So I was sitting around on a Sunday evening with nothing to do and I decided I'd make good on a promise I'd made to myself to prove why TV truly sucks. What would be my proof? I would categorize and all the TV shows on at primetime for the three major US networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) and then total them to objectively display the networks' level of originality. I just included shows for the current week, figuring it would make a representative sample.
Below is a chart of what I found (click on it to see a larger version). I did my best to be objective and create logical categories. I may try to refine the process next time I'm bored and see if I can do a better job, but I think this gives a pretty good synopsis of the crap the network monkeys are flinging at our screens every week.
Basically, you've got reality shows and detective dramas. And for the squeamish there are family comedies, most of which feature the same white, middle-class, nuclear families that we've all come to know and snore to. This includes Yes Dear, Still Standing, Everybody Loves Raymond, etc. That's about 75% of it. I was expecting more legal dramas, but it may be a weekly aberration. If I'd had a harder time categorizing the shows, I would have been unexpectedly pleased, but about 90% of them fell into neat categories. There are a few "miscellaneous" shows in there, but it's probably only because I was unfamiliar with the show's premise and couldn't gather it from the TV Guide synopsis.
So there you go. The same crap on a different channel. Just get cable or satellite TV, a Tivo, and stay away from the "Big, Dumb Three" until they realize no one is watching. Of course by then we'll be watching interactive HDTV streamed over the Internet.