What’s on TV?

Imagethief has a theory that at any given time, any given American cable TV system will be broadcasting an episode of “Seinfeld.” Admittedly, I tend to cruise the channels late, but that’s what I see.

Recent travels have given me an opportunity to surf not only the channels on offer at my mom’s house in Palo Alto, but also those at my in-laws’ apartment in Singapore, and on my own system here in Beijing. (I’ve recently been watching more Chinese television, as my wife and I let the satellite package expire through a combination of disappointment with the offering and garden-variety laziness.) From what I can see, every culture has it’s “Seinfelds”, those shows or genres that are always on some channel somewhere, day or night. For what it’s worth, here’s what I observe:

What's on TV?

Seinfeld's law: Shows being broadcast at any given moment

Make of that what you will.

I’ve also observed that the available amount of quality programming on offer does not increase in proportion to the number of available channels. There is, in fact, a sharply diminishing return. This appears to be some kind of power-law relationship, and whoever works out the actual math will, I am sure, earn themselves a Nobel Prize.

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6 Responses to What’s on TV?

  1. LaoLao says:

    I like the new look Will!

  2. ChinaMatt says:

    I think it’s more likely that you’ll find Law & Order on instead of Seinfeld (it’s only on for 3 hours a day here). Though CSI seems to be catching up to Law & Order.

  3. Erik says:

    CSI rules the roost in Korea. You can watch CSI New York on one channel, CSI Miami on another and CSI Las Vegas on a third, all at the same time. I think the only show rebroadcast on cable more times per week is Infinite Challenge (무한도전).

  4. banyue says:

    The Chinese Seinfeld counterpart must be the first edition of Journey of the West.

  5. Will says:

    Excellent call. Don’t know how I left that out. There is always some Monkey King thing on Chinese TV.

  6. Yannick says:

    I would put an X in Singapore as well for Spongebob.