Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fall TV Post #2: "How much?" 

So I came up with a list of shows I'm likely to watch this upcoming TV season. And, thanks to the strike -- which got us hooked on a couple of reality shows -- it's a bit bigger than last year's.

I wondered, though, how much TV my list really represents in the DVR era. So I did some math to see whether I should wrestle the "Too Much TV" domain away from Gobo.

Turns out, if I watched every show that I enjoy during the upcoming season, including those on the bubble, I would watch just 5.4 hours of actual television per week.

This illustrates the true greatness of the DVR. Cutting commercials (about 26% of the total time) is good. But the time-shifting is better. We use holiday weeks and other TV hiatus periods to catch up. So even though most shows air new episodes only 12 to 23 weeks per season, we are always behind. Therefore my weekly total is spread out over the entire TV season -- the 36 weeks from late September to late May. This calculation most accurately reflects our actual watching habits.

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