV" has truly ticked me off and I tend to watch more cable shows.
I use to be an avid watcher of my weekly favorite shows ER, 2 & 1/2 Men, George Lopez, Overhauling, American Chopper. But now they have become overstimulating and lacking intelligent substance, so I've simply stopped watching alot of my favorite shows. I'll still watch Deadliest Catch, Pinks on Speed Channel & other programs on TLC & Discovery & the History channel. But mostly I'll watch sports - Baseball & NASCAR. Truely the only weekly series I'll watch now is The Sopranos on A&E because I cannot afford the greedy cable company extended cable service. Also with other series I dont watch anymore is I can't stand the 4 and a half minutes of commercials every 6 and a half minutes and the other reason is the tagging on the bottom of the screen.
24 has even gone down the tubes this year.... in any case, we dvr shows on Discovery/National Geographic channels and watch on Sat/Sun mornings primarily when the weather is not cooperating.
55 year old professional woman with lots to do still makes time to watch about 20 hrs of TV per week(apprx 3 network/17 PBS). I don't watch because I'm bored, I watch because I am interested or need to know. Quit watching network. Find a story at a time slot that I can actually watch and rush through errands only to find the story is being temporarily replaced with something else or has moved time slots(that really irritates me!! I have too much to do to suddenly find 1 hour's worth of something to do at a second's notice, not to mention taking the time to discover the new time slot). Men in Trees was my favorite, but it moved to a work night so late I could not stay up to watch, then simply evaporated when it was really going good. Gray's Anatomy had me so hooked I would stumble through Mondays from lack of sleep; better time slot for me on Thursdays, but heh, someone decided the characters needed tweaking and I am losing interest because of the number of reruns. Numbers seems to be holding ok and I watch it if the competing PBS movie is not enticing. Network news?--there isn't any. Internet or PBS for news; network for local weather. Need to know stuff is only available to me on PBS. And Spring came early this year so I am outside instead of watching TV this year.
My daughter lives on YouTube most of the time and my wife DVR's many of her shows so she can skip the ads which run about 1/3 of the shows total time!
I bounce between the two of them. Once in a while I will watch the first add in a block and maybe catch part of the last add before the program comes back on.
More product placement in the story line might be worth paying for if you want what's left of my attention
As someone born in 1944, I grew up with TV. Our family bought its first TV when I was 5 and I watched a lot while growing up. Over the past 15 years or so have have watched less and less TV. Life is too short and so much of TV is mindless. HGTV is fun and relaxing. I have become rather attached to Dancing with the Stars but watch no regular programs eithr drama or sit coms. And I hate most commercials and mute them as quickly as possible. Masterpiece Theatre, some specials, some travel shows will get me to sit in front of the Boob Tube but otherwise I'd rather be walking or reading a book.
Netflix. No commercials, watch what you want when you want. Pause if the cat wants out or for a bathroom break. I decided about 3 yrs ago to not renew my satelite because all I watched was Stargate (nothing else was interesting, maybe CourtTV). And I had to pay extra to get the Sci-Fi channel. I still watch a lot of tv series, such as Lost, Supernatural, and Doctor Who, but I wait until they are on DVD.
We absolutely watch Heroes, and Greys Anatomy, but not when they air. Those are the ONLY network shows we watch every week. Otherwise, we watch tons of Discovery Channel networks. At least it's reality TV worth watching. "Planet Earth" was some of the best television ever. I refuse to watch the "reality" crap on the networks.
Everyone I've spoken with about TV does one of two things: Doesn't watch it, DVRs it.

And interspered between all that are work schedules, quality of programs, the amount of time you actually have to dedicate to watching all this, and your patience for the same six commercials played on continuous loop for two months.

