You may have noticed my "Home Theater" list over on the right side of your screen... scroll down, it's there. It's a list of the first 20 things on my TiVo's Season Pass list. Eagle eyed readers may have noticed that it's changed recently.
My Season Pass list is a little bit of an obsession for me. I was an early adopter of the TiVo technology having become the owner of my first one 6 years ago. Ever since that fateful Christmas I have tried and tried to come up with the perfect Season Pass strategy. Fine tuning the list so that TiVo performs at it's optimal capacity.
Several strategies have been employed over the years:
I've ordered shows by the days of the week they typically air on, pairing them with shows on competing channels and instructing TiVo to only record new episodes of one and all the episodes of the other so that when one is in reruns the other is recorded.
I've set up the list so that the top 20 are all new episodes only, but not in any particular order.
I've grouped shows by type putting all my animation stuff in one area, all my hour long dramas in an area, sitcoms, home improvement shows, reality shows, talk shows all in their own areas.
One year I spent an afternoon going through all the shows listed in TiVo and ranking them with thumbs up or thumbs down. Then I deleted the list all together and just let TiVo record what it wanted based on those ratings.
Based on all that experimentation I have decided that there is no perfect Season Pass list strategy. It has to be maintained, updated, massaged from time to time and I have come to enjoy that process.
My newest top 20 (and for that matter my whole season pass list) is now based on shows that I like and how much I like them. I've tried being scientific, now it's time to go with my ample gut!
Behold the mind of a TiVo addict:
The new additions:
- My Name is Earl (NBC) - Must See TV is back on Thursday. I've been a flip flopper on this one, but it's caught me off guard a couple times, and a surprise in a sitcom is hard to come by... so Earl hits the list for the first time at a respectable #5.
- Scrubs (NBC) - Another link in NBC's Thursday night chain. Always a solid performer... as if the Monkees worked in a hospital. A musical show with songs written by the people behind Avenue Q is coming!
- Ugly Betty (ABC) - I can't recommend this show... but I can't not watch. It's shot and acted like a kids show. Frenetically paced, over acted, lots of bright colors... It's on Thursdays... up against all the NBC Prime time stuff, but I might be able to catch it when it plays on ABC Family.
- Gay, Straight or Taken (Life) - Will probably be lame, but I'm going to give it a shot. Game show where female contestants try to determine which guy is gay, which one is straight and which one is taken. Producers really throw a monkey wrench into the works when they include a bisexual, transgendered guy who is in a three way monogamous relationship with people named Chris and Pat. Not really, but why not?
- Psych (USA) - Plot holes big enough to drive a truck through, but my crush is stronger than my critical eye.
- The King of Queens (CBS) - I like Leah Remini. Sue me.
- The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS) - should she have won the Emmy? Probably not. But it's JLD back on the tube and that's enough for me.
- Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC) - If it hadn't been for OZ I probably wouldn't love this show so much.
- Wheel of Fortune (syn) - it's a sweepstakes thing. Do you have your Spin ID?
- Dirt (FX) - looks interesting. FX has taken some great changes which have resulted in some great shows... lets see if Mrs. Arquette can keep the streak going.
- The White Rapper Show (VH1) - I'm too embarrassed about this one to explain it.
The deleted and moved:
- The Amazing Race (CBS) - tricky one. It's over so I had to delete it from the list. This last season of the Amazing Race showed up in TiVo as "Amazing Race Season 10." Now, I'm going to record the next season of this show, but it will be called "Amazing Race Season 11" and as smart as TiVo is, it doesn't know that 10 and 11 are the same programs with different numbers at the end, it thinks they are different shows and so season 11 will need it's own new entry in the Season Pass list when it starts. I could create an "Amazing Race" wishlist but that's a whole 'nuther option worthy of a blog entry of it's own.
- Desperate Housewives (ABC) - falls from #2 to #7. Not sure why... I'm loosing interest though I am looking forward to a rumored episode centering on the Husbands that will feature the voice of Bree's dead husband as the narrator.
- The Simpsons (Fox) - drops out of the top 20 to #21. Too easy to catch reruns of this show now-a-days.
- American Dad (Fox) - Tried and tried and tried to love this show, but it never really connected with me. Dropped it all together.
- Family Guy (Fox) - Falls to #20. It's too easy to catch the replays on Adult Swim, no need to keep it so high on the list where it might conflict with something I can only watch in prime time. For example:
- Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC) - up to #2 Two Words: Aaron Sorkin. Nuff Said.
- Survivor: Cook Islands (CBS) - Deleted. Similar story to the Amazing Race... didn't really get into it this year either.
- The Office (NBC) - Up to #4. I'd been missing this show because of conflicts with other shows... but I've decided that it's too good not to make sure I get... in fact the whole Thursday night NBC Lineup is now in the list.
- 30 Rock (NBC) - Moves up to #3. I didn't like it at first... now I really, really, really like it.
- Battlestar Glactica (SciFi) - #1 now baby. BSG used to be down lower on the list because it replays on SciFi later in the evening AFTER it's initial showing... so I could keep it down below all the network prime time stuff and STILL get the new episodes. But my new Season Pass list is not about schedules, it's about "like." And I really, really LIKE BSG.
- Top Chef (Bravo) - It's no Project Runway, but UNTIL Tim Gunn and crew are back, this will have to do.
- Heroes (NBC/SciFi) - I'm going to be shunned from the group for this, but I just never got into it. I TRIED but all I can think when I watch this show is, "Dudes, it's called the X-Men." So Heroes have fallen off the list.
- Nip Tuck (FX) - down to #25. I have a love/hate thing going on with this show. It's either really compelling (obese woman becoming one with her couch) or really stupid (Larry Hagman wants ball implants). The top 20 real estate is much to valuable to have a show that I don't really dig (or am really curious about) taking up space.
- South Park (Comedy) - still the funniest thing on TV... but thanx to late night airings and replays on Comedy Central, I can keep this gem lower in the list and still get my fix. Down to #23.
- The Soup (E!) - up to #11. This is really one of the few things I look forward to on TV every week. HYSTERICAL.
- Kath & Kim (Sundance) - Off the list. If you have the Sundance Channel this is a great show. Since I moved into this new condo I have only the "expanded basic" channels and so no longer get to see this "Reality STYLE" show about a kind of trashy but don't know it mother and daughter living in the suburbs somewhere in Australia.
- My Boys (TBS) - #17 on the hit parade. Think Carrie Bradshaw as a sports writer. Loose the female friends (save one) and you have My Boys. I have a crush on one of her boys by the way...
- Saturday Night Live (NBC)/Mad TV (Fox) - Fall to 26 and 27 respectively. These two are a good example of how I use the "New Episodes Only" feature on TiVo. SNL is only recorded when it is a new episode. If SNL is a repeat then TiVo will record Mad TV instead because I have told TiVo to record new and repeat episodes of that show. Anyway, they are both on late at night and so I can keep them low on the list and they will probably not be effected by conflicts.
- The Venture Brothers (Cartoon Network) - Down to #29. MAYBE funnier than South Park, but in a very different way. It's Johnny Quest all twisted up and thrust into modern day America. Falls down the list because again, it is on very late at night (early in the morning) on Adult Swim and not a lot conflicts with it at those hours.
Grease: You're the One that I Want (NBC) - Not sure yet.
The Apprentice: Los Angeles (NBC) - Trump MAY have Jumped the Shark.