The Big Bang Theory quickly became this for CBS: promos and bumps for the show can be seen in stores like GameStop (on GameStop TV), and was signed to do three more seasons (making the total six thus far) just as reruns were headed into the syndication market, and from there...
TBS loves it too. They even shot scores of new promos (including a five-minute one for National Cinemedia, one of the movie theatre preshow companies) with the cast to promote the reruns. Three days a week they air three hour blocks of the show. They're not above Lampshading the show's ubiquity in its ads.
If you're watching E4, then you're probably watching this. You're not?! Don't worry, another episode will be along in a minute. (This seems to be E4's way of dealing with the loss of Friends, to which it formerly gave this treatment).
Reality TV has quickly become this for pretty much every network out there. Why? Because it's pretty much dirt cheap to produce compared to the mainstream - no need for sets, a bare bones story setting instead of a full screenplay, and the ability to cast ANYONE who will do anything to be a TV star, meaning they save a fortune on not having set designers, writers or real actors. And litigation is way down, too.
In fact, this is downright expected, as every network has a low-cost, high-profit reality show to function as the reliable network tentpole. In fact, the really successful US networks have two, with CBS and FOX having a "summer series" (Big Brother and So You Think You Can Dance, alongside Survivor and American Idol, respectively) to hold viewers during the lean summer months. (In fact, one industry professional has said part of NBC's troubles might be not having one, with The Voice still being fairly new. Thirty Rock, being a critically-acclaimed low-rating scripted NBC series with a penchant for Biting-the-Hand Humor, frequently made jokes about how reality shows were just awful but also big moneymakers and yet and how NBC still couldn't find a winning one). And then we have the Bachelor brand on ABC.
Big Brother on Channel 4. The last season was showing about 7 hours of footage every day. It remains to be seen if Channel 5 will give it a similar treatment. A mix of Meddling Executives and ironically, Screwed by the Network; Endemol got a "Live Feed Every Year" clause into the contract. So, in the later years at least, C4 put the live feed on between midnight and 6AM. There is no such clause in C5's contract.
Channel Five is currently (January 2012) showing an entirely reasonable 3 hours a day of coverage of this fine educational show. However, the trope may now apply more than ever, since C5 owner Richard Desmond mandates endless coverage of Big Brother in the various newspapers he owns, meaning that it's now a network favourite across multiple media.
Around the time BB was completed at the end of summer 2010, Come Dine With Me was primed to become Four's most adored.
Fictional example: in Network, the network president (Ned Beatty) refuses to cancel The Howard Beale Show despite tanking ratings, because Beale is basically acting as his mouthpiece.
There are been times, no matter which station plays it, when The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will be on morning, noon, and night. As of this writing, TBS still plays it in the mornings. Since the show is available for barter, when a station sells ad time in exchange for the show, cable and local stations get Will Smith for free. Go ahead, TBS, play the story all about how Will's life got twisted upside down 24/7.
It has also tried to use Scrubs, and more recently The Big Bang Theory to the same degree, although they don't get quite the same level of coverage as Friends did.
Averted, surprisingly, with Glee, to which E4 has the rights to run episodes from the first two seasons, How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives and several other high profile American shows. E4's business model largely revolves around buying up the rights to American shows before they're popular and hoping they turn into smash hits.
Channel 4's breakfast/early morning schedule revolves around rerunning entire series of recent American sitcom classics. Between seven and eleven every morning, Will and Grace, King of Queens and Frasier are all in perpetual rerun. C4 also lovesRaymond possibly more than Marie Barone does. Apart from two episodes shelved because of Watershed concerns, 208 out of 210 episodes are in permanent re-run from first to last and have been continually cycled for at least six years in a six-days-a-week morning slot.
Sporadically, According to Jim is added to the mix, but hasn't been seen for some time now.
You can also add American Idol which Fox has aired TOGETHER with Glee, at least before the latter went into syndication.
There is one Russian Reality Show called House-2. Its plot involves a bunch of people locked in a big house and "trying to build love". It is very successful (licenses are sold to several countries) has a huge fanbase and Hype Backlash-caused hatedom. There was a time when it was aired almost 24/7 until they lost a big lawsuit concerning sexual content. Now they have to air it only in late evenings.
USA is getting really bad with their SVU marathons as well, to the point where marathons are shown for three days in a row. EVERY WEEK. For the most part, they'll have a decent way to tie all the episodes together - for example, episodes showing the relationship between Elliot and Olivia, an "Olivia's Greatest Hits" marathon on Mariska Hargitay's birthday, and more recently the "No More Excuses" marathon concerning domestic and sexual violence. At one point, there was a marathon of episodes where the criminals were blonde women.
Incredibly, USA's weekly marathoning of NCIS was a huge factor in the show gaining viewers over eight (and counting) seasons, a practically unheard-of feat in a TV landscape of a show's ratings starting high and falling or steadying from there. The show has broken its own highest ratings mark every year, with its current high set on a regular, midseason Season 8 episode (helped by a blizzard that kept most of the Eastern Seaboard indoors).
They're getting worse. If a show's season just ended or went to Mid Season Break, expect USA to show a marathon. Burn Notice got two days to show various episodes, and White Collar got two days in the same week to do the same thing. USA essentially has nothing for daytime programming.
In the mid-to-late 1990s, it seemed like the USA Network was pretty much "The Wings Channel".
Like USA above, the UK channel 5USA seems to exist solely to show CSI, NCIS and all of their associated spin-off shows. As of this writing they also like airing CSI, and nearly always Seasons 10 and 11, the Langston years.