As a result, most people, myself included, find themselves sifting through a ton of material to find a couple of shows they really like and leaving the rest to that fast forward button on the remote. Personally, I watch Heroes, Ugly Betty, Scrubs, and House... but only once it's been recorded onto my DVR since I don't get home in time for the live broadcast.
DVR Rules. I can watch the shows when I want to minus the commercials. Also with the shows now online, it's much easier to catch then on your own schedule and not the networks.
45M - There isn't anything worth watching on TV anymore. Too many "reality" shows which just encourage rude behaviour and cocky attitudes. If I were a TV executive I would be ashamed at the garbage which is produced.
I feel like we're one of the rare families in this country that doesn't know anything about American Idol or other network programs. We just simply do not watch network television. My kids watch Nick at Night, and I will watch Home and Garden TV after 9PM. My husband channel surfs the higher channels too, after the kids are in bed, but other than occasional watching of Discovery (American Chopper and Mythbusters are our favs), History Channel (my son loves all things Revolutionary War)and Comedy Central, we are really not big TV watchers. Since we don't receive any of the paid channels like HBO or Showtime we aren't hip to shows like the Sopranos and others. But I certainly don't feel like we're missing anything!
We watch a ton of TV in our household - Heroes, NCIS, The Unit, all the Law and Order shows, CSI Vegas and NY, Numb3rs, Cold Case, Without A Trace - plus a number of cable shows. However, we watch almost none of it live. Why? Commercials. Their presence is annoying, but even worse, they are louder than the show, which in my opinion should be illegal. My partner has sensitive hearing, and whenever we watch live, she has to keep her finger on the mute button or she's in for some pain. So yeah, we DVR everything, and never have to get blasted with ads for garbage that we don't need. But never fear networks, you're still making a profit from us, as we buy all our favorite shows on DVD.

There is a lot of good programming on both network and cable TV. However, you have to wade through all the "reality" crap and ads to find it. Like most people, we have better things to do with our time. Now we don't have to worry about whether 2 shows we watch are on at the same time, or skip going out to dinner because of a show. We have more time to spend with friends and family, and we even watch more shows than we used to, thanks to 15+ minutes out of every hour that are not wasted. We watch TV on our schedule, not some executive's.

Too bad so sad networks. It's all about US now.
Since they took West Wing off (and they could have continued into the Santos Administration and kept things really interesting!), we don't watch anything on television at all anymore except the occasional Antiques Roadshow.

And here's something to scare the networks...

We don't miss it.
Vast wasteland did not even begin to describe what TV has become. Dumb and dumber programs. The "news" is a joke. Great stretches of commercials, which, I admit, are more entertaining the shows.

The Taoist in me thinks maybe as TV watching lessens, people will talk to each other again.
In contrast to many of the bloggers on this page, I watch a lot of TV. Probably too much. Some is trash, but I find many shows to be quality, whether that quality is in the acting, the writing, the realism, or just the escapism. There's something for everyone, if you're willing to look.

However, I do record everything onto my TiVo and don't watch commercials!!
Here I am,at 68, from the golden age of television. That's what we called it then and even at that time there was controversy. Someone in the public forum said, we have a great opportunity to educate with this new medium. After reading about half of the comments, I realize that is what most people are thirsting for. There will always be folks that are looking for just pure entertainment or a really good laugh or something to relax with. There is nothing wrong with that, but not as the exclusive fare for the majority of viewers.Even the commercials were good years ago. We still remember some of those catch phrases. It seems now commercials are geared to get your attention with loud fast talking and flashing scenes of poor content. So we go to the frig with the mute button on so we don't even have to listen. My point here is to let the powers-that-be know they are not just now losing viewship. It was lost a long time ago. Great numbers of families have moved on. My TV is off for days at a time and turned on only occasionally for shows such as History,Weather,Discovery,TCM,
Travel, and if I would afford it, not could ,would, I would have Hallmark Hall Of Fame, National Geographic, and several other fine programming channels. At this point I am ready to drop Satellite altogether. It's way to much money for way to little in return. One of the biggest objections I have with satellite is the way they bundle programming.On any given subscription you have about a third of the programming that you are not interested in and some you really don't want in your home. Maybe one day the companies will realize the public speaks with their wallet and the remote and give us what we want. And then they better hope they can lure us back. For me, I'm now happy reading all the books I didn't have time to read over the years because of other responsibilities and will soon be taking a class at the local university.
So much TV is about "loud" mouth people exhibiting disturbing behavior(and opinions). I would rather find other ways to spend my time like reading, listening to music, and spending some time with friends/family. I still watch TV but not nearly as much. I have recently taken up a hobby (about 5 months ago). I am tired of someone trying to tell me how to think; or upset me with reality TV shows.
Not to sound pompous, but a lot of the network television programming is just plain crap. "Reality" shows have are horrendous as are 90% of the mini-dramas. News programming constantly spin fear mongering techniques to boost ratings (though this is nothing new).

