Networks have cleaned house, and their cancellations means more time for me to watch other shows. But as I don’t have time to watch my current shows, and there are a bunch of new shows debuting next season, which ones will have priority?
I’m holding off on most decisions for new shows until we get a bumper crop of promos during this week’s upfronts. And since I did a decent job at choosing shows this past year, I’m not going to gain many extra hours. I didn’t lose any shows from CBS and the CW, and only one from Fox (Ben & Kate). NBC freed up some sitcom time by canceling 4 new comedies I enjoyed and ending The Office; they also got rid of Smash, but since I’ve only made time for an episode or two this season, it doesn’t really help. ABC got rid of two comedies I liked and a drama I abandoned early on. So in reality, with shows canceled early and ones I fell behind on, I’m only gaining about 2 hours of TV time to put toward new shows, and one of those is already devoted to Agents of SHIELD.
Fall 2013 is going to be very, very busy.
Below is a rough categorization of which shows I will be keeping up with more stringently and which I will be letting slide. A lot of factors are going into this, so it’s not just which shows I like best. CBS and NBC are the only two networks I get on my main TV, so those are more likely to be watched live. Live TV brings promos for other shows on the network, so to avoid spoilers, I want to stay caught up with all shows on a network. I’m more likely to watch CBS shows live since they’re not on Hulu and I hate CBS’s player. Also, crime shows and comedies are less likely to include spoilers in promos and/or online post-airing. I also took into account what it was like to fall behind on many of these shows this season, and how that effected my viewing. A few of these shows I watch live with my sister when we can, and others are talked about in the office where I work, so I like to stay current with those.
Shows to watch immediately:
The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Arrow
Shows to watch within the week:
Once Upon a Time, Elementary, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Person of Interest, Community, The Vampire Diaries
Shows to watch when I can:
Castle, Suburgatory, The Mindy Project, New Girl
Shows to watch eventually:
Bones, Grimm, Nikita
Shows I may abandon:
The Neighbors, Beauty and the Beast
That equals (adding in previous tiers as I go): 2 hours of immediate viewing, 8 1/2 hours within a week, 11 hours when I can, 14 hours eventually, and 15 1/2 hours of renewed television available for me to watch on broadcast networks every week.
So far, I have 66 1/2 hours’ worth of these shows to catch up with from this season, not to mention 27 hours of canceled ones. Let’s say each has aired 10 original episodes since I started my job in January. Adding back in the 2 hours of canceled shows, and we have 175 hours of original broadcast TV airing. I’ve fallen behind by close to half. And cable is even worse – I only watch Doctor Who consistently. Yes, I will probably have time to catch up this summer amid cable shows, but next fall?