Canada's Showcase (which might as well be Canada's version of USA Network, from a format standpoint) shares the same fixation with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, devoting daily blocks to reruns of it.
Portuguese channel TVI has been airing Inspector Max on weekend mornings for years, to the extent that you already know what happened in an episode of the show.
Top Gear on Dave. Each episode is an hour long and it's not uncommon for it to be broadcast in six slots per day. This has been routinely lampshaded on the programme itself, and even Dave's programming mentions it.
Top Gear on BBC America; nine hour marathons every Monday.
And that doesn't count five-or-more-hour-long marathons on Saturday mornings/afternoons.
M*A*S*H was the darling of the Hallmark Channel — it aired approximately twice every four hours on the channel...
...until the Martha Stewart combine overran the channel's daytime schedule at the end of 2010, leading to a M*A*S*H-free Hallmark. What followed was a whiplash inversion of the trope when nearly half of the Stewart-controlled seven hour block was converted into Little House on the Prairie space barely a month after launch.
As of 2012, Hallmark has been relentlessly dedicating itself to reminding the world of The Waltons existence.
M*A*S*H also used to be this for FX, taking up anywhere from a third to nearly half a day of programming. This was before FX started getting its own original shows like The Shield, and without its own original programming, the channel was mainly movies and re-runs, and M*A*S*H had so many episodes it was easy to fill lots and lots of air time.
Hallmark could just as easily be called The Frasier Crane Network. As of 2012, it airs 8-10 Frasier episodes, in addition to more reasonably paced Cheers repeats, every day.
In New Zealand, Two and a Half Men is played at least once a day on TV 2, and Friends was at one time airing at 3 different time slots at 3 different points in the series, with all 3 playing in the same 2 hour block.
In Australia, the Nine Network used to have a spectacular case of this for Two and a Half Men. Every weeknight immediately after the news, in the filler timeslot once taken up by many a gameshow, Two and a Half Men played for years (except in regional areas where it was axed in favour of a half-hour of local news). Following Charlie Sheen's swandive off the deep end, Nine seems to have shifted this treatment and its former daily timeslots to The Big Bang Theory; there is nary a glimpse of Two and a Half Men anywhere on the network anymore. They shifted it over to their secondary channel 'GO!' to hide their shame, and even then it runs comparatively infrequently. Meanwhile, Top Gear also seems to have become a similar object of Nine's affection.
Some have speculated that this is a conspiracy hatched by Fox to get viewers to buy Foxtel
At one point, at any given hour of the day, Law & Order was guaranteed to be on TNT, sapped for or followed by Bones. They have since replaced by The Mentalist.
Castle now seems to be a favorite, airing Monday through Thursday evenings.
When the Canadian Expy of Comedy Central, The Comedy Network, wants to fill Canadian Content quotas, they mainly air episodes of their Just For Laughs-related programs (mainly the eponymous series and the more recent Just For Laughs: All Access), which are mainly highlights from the festival itself, which is one of Canada's most prominent comedy events to begin with so it makes sense. In the past, they just aired a bunch of old episodes of SCTV, The Kids in the Hall (although the "classic" programs have since moved to sister network Comedy Gold). Anything else that gets aired excessively can be assumed to be this trope.
Corner Gas, as one of their sister broadcast network's most prominent originals, also had some prominence on Comedy. After its series finale, they promoted Hiccups and Dan For Mayor — which featured their cast members, quite hard. Only one managed to make it to a second season, though.
They also gave eight seasons to the universally-hated Open Mike With Mike Bullard, which is seven more than any other network would have given the show. When the Network first debuted, it's schedule essentially consisted of the few things they had the rights to — Just For Laughs programming, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Saturday Night Live, assorted British programming, and Open Mike. At points, they would air both an episode of Open Mike, and The Best Of Open Mike on the same day, despite the show only having been on the air for a couple months.
When they're not fufilling their CanCon quotas, The Big Bang Theory, and for a time, Community, were their standbys. Then, they moved South Park, The Simpsons, Conan, and several other low-brow Comedy Central shows to MuchMusic just to free up more timeslots for reruns of said shows in primetime (although, this also came after the CRTC rejected a request by Bell to allow it to air more animated programming; the restriction is meant to protect Teletoon)
AnyDisney Channel Original Series that's live action. Whereas Phineas and Ferb gets lots of love from Disney Channels all over the world, the show barely gets shown on Family. Whereas the SuiteLife series and Hannah Montana have been played many, many times over. It's pretty much hell to anyone that hates Disney Channel's live action shows. Oh, and Lizzie McGuire and That's So Raven were still being aired in the dead-hours until circa fall 2012. (Those two shows were never reaired again in the US before 2013, save for 2010, where it aired all its episodes for awhile.)
Disney Channel's former de facto Canadian outlet, Family Channel, shared many of the same fixations, although joined by Canadian-made KidComs of their own (such as The Latest Buzz and Wingin It) and continuing reruns of Life With Derek (which actually had a pretty good following to begin with, so justified), which by law have to be aired in order to counter-balance the U.S. programming. The Next Step has also gained a lot of prominence.
Affiliate syndication is likely to do this with either the darling network show of the moment (How I Met Your Mother in the Fall 2010 syndication blocks, The Big Bang Theory in 2011's) and/or court shows (since there are plenty of them out there). Likely justified, as local affiliates — and especially their sister stations — don't have the same budget as the major networks and need material that they can air on the cheap. Big networks like NBC, ABC, or CBS don't directly own the local stations (except for those in larger markets such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago), but won't have a problem with affiliates running its own syndicated reruns.