I prefer real reality shows, like Discovery Channel's Planet Earth or shows that are actually interesting and maybe a little educational, like Mythbusters or History Channel's Modern Marvels.
We've stopped watching all TV, but the NFL season for the last couple of years. Our interests have shifted over to either talking to one another or being on the computer. With all the time we were saving - started a Master's program on-line. I feel good about that.
There is nothing worth watching on TV. Jon Stewart has more integrity and honesty than the any of the broadcast or cable channels. They are so passe. TV programming seems to use fear as a commodity to sell their commercials. Tried of being served mush. BOOOORRRRRRING!!!
Outside of Live sporting events, I rarely watch television. I can not stand reality shows. I am tired of the cop shows.

What's worse is the commercials. Not only am I annoyed by the length and frequency of the commercials, but the products really turn me off. How many drugs are they going to try to sell us?

Heck, I don't even rent mainstream movies anymore. I rent foreign films 80% of the time. TV (like American movies) just is not for me anymore.
I am not watching the big networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX) much any more. Most of the stuff is crap (can't stand "reality" shows). What I watch most on the big networks is 24 and sports. When I'm not watching that, I'm watching Animal Planet, Discovery Channel and National Geographic or DVDs.
I was very offended by Allison White (Fort Worth, TX)'s comment equating homosexuality with profanity and promisciousness. Ms. White, this is not the forum to express your bigoted and homophobic views. In the future I hope you will consider the effect your comment(s) may have on others.
Why do you need TV when you have beer and bull fighting. It worked for Hemingway!
As someone who hasn't felt engaged by a "big 3" network show in... well years, I have to say that this doesn't surprise me in the least. Ratings and Neilsons have been ridiculed and torn apart in online forums for a few years now. The truth is, they're completely inaccurate in today's multimedia and entertainment world. A world where downloads for the computer, the Ipod, or the cellphone are the norm. A world where Tivos and DVR's and piping your TV cable directly into your computer, are the norm.

Networks have been clinging to an archaic way of measuring "popularity" and its finally catching up with them.

Kind of funny to see them blame it all on daylight savings. Maybe some, but the truth is, if someone really wanted to watcha show AND they didn't have an alternative, such as IPods, downloads and DVRs they'd be sitting there watching the show.

My shows? the ones I consider worth my time, (sorry, watching a bunch of celebrities try to dance isnt one of them.. in fact nothing the big threee networks have to offer interests me in any way...)I record on my computer to watch at my leisure. Newsflash Neilson and advertising/marketing "gurus": I'm not alone.
I'm a 28 year-old male, and I watch an enormous amount of TV. While some people's hobbies are sports, reading, blogging, facebook-ing, mine is watching as much TV as I can.

Therefore, I never, EVER watch anything live. Considering I follow many different series, which play at the same time, and that I DO have an actual life outside of TV, my DVR just accumulates shows, and then I binge on them when I have a night off. Some shows, I end up saving for "DVD watching", since seasons usually come out the summer after they aired, I just hold off and buy it later.

Why sit and watch something live? What is the benefit for the viewer anymore, except watching commercials? I don't know about you, but to me, that's no benefit at all.
Its all about the DVR. Nielsen needs to be abolished.
We don't watch a ton of TV at our house, but what we do watch is all On Demand. When we just want to relax, we go first to all the On Demand channels and surf around for something interesting. We're rarely disappointed.

We also watch shows on the web occasionally.

Other than that, we check out the Daily Show live once in a while.

With all the OD and web options, I'm not interested in live TV, or even DVR for that matter.
The TV executives don't have a clue. Where have all the fun, smart, and engaging shows gone? Deadwood, Rome, and Firefly have a strong fan base. You can count all of the sci-fi shows on hand. I don’t even look at Fox, CBS, ABC, UPN (or whatever they are now). TV has been over commercialized for years now.

