A TV Viewer's Guide to The Networks


Recently I have discovered I see the four central networks as sort of having personalities in my head. Like the shows they air and the people who watch them mesh together to form character traits. I think your favorite network probably says a lot about you in that way. So I wanted to provide a guide to people who perhaps might not be as familiar with the networks so they could choose their favorite and therefore be judged by everyone else who disagrees.

That's what we're here for, right?

Let's begin.


CBS is great if you are still watching How I Met Your Mother ((I'm starting to feel about HIMYM the way I felt about The Office six months ago. Now that I essentially know how it ends for the characters I care about, I just want them to get there and be done, but I'm too invested to quit now.)) or ever wear a wife beater whilst sitting in a recliner.

I see CBS as kind of the old fogie of television networks. Mostly because their big draw seems to be Two and a Half Men and they refuse to make any of their shows viewable on iPads in any format whatsoever. And they boycott Hulu as well, which is annoying because we recently cut cable (I KNOW I KNOW. A post for another time. Spoiler alert: we're poor.)

Also because, well, look at their logo. Insert sad trombone here.


I have a love/hate relationship with NBC. I hate them for what they did to Conan (major party foul), and I hate them for what they're doing to Community and 30 Rock (I know they are on season 7 but I just want it to go on forever, ok?), but I love them for putting shows like Community and 30 Rock on the air in the first place. I also love them for putting Friday Night Lights on the air and allowing it to exist so that I could watch it on Netflix a year later and have it soar into my heart permanently forever. (I'm still grieving its loss.)

So NBC is a particularly perfect place for people aged 18-35 who like things that are funny and don't like things that are not funny. If CBS is the old fogie, NBC is the 25-year-old entrepreneur running an online marketing company out of his apartment. Sometimes he's kind of a douche, but at least you have a few things in common.


I feel like ABC is the family network. Not "family" in the way that iTunes movies means "family," by which I mean that they are all cartoons, but in the way that it has shows for all kinds of family members. You've got your accessible comedy Modern Family, you've got your dramas, no controversial cult comedies--really it's a well-rounded network that would look good on a college application. ABC's probably most like a 45-year-old family man who makes mistakes but has a good heart.


Fox is pretty much just reality shows and New Girl in my head. Is there anything else on Fox? Maybe some sort of action dramas they promote with an overly dramatic voiceover? Oh yeah, Glee. Is that show still on? Ugh.

Basically if you like dramatic performances and Zoey Deschanel you will like Fox. Fox is like a broadway star clinging to her former heyday (read: American Idol) but still performing with unwavering enthusiasm.

But really, New Girl is fantastic so Fox gains a lot of points there. Sidebar: is Winston really still here? I'm just asking.

What's your favorite network? Did I miss anything or get anything wrong in my descriptions?


NBC, Why Are You Like This?

[Exasperated sigh]


[Dramatic temple-rub with eyes closed]

I don't even know where to start.

First, you put Community on hiatus, which was a terrible decision in itself. Then, we rally together in an inspirational protest to defend its honor and you decide to bring it back. THEN you only sign it AND 30 Rock AND Parks and Rec for a measly 13-episodes and end them altogether?

EDIT: Between the writing and publishing of this post, it has come to my attention that "no decision has been made" about canceling these shows...but let's be honest, it doesn't look good.

What is wrong with you? Are you on drugs? Seriously. Are you? Drugs affect your ability to make sound decisions, and you are not making sound decisions ergo, DRUGS.

You literally slashed my weekly shows down by approximately 50 percent. No more Liz Lemon. No more Ron Swanson. No more Troy and Abed. What are you doing to us? What am I supposed to watch now? What else is even on NBC besides The Voice?

And if any Thursday night show needs to get a shortened final season, it's The Office. Hands down. That show is a mere shell of what it once was. And yet that unstable mess gets its full 22-episodes.

You are alienating your only loyal fan base, here. The only ones who didn't think you were the worst network on television. And now, guess what? You are. You really, really are.

I cannot believe your replacement shows feature Matthew Perry and Anne Heche. I just…I don't even know how to respond to that. I mean, I love Chandler and everything, but man. That is just bleak.

UGH. I feel like I'm disciplining a dog, here. NO. BAD NBC. BAD. GO SIT IN THE CORNER AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'VE DONE.

Who is in charge of these decisions? The same guy that kicked Conan out? It's that guy, isn't it? I hate that guy. He sucks the joy out of everything. The odds are about 100 percent that he wears a monocle and has a maniacal laugh.

I'm just disappointed in you, NBC, that's all. I just didn't know ratings were all that mattered to you. I didn't know you cared more about the opinion of the majority (who, by the way, sees Two and a Half Men as quality television) than making great comedy and respecting fan loyalty. That's right. I'm guilt-tripping you. Because you deserve it. So whatever, I thought you were above that, but you're not. It's fine. See if we care. See if we ever come back.

Except, y'know, when SNL is on. Because it's an institution. And Will Ferrell hosted this weekend. But other than that: never coming back.

EDIT NUMBER TWO: I have also just been informed that NBC has officially cancelled The Sing-Off, which takes my hatred towards them to a whole new level. A level which makes me want to barge into their offices and start turning over desks. Don't mess with my acapella competitions.

What show would you fight the most violently to keep?