The same case with stations which air locally-produced "daytime shows" which are barely disguised Infomercials for local businesses and fully scripted. Literally only the person in the station's control room may be watching, but the station gets the money from the sponsor even if the show has no ratings to speak of, so the rest of the station's market has to suffer through it because it gives said businesses "exposure".
This is, of course, the exact same reason that those stations also run infomercials in the dead of night.
If anyone in San Antonio, TX, wants a 30-minute education on diamonds, they can just do a quick scan of some local TV channels for any of the myriad airings of the Americus Diamond (local jewelry megastore) infomercial, which will teach you more than what you cared to know about diamonds.
In the two weeks before a house flipping seminar comes to the local Days Inn Airport ballroom, expect to see nothing but Armando Montelongo, the Yanceys or that one guy from the failed Spike TV house flipping show in every infomercial slot until then trying to lure viewers down there, as they bulk-buy every slot possible in a local market to saturate viewers with their house flipping seminars.
In a cross-over with Network Decay, the Sci Fi Channel does this a lot. For awhile, the fixation was Ghost Hunters. No matter the time of day, chances are that 4.5 out of 5 times they'll be airing an episode of either it or its spinoff Ghost Hunters International. Consider that Sci Fi has a stable of shows that it shows (the Stargate franchise, Farscape, etc.), but you have to actually HUNT those down.
Which is interesting considering Australia's SyFy is usually chock-a-block full of Stargate and its spinoffs.
MTV has lived and breathed this trope throughout its entire existence — after all, it used to focus just on music videos for hours on end. Those who recall the endless The Real World/Road Rules marathons from the '90s might find their later The Hills spin off marathons warmly nostalgic.
Before reality shows came to dominate the channel, from about 1991-93 MTV would truck out the bulk of Michael Jackson's videos, The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller, and the movie Moonwalker for a "Michael Jackson Weekend" every few months. In the oral history I Want My MTV, one VJ recalls that that one of the weekends in '93 was mounted simply because he'd made a joke about Jackson's paling skin on the air; it turned out that Jackson was offended, and running a marathon of his work was the only way to placate him, lest they lose the chance to run new videos of his, etc. They did some similar marathons in 1995 when HIStory was released, but their love affair with him faded after that proved a commercial disappointment in relation to its hype. VH-1 took up the gauntlet at the Turn of the Millennium, but by the end of 2003 (when he was formally charged with child molestation for the second time in his career) that was over too, until his death in 2009 encouraged a raft of Jackson-based marathons on multiple cable outlets.
Local news on most American stations. Justified in that TV stations have to run public service programming in order to get a broadcast license from the FCC. It also benefits them in that it's cheaper to produce news than pay for syndicated programming, and it can earn the station some respect if it's high quality. Moreover, larger markets like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, etc. are huge metropolitan areas with a lot going on that demands coverage. Some of the smaller markets, not so much. In a city the size of, say, Madison, Wisconsin or Des Moines, Iowa, 3-4 hours of news programming tends to get you a lot of "public service" pieces (which usually means cooking segments or visits from the local Humane Society).
GSN previously did this with Deal or No Deal; on any given day, it likely filled every third time slot. Nowadays, it's Family Feud reruns, especially the Steve Harvey version.
In Australia, Network Ten spares no expense in promoting whichever long-running reality show it has going at the time - over the years, this role has been filled by the likes Australian Idol, Big Brother and currently Master Chef. All of these ran in some form at least once a day for an hour, and in the case of Big Brother received no end of supplementary programming at all hours. Though Big Brother eventually died off, the network tried everything they could to keep the audience and heavily promoted it. Not that it worked, but at that point it had enjoyed a solid run for eight or nine years.
Spike seems to feel that there's no such thing as too many all-day CSI marathons.
In Season 3 Spike would air the previous episode of "Deadliest Warrior", the new episode twice, then an episode from season 1 or 2 as a capper.
Ever since they acquired the rights to COPS and had the show Channel Hop from Fox, its low production costs, steady ratings, and deep episode library means it seems to be the Spackle they use to fill holes in their schedule. Their overnight schedule seems to frequently be a marathon of alternating episodes of COPS and Jail.
When Caprica first began, the Sci Fi Channel showed it nonstop. Think about that. Yes, multiple marathons per week at times of a series that had yet to air ten episodes. Enjoy it while you can, Caprica.note The Sci Fi Channel will advertise a show to death and even screw other shows in favor of it early in its run, but once the shiny new wears off, it will be killed at the height of its popularity for "not attracting the right demographic," regardless of which demographic that is.
You called it. Caprica has been canceled after a year and a half. Its replacement: another Battlestar Galactica spinoff.
The UK's Channel One regularly aired five or six episodes of Star Trek (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise) on a typical day, with one or two being repeats. The catch-ups they did on Saturdays meant each episode of Voyager was broadcast on three occasions. Since then, the channel slot is Sky Atlantic, and it's still filling the daytime schedule with Star Trek.
In addition to Sky Atlantic, both SyFy and CBS Action have also picked up the rights to various Trek series, meaning that there are now three channels showing several episodes each every day of the week.
A&E's line up these days consist of running one specific show constantly from 2pm to 2am every day. The show in question varies between Duck Dynasty, The First 48, Storage Wars, Shipping Wars, or whatever their flavor of the month is this week. Other A&E shows are so rarely ever seen, you would be forgiven for knowing the channel airs anything else.