Maybe it’s time for less fluff and more substance. I don’t miss an episode of Heroes and The Office, but I fear the TV executive will only look at the short term of these shows by cutting episode production and increase commercial viewing with reruns.

That thinking from the TV executive is evidence that unfortunately reruns rule their brains and the airways. TV executives don't have to put any effort into the schedule; it’s the laziest thing they have to do. 10 years ago a series had 20-22 episodes, now 8-12 episodes. TV has gotten lazy and unoriginal, and so has Hollywood. (But that’s another situation all together.)
If we had more TV shows that provided examples of values that we would like to see in our friends and neighbors, then perhaps our generations of children wouldn't be so violent, jaded, uncaring, cynical, and selfish. What they now see teaches immorality, violence as a solution, beauty is everything, and instant gratification instead of working toward something.

Why don't we have shows like The Waltons? Why do we have shows like Desperate Housewives? Our crime shows don't take the criminals through court and prison and possibly execution. The are like a kid's reaction to slow-motion car wrecks -- "Gee, that isn't so bad."

Captains of Consciousness -- that's TV producers and their advertisers. If they want someone to need something, they can manipulate that need and let it feed on itself.
Watched 'Rome', 'ER', 'The Closer', 'Medium' and waiting for the return of 'Big Love'.
After being abused in my home by news media stations that think a news worthy story is discussing muck & lies, starting with the death of Anna Nicole and ending with the disgusting invasion of privacy between a father and daughter; I returned my cable box. When the news stations go back to reporting the truth, ALL the truth and stories, ALL stories that are accurate; I may consider turning my TV on again.
I have found that with things like the internet and magazines "giving" it away that there's no reason to watch a show. Both things are great resources, but when I read ahead of time what's going to happen, there's no point in watching it.

The concept of the old saying "why buy the cow when the milks free" applies here.
Ever since I got cable TV I basically stoped watching Broadcast Network TV. The shows on cable are far more interesting and entertaining. The broadcast series, sitcoms or "dramas", are all predictable. The sitcoms nowadays are truly mindless. When I visit someone and I find myself watching these shows I'm bored out of my mind. I only watch one broadcast series and that is "24". But even on cable its getting difficult to find a series that can stimulate your mind and give you pleasure. "Farscape" on the scifi channel did that for me. Thank goodness for DVDs. Now I can watch "Farscape" as many times as I want. I admit I'm mainly a movie buff and that accounts for most of my TV viewing, but I do often record and watch them later. I don't have DVR ot TiVo, I record straight to DVD because I usually want to keep what I record. I never watch TV on my computer but that's just me. I have a widescreen TV and if I hooked up my computer to it...then maybe, but doubtful. I agree if the producers let shows run a season maybe they'd find an audience. People who don't watch TV are really rare. Most people watch some TV, we just need something better to watch than we are getting. Frankly, movies in the theaters are the same problem, rare movies that are worth watching, mostly special effects tripe that appeal only to a small percentage of the public. Give us quality instead of quantity and things will improve no matter how you watch it - TV, internet, videos, etc.
Has it occurred to any of the Network Powers-that-be that the reason no one is watching is because no one can keep up with the assanine programming? How is anyone supposed to watch anything faithfully when a network puts a show on a 6-week hiatus every 3 months? Shows like 24 and Lost, to some degree, have improved a little by postponing the new season so that it can run uninterrupted, but whatever happened to the standard 22-episode season that starts in the fall and ends in the spring, with just a few reruns in between? I am hesitant to start watching any new show, because more often than not, they end up being cancelled with not warning after a few weeks (The Class, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, etc.), only to be replaced with other shows that have already been pulled from the lineup, as with The New Adventures of Old Christine. Or worse, shows that are pulled from the lineup only to be replaced with reruns of other shows that originally aired only a week or two prior! I am a TV junkie from way back, but unless the networks get their acts together, I am truly considering junking my TV altogether.
DVR is a lifesaver. As someone who works long hours and commutes, it is great to come home and watch your favorite primetime shows after hours. Also after graduating from college last year I am glad that there are so many continuous story arcs on television now to grab hold of you. Friday Night Lights, Heroes, Entourage, Americas Next Top Model, Dance Life, Brothers & Sisters, 30 Rock, Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy, The Office, Scrubs, Everybody Hates Chris, House and Criminal Minds have kept me going. Guilty pleasure: CSI:Miami- everyoen seems to be murdered outdoors during a party with white sheets flowing in the wind. Can't handle Lost anymore and The OC was awful but I still stick by them...
I was interested when I saw the Keifer Sutherland picture and I just wanted to put in my word that I look forward to watching 24 on Monday nights, even though I have to get up early the next morning at 4am, I do make it a priority, and I cant wait to watch the next episode the next Monday! It is so addictive!!
I lose interest in the shows that show a few episodes and then disappear for several weeks. I would consistantly watch "24" "House" "Boston Legal" and "Lost", but I now tune in only once in a while. Most of my friends and relatives have the same frustrations about this that I do.
With the variety of different ways to watch TV, the only show I watch when it airs is Lost, then I'll re-watch it online the next day. Anything else I watch it's either online or on through my cable company via On Demand. Sometime this year, I'll get some type of DVR but it's very low on my priority list since I have these other options. As far as commecials? OVERRATED by the networks to make their money. Commercials are like "pop ups" on the internet and it's unfortunate that they're a necessary evil (especially when there's 10 in a row). Do I watch commercials? No. They're just background filler while I'm waiting for my show to come back on.

