Wednesday, December 28, 2005


I still don't understand TV schedules in this country, and I don't think I ever will.

First of all, we are always 1-2 years behind when it comes to new shows, if not more. For example, Showtime has just gotten Desperate Housewives and Lost, shows that have debuted over a year ago in the US. We are also a few years behind on older series, like ER for example. Some channels still air shows that stopped being produced ages ago, such as Seinfeld, Friends, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Cosby Show (yes, the old one, where he was Dr Huxtable!), Beverly Hills 90201, Melrose Place and Joe Millionnaire (both editions of that stupid show!)

We get shows that are just moderately successful in the US, or even shows that were cancelled after just a season or so, such as I'm with her. Some shows I've never even heard of, like American Princess (or something along those lines).

There also does not seem to be a structure when it comes to scheduling these shows, i.e. no "daytime, primetime, late-night" concept here. Comedies, usually aired during primetime in the US, are aired in the afternoon here. Oprah and Dr Phil on the other hand, air at 9-10 PM, whereas they are considered daytime shows in North America. I am not so sure what airs during the day as I am never watching TV during daytime.

Shows don't end on the hour, or on the half hour (depends on the channel of course, but I still get confused). For example, some shows end at 8:45, then the channel airs some stupid "time-fillers" like the latest box-office movies (usually the same "time-fillers" are aired several times a day/week), or endless boring ads. Shows don't necessarily start on the hour (or half hour). Sometimes, Oprah starts at 9:55...sometimes it's at 10:05PM...go figure!

I still don't know when seasons start and seasons end....Is there a summer hiatus here, where re-runs are usually shown?

There also does not seem to be exclusivity when it comes to which channel airs which show. So, for example, MBC4 and One both air Friends...except both channels are not airing the same season, adding to the whole confusion!

And don't even get me started about movies aired on TV: usually it's the same movies being shown over, and over again (depends on the channel of course, some are better than others), and some channels show movies I've never heard of before in my life!

Is anyone else confused by all this? Is there some sort of a system I am not aware of when it comes to which shows air when and on what channel? Please, help me out!


Anonymous said...

In the US, stations still air EPs of cancelled shows like SEINFELD or CHEERS, etc......
That's how their creators continue to profit in syndication.....As far as movies, I have the HBO 'SILVER' package...OOOOOH!!! and I still come across TITANIC, ALONG CAME POLLY, POLICE ACADEMY, DODGE BALL, etc...a bizillion times, continuously, for a period of months.....Hence, your part of the world is not solely experiencing this......As far as 'day-time' TV is concerned, you expect networks like NBC, ABC or CBS to sell 'SHOWTIME' or 'ORBIT' the newest EPs of their shows????....Networks here like FOX acquired the rights to air SEINFELD from NBC close to 5 year after the show's debut on the latter.......It's all about money.......Look at the bright side of all of this, at least you're getting some taste of the west, despite the expiration date on many of the shows you get....There are still countries in the west that air TOM and JERRY in their native languages......As far as the shows not being in prime time, etc....I think that the reason for this is that depending on the number of countries that get the 'bouquet' you have, the provider(SHOWTIME) may be has HONG KONG higher on their priority list than Dubai and adjust their time delay transmition to better suite the latter's prime time, with Dubai having to settle for the resulting times designed for Hong Kong's Prime.......You can always write 'SHOWTIME' or 'ORBIT' to inquire on this and as them to stop with the fillers and start their shows exactly at the top or bottom of each hour...I doubt that will ever happen but try....
Good luck......
PS To show you that we in the west also suffer with situations, I've been in DC for 6 years now and I have yet to find an 'A-HAAWI' and a 'SHAWARMA' joint(all owned by Egyptians and Lebanese, respectively) that serves decent 'SAHLAB' or 'TABBOULIH'.....Instead the best of those two, my wife(a European) makes.....honest!...Pathetic eh?

Dubai Sunshine said...

I love Tom and Jerry!!! Hehe
Thanks for finally gracing my blog with a comment Habz! I've been jealous ever since you left a comment on my sister's blog!

And I still can't believe DC does not have a decent place that serves arabic food! With all the Arabs that live there! Come on!
Well, at least you made the right choice in picking a European wife who knows how to prepare arabic food better than arabs! Long live Polska! Nasdrove!:)

kaya said...

So right you are. Tv does suck here. But I suppose it could be worse.Which is a scary thought!
Just when I got hooked on WONDERFALLS they ripped it off. Whatever happened to JOHN DOE? I live in fear now when I will lose TRU CALLING.
All these stupid stupid asswipe trashy programmes Miss WORLD,MISS I couldnt get LAid and win 1 million dollars, Outback dickhead,...GOD!!!!

Dubai Sunshine said... funny :)But you are right when you say it could be worse. I remember a time, long long ago, when satellite TV did not exist in the UAE, and all we had was 2 channels: Abu Dhabi 1 (Arabic) and Abu Dhabi 2 (English)...Oh how things have changed since then!

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