Degrassi and Much Music. When a new season starts, all day is given over to the runup to the premiere. This makes a little more sense for them - Degrassi and Epitome's other current production The LA Complex are Much's flagship original dramas.
MTV2's alternate name might as well be Martin on Television 2 Many Times; it seems if they aren't airing music videos it's an episode of that mid-'90s sitcom.
Before it was replaced by a 24-hour version of The N, Nick GAS would air almost nothing but Legends of the Hidden Temple, Nick Arcade, and the Double Dare shows. By the time it was shut down, the channel was, by all accounts, running on autopilot, having dwindled down to just those shows.
For the longest time, old (~1980-1995) episodes of Saturday Night Live (edited down to an hour) was the caulk of Comedy Central's highly porous daily schedule. In the mid-2000s, SNL was replaced as such by MADtv once they lost the SNL rights. Then they lost the rights to MADtv (after it being off their schedule for several months) and now it's been reruns of Scrubs, Futurama, Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Tosh.0, Key and Peele, South Park, and snippets of Comedy Central Presents (or The Half Hour Comedy Special).
In the wake of Charlie Sheen's rather public meltdown, Comedy Central UK has started broadcasting a lot more episodes of Two and a Half Men, along with peppering Chuck Lorre-style vanity cards in the advert breaks.
Also, at night (from about 12 AM-7 AM EST) all they usually ran was Comedy Central Presents, replaced by the Secret Stash on weekends: fully uncensored comedy specials and mostly uncensored movies. As of 2012, Comedy Central U.S. shows only infomercials from 4:30-7:00 AM EST, and a maximum of about 3-4 uncensored programs a week.
The network still airs Chappelle's Show during primetime, more than five years after the series officially ended.
Up until about a few years ago, it wasn't surprising if you found Kevin James' comedy special Sweat the Small Stuff on the CC schedule at least once a month.
In 2008, Discovery Channel was obsessed with Deadliest Catch, using any excuse to run a marathon. This wouldn't be so bad, except they only had three seasons worth of coverage, and they showed at least four hours of the show a day. By the end of the week, you were all caught up if you were a new viewer. They have gotten better, though, at least moving on from Deadliest Catch to other new favorite shows. Like Dirty Jobs and Cash Cab.
In a strange case of a network becoming infatuated with a U.S. state rather than a show, Discovery's parent company has recently been milking Alaska for reality show material, thus resulting in shows like Gold Rush Alaska and Flying Wild Alaska. Discovery is no stranger to paying tribute to the blue collar lifestyle (see the aforementioned Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch), but not until late 2010 did they focus this much attention on Alaska specifically.
Recently Discovery has been ramping up their MythBusters airings. The show has always been a fairly strong standby of the network (with various marathons happening for one reason or another) but since the beginning of the fall 2010 season, MythBusters weekend marathons have become a regular occurrence (including a Christmas and New Year's marathon running on back-to-back weekends).
Their latest favorite seems to be Childrens Hospital, as they practically save at least one Ad Bumper each week for that show. With the Season 5 premiere of Robot Chicken, [adult swim] scheduled the shows so that reruns of Children's Hospital would come on at the half hour, and new episodes of Robot Chickenat the :45.
If Tim & Eric so much as sneeze on something, AS will pick it up for a 3 season trial run. And you will like it, they'll make you like it god damn it, because they're the two funniest people on the planet, apparently. It helps that a large segment of their target demographic tends to be drunk and/or stoned when they tend to air Tim and Eric's stuff (in the 10:00-11:00 PM range), given that Tim and Eric's target seems to be "People who are habitually drunk and/or stoned. Especially stoned."
ITV and its reality programming, specifically, The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent. Both shows are repeated frequently, have their own spin-off shows (The Xtra Factor and Britain's Got More Talent) aired on the sister channel, ITV 2, and have so much advertising and promotional material it's hard not to go anywhere in the UK without seeing something to do with The X Factor. Not to mention the numerous specials and reality shows based on prominent faces of either program (Cheryl Cole, Dannii Minogue, and Piers Morgan in particular). No new episodes being broadcast yet? No problem, they have plenty of hour-long highlights shows to air during the rest of the year.
To a lesser extent, The Only Way Is Essex, on ITV2 at least. Advertisements run at every opportunity plus cast members frequently appear on other ITV shows.
For the longest time, The History Channel was The Modern Marvels Channel: Guaranteed No Historical Documentaries (or we'll give you a free DVD set of Modern Marvels!)
Before that it was Secrets of World War II Channel. Before that, it was Battleships of WWII.
History International loves History's Mysteries, usually playing it three or four times a day.
And in general subjects, History Channel had went through various "Adoring a single topic in history" — first the Civil War, then WWII, then just Hitler. And for about a year, they were constantly playing documentaries about the Freemasons and Knights Templar, then it was disasters (specifically Seconds from Disaster).
A&E was joked about being "The Hitler Channel" until they spun off The History Channel, which kept a large amount of Hitler-centric programming until very recently.
At the moment, thanks to the popularity of Pawn Stars, The History Channel has constantly been playing that show and shows like it (just flip to the channel at any given moment and nine times out of ten you'll find either that show or American Pickers on, the latter especially in primetime). Other TV networks have also jumped on the "reality show where guys buy and sell things" bandwagon. Due to the 2012 Apocalypse craze, the station also aired a lot of "Armageddon" and conspiracy theory shows. Aliens in particular have been a popular topic.