Technology changes like every week allowing the viewer more ways to get our TV yet networks assume commercials are necessary to produce their shows (most shouldn't be on the air!). Do viewers really need that many? No. Do viewers actually watch them? No. Can network industry survive without them? Yes and no. Yes paid television is probably the best thing in town (if you can actually pick the stations you only watch and get rid of those filler stations - that would be pure heaven). No, because how else would we find out about products we can't live without. The question is all about the viewers and our choices because the vicious cirle of tv shows=viewers=big ad dollars goes back to us - the viewer. Right now there seems to be plenty of choices and we're taking advantage of them. Better find another way to gauge how to make a buck, Mr. Network Industry because viewers are totally sick of the dang filler! We're even sick of filler episodes!
I've severely cut back on my television viewing because I'm sick of bad comedies, cheap sexual content and violence. Murder, breast implants and lack of any moral standard. I now limit myself to discovery channel and occasionally the history channel.
I no longer watch TV at all. Why? Because it boring. Not just boring. BORING! First of all, 24, Sopranos, Idol,etc., they are soap operas. If you don't watch them all the time you might as well not watch at all. Reality TV? Young adults being irritating is what I am watching TV to escape. And sitcom TV has gotten so unbearably predictable it feels like the scripts are written with a book of mad-libs. Add to that ,I am of the MTV generation (like many). My attention span is about 5 minutes. If I am not interested in the outcome in less then 5 minutes you've lost me as a viewer. Hence the popularity of cable news. Discovery, History, A & E, etc., are all teaching me something that I have some previous knowledge of. The information they give makes me ask questions and I become interested enough to continue watching to have my questions answered. It is the same mechanism that keeps me surfing the web. The bottom line is , TV doesn't deliver enough information that I care to know fast enough.
I killed my television shortly after 9/11. I got tired of the lies regarding the news. I realized that, being in the hands of only a few corporations with an agenda, if you get my drift, it is the biggest propaganda tool of the state (or should I say empire) EVER. I go to excellent sites on the Web and read good books and spend time conversing with family and friends. The news on the Web by independent investigators and bloggers is weeks and months ahead of television news and the truth usually never gets onto the mainstream news and their online sites). And the television shows? GOOD GRIEF!!
If had to watch one more show on Hitler and the Occult I think I would have pulled every hair on my head out.
I am surprised to find that I stand apart from almost all of the others here. I actually find that there are many entertaining programs out there on broadcast and cable tv. My main issue is that they have changed the time slots for these shows so many times within the past season that I can't find any of them anymore. In their places one now finds offensively terrible "reality" programming (who really needs 4 nights of American Idol and that stupid show with Howie Mandell each week???). So I just channel surf until I find one of my beloved shows. Usually it goes like this:
One week it will be on Tuesday at 9 p.m. The following week it will be there, but it is a rerun. Then the next week I tune in to discover that it is no longer in that slot, and I must start the process all over again! And then there are the tragic moments when I come to discover that they are cancelling one of my favorite shows that I have loyally watched for over a decade (read: Law & Order) because they moved it to Friday night and lost significant viewership. Here's a hint: if nobody watches TV on Friday, and this is the one show you can count on for bringing in consistent viewership, then why move it to Friday night without warning? Now it's like the nice kid forced to sit at the otherwise empty lunch table.

