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October 25, 2014

Should Saturdays still be taboo for TV?

by Keith McDuffee, posted Sep 23rd 2006 3:47PM
snlRecently a bunch of us folks here at TV Squad made a list of what we're watching this fall, broken down by day. Everyone had a pretty lengthy list of stuff to either watch live or via recorded programming, and one thing struck me right away...

There is jack squat on TV on Saturdays.

I do understand why Saturdays have traditionally been a night of little to no original programming worth watching. It's usually date night, a night of doing things other than watching television. It used to be that it was just too difficult to catch a favorite show on a Saturday night, since there was just a good chance you wouldn't be around to watch it. These days, though, more people are getting TiVos and cable-provided DVRs to help ensure they don't miss beloved programming. So why then does Saturday night TV still remain taboo?

We're a bunch of TV watching fools here at TV Squad, so if this list of our Saturday TV watching isn't an indication of how paltry the selection is that night, I don't know of a better one:

  • Bob: SNL and Cops
  • Me: SNL (maybe) and what I recorded all week
  • Rich: SNL and Netflix movies
  • Jonathan: SNL and Talkshow with Spike Feresten
  • Anna: America's Test Kitchen (11 AM on PBS)
  • Brett: Napping and watching recorded stuff
  • Mike C.: SNL (maybe)
  • Annie: SNL
  • Adam: Ebert and Roeper, then random weird stuff
  • Joel: "Who cares?"
"Who cares," indeed. Really, there is NOTHING on! It used to be that you could catch a movie-of-the-week, but for the most part those just suck. Tell me why a network wouldn't take a shot of some good programming on a Saturday night, a night where there really is no other competition now with DVRs in many households. When you've got CSI up against Grey's Anatomy on a Thursday night, many people without dual-tuner DVRs have to make a choice if they're fans of both shows. But if one of those programs moved to a time when nothing else is on or in competition with it? Even if folks aren't around to catch it, their DVR will always record it.

Until DVRs are in near 100% of households watching television, I think Saturday nights may remain taboo for the networks. I guess that could be a good thing, since what other night are we going to watch everything else we recorded all week? Then again, I guess we could all (*gasp*) go out of the house.

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John Howard

Football is on on Saturdays, and that's what I watch all day long. I can understand why they wouldn't want to compete with that. As for the rest of the year, I'm not sure.

September 26 2006 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scully1058

That's why Saturday is Mythbusters marathon night! The only thing worth watching besides the occasional movie on a cable channel.

September 25 2006 at 3:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

IMHO, the reason that nothing good is ever on Saturday is because the "super" smart network and advertising executives think that their "target" demographic (the 18-34 or 18-49 year olds) aren't at home watching TV on Saturday night. What they FAIL to realize, is that I am that target, and with 3 small children, I am home on Friday and Saturday nights. By 9:00, the kids are in bed, and my wife and I are plopped on the couch.....with nothing but garbage to watch. Every time we find a show we like on Fri/Sat night (last year it was "Injustice", a great show), it gets canned because it was sentenced to Death on Friday night. Even though it got respectable ratings, it got canned. ATTN: advertisers, I watch TV on Fri/Sat night, and then on Sat/Sun morning, I am at BJs/Costco, Home Depot, Target, ToysRUs and Best Buy spending lots of disposable income. I am your target. Program some quality stuff on Fri/Sat night!

September 25 2006 at 9:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lampbane

What, no one watches Adult Swim on Saturdays? Bleach is on!

September 24 2006 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rick

There's no reason to stock prime-time on Saturdays with television gems. Not that I wouldn't watch (I would!), but because I shouldn't watch. Look, I'm never going to be the person who says television will rot your mind and make you anti-social. My favorite shows are challenging (The Wire) and actually spawn lengthy debates the next day at work (Lost). But there has to be a point in one's life where they say, "Hey, Television! I'm going outside."

For me, that night is Saturday.

September 24 2006 at 1:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nicki

I'm not picky. I'm fine with SNL. But honestly, they could at least put on some decent re-runs. I miss my Will & Grace anf Friends and all that stuff I watched all summer and don't have time for now.

September 24 2006 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Preston

To answer comment #5, I was 15 or 16 when The Golden Girls came on Saturday nights in the '80s. That show was so funny! Had me laughing most times! It was heavily watched by young audiences too as well as adults. Made them think about their own grandparents too. It was probably one of the last high rated shows on Saturdays before the networks lost momentum on that night.

September 24 2006 at 1:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Erica

How about showing reruns of popular shows from earlier in the week?

September 23 2006 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

The sad thing is Saturday nights used to be Thursday night. In the 70s you had Bob Newhart, Mary Tyler Moore, All in the Family, and MASH on CBS. In the 80s it was the Golden Girls and whatever was on before and after them for NBC. Contrary to what people think a lot of families are home on Saturday nights and it's a perfect night for inexpensive family programming. Hell, why not put one of the CSIs, Law and Orders, or some other popular show on at 9 pm. Do the overpaid TV execs think people won't watch them simply because they're on Saturday? Cable networks often offer original movies and mini-series (some of them high quality telefilms) on Saturday and do quite well. I just think it comes down to money. The networks can take their expensively produce shows and re-air them on Saturday instead of creating original programming.

September 23 2006 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
treegoat

I'm okay with no good programming on Saturday - I need the night to catch up w/ my Tivo.

September 23 2006 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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