Quite often it coincides with anniversaries of events from WWII but unless its D-Day the episodes have almost nothing to do with what its commemorating.
Animax Latin America also has Distraction, a 16-episode live-action game show (one of the first signs of the channel's Network Decay), which, to this day, is still airing there despite the short amount of episodes.
ION shows Ghost Whisperer, Without a Trace, and Criminal Minds on weekdays. That's it. Nothing but those three shows between 3 pm and midnight ET, which is the network's entire weekday schedule, except for WWE Main Event on Wednesday - the remaining hours are paid or religious programming. Granted, this likely means they are the only shows they can afford...
As of March 2014, ION fills almost its entire schedule with Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Without a Trace, and Criminal Minds marathons.
By the end of Summer 2015, ION mutated into the Ghost Whisperer channel, as the show makes up most of the weekday morning and afternoon schedule.
How Its Made and variations thereupon for The Science Channel. Probably because it's dirt cheap to film and write, and has been going long enough that they can fill timeslots or even entire afternoons with random episodes without getting too many repeats.
As well as "Survivorman" (and similar programs) and "Mythbusters" reruns.
Another show adored by NBC is The Apprentice. Despite heavily declining ratings and Donald Trump being a complete joke now, the show continues to run and Trump's high-concept Ratings Stunt to run for President will most likely assure more seasons to come.
NBC had Dateline fell victim to this about ten years ago. It seemed that every night, except Thursday, you could find an airing of the show on NBC. Now, it, and 48 Hours are adored by ID.
Until recently, the only secular shows the Christian-owned INSP (Inspiration Network) showed was Our House, Highway To Heaven, The Waltons, and Wind at My Back. The Waltons was adored the most, marathons of it were frequent, but then again, it was obviously the most popular show on the lineup. Then they bought more programming, mostly retro family sitcoms such as Happy Days and The Brady Bunch, that INSP is no longer the Waltons lovefest network they once were.
Reality Shows in general are officially the Creator's Pet in Italynote there actually are people who like them, which makes this more of a case of Broken Audience.. Spanish-Italian showgirl Natalia Estrada explicitly stated that she would return on TV only at the end — if anynote The latest edition of Big Brother even had padding and lasted roughly two more months than previous seasons. Go figure. - of the current reality show craze.
Much of this is the influence of one Silvio Berlusconi, a media mogul who happens to have had the longest term as Prime Minister of Italy since World War II. The man's populist and rather crude tastes (this is the fellow who gave the Spanish Foreign Minister the sign of the horns, said a Social Democratic German MEP would "make a good concentration camp guard", called Angela Merkel "an unfuckable lard-arse", threw naked sex-parties on his private island, drafted showgirls as political candidates, allegedly hired a teenage prostitute, pursued disastrous economic policies that reward the lazy and well-connected, and has probably been using his political position as a means to avoid prosecution for twenty years) show up in his "creations".
At this point HGTV is almost entirely made up of House Hunters, House Hunters International, and House Hunters Renovations. Go ahead, flip over right now and check. Told you so.
These days, whenever HGTV isn't airing episodes of House Hunters, My First House, or Property Brothers, they're airing Love It or List It.
NBC's flagging Saturday Morning schedule was propped up by Saved by the Bell. They loved its ratings so much that they had Peter Engel create another show with the same basic premisewith a twist. When that got good ratings, they cancelled every cartoon on the schedule, gave half of Saturday mornings to its other favorite show (Today), and gave the other half to Engel and friends. And thus was born TNBC, an entire block of nothing but Saved by the Bellclones. One could have called Teen NBC "There's Nothing But Clones"!
HBO produced seven seasons of Arliss despite its consistently low ratings and reviews well below the station's standard. HBO appears to have believed that it targeted a niche audience that otherwise would not have subscribed to the channel.
Despite falling ratings that have now dipped below a million viewers per episode, HBO still puts a lion's share of advertising behind Girls. Thanks to its polarizing lightning-rod creator/star Lena Dunham, her penchant for nudity, and the show's memetic Cringe Comedy sex scenes, it only trails Game of Thrones in terms of the network's social media buzz.
BBC America loves Top Gear and the revival of Doctor Who. Years-old reruns of both remain in the network's daily lineup. When new episodes are aired, they're the only two shows broadcast in special, odd timeslots so the episodes can have commercials and have no time-saving edits made to the episodes (but only for the first few airings, some cuts are made for later reruns).
Channel Five is in love with CSI and Law & Order, tune in on any other night and you're sure to get a good three hours of repeats. Gets worse on their extra channels like Five USA.
Showtime loved Weeds so much that they couldn't seem to imagine a world without them running it, as they'd renewed it to run several more seasons than it was supposed to (the plan was to run it for four seasons, it ran for eight). Showtime even had a deal with producer Lions Gate to run the show...and only that show.
Does WE (a rival network to Lifetime, basically Oxygen with a lower budget) run anything that isn't named Bridezillas?
Italian network Rai4 seems to really love Charmed; it is rarely absent from its schedule.
Australia's SBS has a love affair with Inspector Rex, which they pretty much admit on their special Inspector Rex website. As of this writing the show has more-or-less been slotted in at 7.30pm on Thursday since 1997, and marathons are not uncommon.
Parodied on Royal Canadian Air Farce with a TV guide describing extra channels for cable. Seinfeld was listed at least once per channel, even on the science fiction channels or other speciality channels where its otherwise unsuitable. The skit finished with the Seinfeld channel - which was filled with the Seinfeld show.