While I am a huge supporter of the internet and other new media platforms, I still would prefer to watch TV on my...(gulp)...Television. I spend all day at work sitting in front of a computer, so the last thing I want is to go home and look at yet another tiny computer screen. I like watching regular old television. Now if only the networks would pick a time slot and stick with it!
I'm so glad someone brought this up. I usually watch network shows online at their parent companies website like deseperate housewives on abc.com. I do that for two one becasue of the limited commercial interruption and the second is time. With limited commercials I can watch and hour show in 45 minutes. There are also many illegal sites with full seasons of streaming tv shows like family guy that i now watch when the shows like heros take a month long break. If the networks want people to tune in on televison they need to stop holding back new episodes with mid season breaks like hero's month long hiatus, and run a series from beginning to end. Its frustrating when you think you can sit down and enjoy your favorite show but then you remeber is off for the next 3 weeks, you dont always want to try and find another show to get into so people are exploring other options. Also limited commercial interruption would be a good idea, they can still get advertising revenue from people wanting to put there brands in the show like nissan and florida orange juice I am more apt to buy one of there products because in theses shows there ads arent screaming at you buy me buy me your allowed to look at a product and see what it does, and now with tivo people like commercials less and less each day.
This is a dawn of a new era in entertainment no one has time to watch commercials anymore and no one likes how they steal your precious time, now people have options to avoid wasted time and I know I'm using my options
Television is killing itself with "divide and conquer" counter-programming and narrow-casting. Back in the dim, dark, days of a world with only three networks, there was a sense of community because the audience was broken into three slices of the pie and there were a good number of other folks that also watched "Bonanza" last night. Shows began precisely on the 30 minute mark or on the hour.

Now we have hundreds of channels catering to every possible demographic, fragmenting the audience. Plus I've noticed regular network shows running a few minutes over in some queer ploy to keep viewers from changing channels.

Television was never supposed to be a way of life, yet it seems the suits want us to think that way.

It's okay though; because thanks to the lousy way things are done, I am a much better musician!
I'm a TV person and always will be. I love to checkout new shows when they first air, unless my TV schedule is already booked in that timeslot. I have 2-3 favorites I watch just about every night.
Don't watch TV, but me and my wife do watch Heroes online. It's a fun escape.

We've never watched it on an actual TV. Plus, we may go a couple of weeks before we can catchup with the latest episodes.
TV! TV is my favorite, however, I also do not watch shows when they originally air, with two huge exceptions... Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: CI... those I watch religiously on their first airing. I am also a huge fan of TNT (especially prime time in the day time... Judging Amy rules! although I wish they still aired Angel), USA network (all the millions and millions of reruns of SVU and CI), Spike TV for marathons of CSI Las Vegas, and finally (and very sheepishly admitting) Lifetime, for their not quite as good, but certainly still necessary, Blood Ties (it's not David Borenez, but still pretty hot).
So yes, I am a TV addict, and I am never going to get treatment for it... because I love tv!
Our family doesn't watch "TV" at all. We use our TV for videos and DVD's only.
I don't watch network tv because there is very little worth watching. I am not interested in "reality tv" or bad family sitcoms that are the same plot over and over again with different actors (the slob of a husband, the attractive but stressed wife, the annoying inlaws, etc.) I had two shows that I used to watch faithfully: HBO's Rome (which has ended) and Lost. I watch Lost on the Internet now - at a time that is convenient to me. If I want or have to watch television, I watch the Discovery, History, Travel, National Geographic, or Fine Living channels. As for news - I get that on the web. Hearing the latest about untalented Hollywood starlets is not news to me, but unfortunately that seems to comprise the bulk of the network and CNN news these days. And Fox news? Don't get me started - what a joke.
Thank God for TIVO, Keith Olberman Bill Moyers, Showtime, HBO and PBS. What is being broadcast today on network tv is nothing less than propoganda or more than pablum.
Im watching reality TV. MTV, VH1, WE Channel, A&E, etc. They have the best shows on TV right now. Everytime there is a new program on FOX, ABC, etc. they cancel it so why bother.
I used to be an avid watcher of The Black Donnelly's until NBC royally messed that one up. There are only two shows that I "can't wait" to catch: House and Jericho. I will watch them as well as Tivo to re-watch later.