Back in 2009 TV Land got the rights to Roseanne and Married... with Children and one could tell they were quite enthusiastic about it because every night featured a three hour block of Roseanne followed by a three hour block of Married... With Children or vice versa.
Even worse with Everybody Loves Raymond. When TV Land first purchased the syndication rights, they not only ran Raymond in daily blocks like the above shows, they would regularly air marathons (especially on weekends) for little discernible reason. This meant that TV Land would run through the entire series (which lasted nine seasons) in a matter of weeks.
As of 2014 they REALLY love Hot In Cleveland. A lot. There are promos for it every 10 minutes, episodes aired often and it even has a planned animated series in the works.
For Cartoon Network it was Dude, What Would Happen?. This wasn't the first time the station tried to put over a live action show, but it was definitely the show they put the most effort into trying to become popular. Cartoon Network launched an entire block of live action shows, CN Real, in an effort to rebrand their network into being closer to Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. It went over about as well as you would think and the ratings for the entire network tanked. After dropping CN Real, the network still tried to put over Dude What Would Happen, and continued airing it for two years despite horrible ratings and overwhelming negative viewer response before finally dropping it. Despite initial beliefs that the show would return along with Destroy Build Destroy and Hole in the Wall, it's still thankfully cancelled, prompting CN to focus more on their cartoons.
Cartoon Network also heavily hyped Level Up, first the movie and then the series. The show got ads big in number and in length, and you would have been hard-pressed to go through a commercial break that didn't have an ad for the show. After the show started, they've rerun it every weeknight even though only one episode had premiered. Plus, the second episode aired commercial-free, as well as the third.CN's cartoons could only dream of this kind of attention.
If you turn on G4 at any given time, you can expect to find reruns of COPS or Cheaters. In some cases, they've even played the exact same episode twice in a row.
According to Kevin Pereira, the shows are an easy way for the network to fund its original programming, despite having almost nothing in common demographically.
And there was also their obsession with Olivia Munn and whatever stunt she would do on the latest Attack of the Show! (which in a way was a slap in the face for the network's video game origins, as Munn wasn't a gamer and was simply brought on for ratings).
Tru TV is more or less obsessed with Operation Repo and many of its non-Operation Repo shows either seem to be "''Operation Repo'' in a X" or "People Just As Trashy As The Operation Repo Cast Doing Similar Things".
Impractical Jokers seems to have become the darling of Tru TV. Not only did they start running marathons of this show while the first season was still running, but entire night blocks of Tru TV seem devoted to this show. And the promos constantly remind us that with "60 million people watching" that we all need to be watching too.
Animal Planet, like History Channel, has jumped on the "regular/redneck guys doing jobs that vaguely relate to our station content" and has been giving a ton of ads and air time to shows like Call of the Wildman and Pit Boss. Lately they've also been obsessed with Finding Bigfoot.
Shows about pets, like It's Me or the Dog and its ilk are also adored. Naturally, given that Animal Planet's viewer base is now mostly composed of pet owners who like watching shows about pwecious widdle puppies, this move makes sense. The older viewer base, who grew up with Jeff Corwin, Steve Irwin, and such, are none too fond of these shows.
Animal Planet seems to have gotten hooked up on reality shows about people catching animals and pest control, cute animals people probably already own, and people stopping poaching (which kind of makes sense). If you want to learn about animals? You're better off watching National Geographic's animal network, Nat Geo Wild.
As of August 2014, the network airs Dirty Jobs marathons practically every other day.
Bravo adores Top Chef, especially when it has new episodes.
To contrast, Top Chef: Texas began airing when fellow Bravo reality-compatition show Work Of Art was a little over halfway through. Before, Wo A would air at 9pm then repeat at 11pm, with something inbetween. When TC:T started, Wo A aired at 10... and repeated at 11... and again at 12. If you missed Wo A, you had to wait 3 hours before seeing it again. Then the following week, leading up to new Wo A episodes would be... however many of the new TC episodes they had leading up to the newest one of those.
Their latest adoration is anything Real Housewives. Besides developing spinoffs of the original, they are now doing spinoffs of the spinoffs. Is there really that much of an audience for housewives getting drunk and having catfights for an hour?
Oh, and the cooking competition show virus infected the Cooking Channel too, thus frustrating any attempts by real cooking fans to avoid it. Better hope you have the PBS lifestyle HD channel Create, that airs lots of traditional "stand and stir" cooking shows, or wait until your local PBS channel airs its cooking show programming block. Said cooking shows have returned to the Food Network, albeit in diminished quantity and only during weekday afternoons, however.
As of 2014, Restaurant: Impossible seems to have been reduced down to Wednesdays, allowing more room for Chopped and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives to proliferate, in addition to Mystery Diners, which is getting far more air-time than its parent show Restaurant Stakeout.
TLC (and to a lesser extent, Discovery Health) used to show nothing but A Baby Story and other birth-related shows on weekdays from about 9 AM-4 PM. The weird thing is, they seemed to only show old repeats, which means that some of these babies being born would have been in middle school around their peak.
After moving away from the babies thing, TLC became hung up on Jersey Shore-style reality shows that can best be described as "randomly selected people doing 'quirky' things in front of a camera," such as Honey Boo Boo, and more recently, Gypsy Sisters and Welcome To Myrtle Manor.
During both shows' heyday, YTV completely adored I Carly and Mr. Young, to a point where listings for both shows (especially the latter, an in-house production) were shown in tiny text during ads for other shows, alongside the listings for the show being advertised.
Ever since Comedy Central UK picked up the rights to Friends' they've been using any excuse to air it as much as possible. It started out as daily double-bills that are repeated at night...and then the compilations started...
Top 50 Episodes?
The A-Z of Friends?
The Best of Ross/Monica/Chandler/Phoebe/Rachel/Joey?
The Friends Guide to Work/Dating/Leisure?
Compilation of The Christmas & Thanksgiving Episodes?
...Um, it's March.
The Best ofGunther?
What?! OH COME ON!!! Gunther?! Really?! GUNTHER?!
Whose Line Is It Anyway?, in a sense, at the time it was first on ABC. It's ratings, especially since it aired against Friends at the height of it's popularity, were never all that great (any other show with it's ratings would have been cancelled), but it was so cheap to produce they kept it around to keep the slot filled.
In New York City, Seinfeld is aired at least 6 times a day between TBS and the local FOX affiliate.
Currently it´s a great time for German Star Trek fans. ZD Fneo shows the classic series (even with the previously banned Nazi planet episode) daily for years now and Tele5 gives us from morning till primetime Deep Space Nine and The next Generation in an endless loop that only manages to be broken up by equally spammed Stargate reruns. To round up the package Voyager gets shown in the primetime on Thursday.
Scrubs rose in popularity in Germany during the late Zeroes. Pro7 used this to completely rework their daytime programming of scripted reality shows to sitcom reruns and showed the new episodes in the primetime instead of Saturday afternoon. The block started around 12am and showed double to quadruple episodes of 3 to four shows. AND because of last days episodes being rerun in the morning hours this sometimes resulted in 8 episodes of Scrubs per day (10 when they aired new ones in the primetime). Ratings for the retooled / Post-Script Season were the best of the entire shows run over here, if Pro7 had any word in it they wouldn´t have cancelled Scrubs.
Despite the fact that ratings weren't very good and it's perhaps the most hated show on the Big Four networks, NBC seemed to have an unnatural obsession with Whitney to give it two seasons to build an audience and put it in strong time slots. If anything, it's further proof that NBC continues to trust the wrong people (seeing the Jay Leno and The Apprentice examples above) to build the network. It was the most surprising keep after the 2011–12 season. In fairness, the fact that the show had no big stars and was shot in a multiple-camera format did make it cheap enough to produce as to offset ratings that, while weaker than some shows that got canceled, do at least remain consistent. And, more importantly, it received great demographics. Its 18–49 numbers were competitive with The Middle, its timeslot competitor, whose overall ratings are generally at least twice Whitney's. Not to mention the latter show skews a lot younger. On May 9, 2013, the Peacock and Whitney broke up after a two-season whirlwind romance.
VH-1 is fond of showing the 1992 TV miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream any time they have a gap in their schedule (with commercials, it fills five hours of airtime). Naturally, any time Michael was in legal trouble, this got worse — don't even think about how much it was shown after he passed away! A similar thing used to happen during the holidays with A Diva's Christmas Carol, which was an in-house production.
The franchise of I Love the Exties shows that launched in 2002 with I Love the '80s not only yielded a total of eight ten-hour productions (plus the five-hour I Love Toys) but was kept in near-constant weekend and holiday rotation on the channel through 2009. Averted with I Love The Holidays, which hasn't been seen since 2005, and I Love Toys, which was also rarely rerun; both have been reduced to Keep Circulating the Tapes status.
NBC and its sister networks are so in love with the Law & Order franchise that even when it started to die off (around 2005, with the death of Jerry Orbach and the failure of Trial By Jury), NBC refused to kill it. Even when Law and Order: Los Angeles (which was picked up by NBC despite a weak pilot because of its name) was the Franchise Killer, NBC and USA continued to keep its spinoffs around since it was filling time slots and was still bringing audiences in on the latter (while the ratings on NBC had been in decline for years).
In a weird sense, The Weather Channel has gotten absolutely hooked on Discovery-style reality shows about roughnecks doing blue collar jobs, such as Iceberg Hunters,Iron Men,Pyros,Reef Wranglers, and a new show about mining, many of which have very little if anything to do with weather.
Friday Night Lights was adored by NBC, which constantly saved it from cancellation. However since the show is agreed to be of high quality, this was a good thing.
For Virgin customers they introduced CBS Drama and, as of 2014, literally all that is on is Judge Judy. Despite all adverts showing Dallas as the show.
Cloo (a NBC-owned cable channel for crime shows) seems to exist for the sole reason of airing reruns of Burn Notice.
Same for Low Winter Sun. With the added hype surrounding the last episodes of the final season of Breaking Bad, AMC opted to try to draw interest to their new show by airing it immediately after Bad, which has seen its highest ratings ever. This would normally be a smart practice, but the problem is that AMC hyped LWS to absurd degrees, billed it as the new Breaking Bad, constantly promoted the show in every other advertisement, and gave the show half an hour of commercial-free interruption (which of course, Breaking Bad does not benefit from). The most absurd move was forcing viewers to wait over half an hour for the pilot of LWS to get a promo for the next episode of Bad which was not even 30 seconds long. And the hype didn't even work; LWS was canceled after one season.
Nat Geo Wild likes to run Incredible Dr.Pol and Cesar Milan shows a lot.
More Four loves Time Team. At least two hours a day, every day regardless of what else is in the schedule.