I watched Heroes occasionally, but the show started to bug me, as did NBC...that network just doesn't know what it's doing and I refuse to give them my time or energy.
Up until this year, I watched a lot of television on the main networks. Once I started college, however, I couldn't keep up with the serial dramas I normally watch because I was so busy, so I stopped watcing T.V. all together. Now that I am home for the summer I tune into the music station, Fuse, but that is about it.
Tivo and the Internet are the beginning of the end for broadcast, that mysterious mass-society force that started when I was young, when Hopalong Cassidy and Lucy were the reason why the whole block I lived on used to flicker with blue light every night. It's dead.

I watch the Daily Show, DVD movies, Frontline on PBS -- a very small amount, and I was a TV baby growing up. I've watched more than 8 billion hours of TV. But recently, it has, as the expression goes, "lost the mandate of heaven" in American life. Flip on the dial, go from one preacher to the next, one infomercial to the next. Nothing decent on. Pay for HBO, get to watch a couple more decent shows a month.

I just watched the Diane Sawyer interview of Al Gore on "Crooks and Liars." This is how bankrupt TV is about politics: the super tells us what the interview will be about: Al Gore On the Attack: Will He Run? There's a crawl on the very bottom that carries extraneous information that you have to be suffering from ADD to read at all. Every question, Diane tries to bring the story back to the stupid gossip-column subject, and Gore is only barely tolerated for talking about his book.

News for the terminally stupid. Reality shows replace the American art-form, the situation comedy. No documentaries on TV, just stories of murders. No drama, just Autopsy TV -- CSI.

I'm not watching TV anymore. It's corrupt and stupid. CNN has Glenn Beck.

I'll pay for an individual show. iTunes, here we come. I'll watch the three or four decent shows a week on my TiVo. That's it.
Let me say this, too: September 11 was the last TV show on the air. I was riveted to the tube like after the Kennedy assassination, or during the Watergate hearings. But it started to make me nervous, and I noticed that I didn't know anything that I hadn't two days before. All we saw was the building collapse over and over again, and news anchors ad libbing. Also, there were more and more planted horror stories, gathered from the administration. What if they have the bomb? Or germs? What if, what if? No context, just shock and scare.

Then I opened the LA Times, and saw what journalists do when confronted by information: they had a two-page chart of the two towers, explaining what business was where, and how many had died from each floor. I could understand, finally. A dozen reporters had worked to compile information, and there it was, sitting calmly on the page, just waiting to be understood. No glamourous anchor talking about germ warfare or dirty bombs; just the facts. If you were above the crash, you died. If you were below the crash, you lived.

Meanwhile, TV was already getting us started on the road to endless war and fear.
Nope. Don't watch TV anymore except for the local news and PBS. And here I thought I was alone. The reason?

1. Too many commercials.
2. Obnoxious trailers.
3. Lack of serious, quality content.
4. Focus audience is for the youth (teens and 20 yr. olds). Doesn't promote programs aimed for all age groups.
4. Network news has become more like entertainment. The news anchors are less serious. Morning network news has become too goofy. Lack of QUALITY INVESTIGATIVE reporting.
5. Tired of obnoxious narrarative voices for trailers, commercials. They don't sound intelligent. Don't want to hear another 20 year old telling me what product I need to buy, or what is coming on television. Give me a voice of wisdom! Remember the serious, intelligent narrative voice tones of yesterday?

Even the programs and news in the 1980s was better than the nonsense we see today.

I'm in my 30s, but if its bothering me I can expect the baby boomers tired of listening to 20 yr olds. If the networks were SMART they should try writing programs for the baby boomers - a huge population - and one that isn't as attached to the internet. Think about it. Then the rest of us could benefit from good tv too!
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