British kids channel Kix loves Power Rangers so much that they named their second channel (Kix Power) in it's honour, and that channel's first six weeks' schedules are non-stop Power Rangers. Nothing else.
The Hallmark Channel has a sort of affair with The Good Witch, a Made-for-TV Movie starring CatherineBell in the title role. As one of their most popular original movies, Hallmark has given it three sequelsnote The Good Witch's Garden, The Good Witch's Gift, and The Good Witch's Family with two more on the way as of this writing, and are constantly playing all the movies in marathons. It even got picked up as a series.
The BBC is practically married to Dads Army. It finished in 1977, and it seems there hasn't been a week since that it hasn't been in the schedule.
Likewise, Channel 4 and/or E4 always seem to have Father Ted somewhere in their schedules.
UK TV Gold/Gold and Only Fools and Horses. There will be at minimum one or two episodes a day. On the most extreme days? What seems like non stop episodes from about dawn to dusk, to the point you could probably use the channel as an alternative to the DVD box set.
The Golden Girls was like this for Lifetime in the early-2000s. To the point where it was the only non-9/11 related program in The Onion's TV programming here.
Whenever this show happens to move to a new channel, expect said channel to promote the crap out of it and air almost non-stop marathons of it for a good while. This happened when Lifetime lost the syndication rights in 2009 to the Hallmark Channel and W Etv, and later when the latter gave up the program to TVLand and Logo.
Justifiably, Willow, an American channel airing nothing but Cricket, will air nothing but taped cricket when a live event isn't on. Most of the time this is the Indian Premier League, which happens for a month, but will have their 70-ish matches re-aired for months and months until the new season, especially in the fallow months between national team tours since live cricket can only fill so much time, and the sad status of the American game has it in the same class as the Winnetka quiddich league in that even hardcore networks such as Willow don't care about it.
Although it's not a TV channel, Netflix absolutely adores its exclusives. Sometimes it feels like you can't even boot up the website without an advert for House of Cards or Orange Is the New Black, even if you've given those shows a low rating. Unlike most of the other examples on here, it at least makes some sort of business sense; your subscription fee is divided between the makers of the shows you watch, so it makes sense that Netflix will want as much money going back into their website as possible. It doesn't matter to Netflix how many people watch a show—it only matters that enough people will re-up their subscription to keep watching the show. Thus a show with a small but loyal fanbase can be profitable: if you can say that, for example, 100,000 viewers (a tiny number) will keep their subscriptions just in order to keep watching OITNB, then that's nearly $10 million per year for that show (because $8/month for 12 months=$96/year and $96 times 100,000 subscribers is $9.6 million). The real economics are more complicated, of course, but the end result is the same.
Australian network ABC4Kids loves Sesame Street and its spinoffs so much that they (as of 2015) even have a phase of taking down Sesame clips on YouTube, claiming that they are "The Real Sesame Street".
Speaking of Sesame Street, there was a phase in June/July of 2015 where the PBS affiliate in New Jersey and New York, WNET, loved showing the episode "Veggies Revolt" at least once each week.
While at first it may not look like fitting that trope (mainly due to airing only 2 or 3 times during every day), but for Ketnet it probably is the news show Karrewiet. This is noticeable because on their website the show has a special section dedicated to all the news facts that would be discussed on that show, which is on the main index that also includes a place where you can see all of the programming on the show.
TLC's weekday mornings, as of February 2015, are comprised of nothing but What Not to Wear.
Practically half of HLN's lineup appears to be nothing but Forensic Files. You remember HLN, right? The channel whose initials used to stand for Headline News?
One FOX station's whole Saturday morning line-up was entirely comprised of Wimzie's House, led off by an airing of Amazing Adventures.
New York's My Network station, WWOR, plays nothing but the TV series based off Are We There Yet every afternoon and morning. There have been some occassions where six-hour marathons of the show are played.
The Lifestyle Channel in Australia seems to really love rerunning Gogglebox Australia as of late, at least showing it about once or twice every day.
The CW affiliate in New York City, WPIX, shows nothing but Just For Laughs from 11AM to 3PM on Sundays.
The primetime Saturday slots on the BBC - where they put their most treasured and popular shows - are inevitably and unsurprisingly Strictly Come Dancing, Doctor Who, and Casualty, one after the other (during the autumn months when all three are airing)
In Spain, the most notable case of a show adored by the network is Telecinco's La que se avecina. Telecinco is operated by Mediaset España, which also owns fiction-centered channel Factoría De Ficción (or simply FDF), whose lineup has relied heavily on LQSA reruns for quite a long time now. And rightfully so: said reruns are the favorite thing to watch for FDF viewers, to the point legend has it that the constant rerunnings helped boost the new episodes' ratings on Telecinco when the show found itself on the verge of getting cancelled.
Canadian media company Corus Entertainment really seems to like Just for Laughs: Gags. Now, you're wondering, that's a whole broadcaster — not a single channel. What's going on here? This particular program has been on many Canadian channels over the years, such as The Comedy Network in the past, and sometimes on CBC if they need a cheap filler program—because that's essentially what the show is. A half-hour of cheap, fun, harmless filler. But more importantly, it's cheap, fun, Canadian filler: all Canadian broadcasters must air specific quotas of Canadian-produced programming. Perhaps that is why they have seemingly spammed it across at least six different channels including YTV, Disney Channel, Disney XD, ABC Spark, CMT and even W Movies (which is supposed to be a channel airing movies for women, WhichGagsis neither a movie or aimed at women.)