NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, July 2012
If You Missed Your Favorite TV Show, It May Be Online
By Ira Wilsker, Radio Show Host,
Columnist, College Professor and deputy sheriff
(click to email author)

http://www.cbs.com/thanks/ (Free downloads until August 31)

With all of our busy lifestyles, we sometimes (often) miss some of our favorite TV shows. I am frequently asked by faculty and students how they can view both network and local TV shows that they missed. Since we are all not blessed with some type of DVR (Digital Video Recorder, such as a TiVO), and not everyone has a digital TV card in his computer that allows TV recording, it may be worthwhile to check the websites of the TV networks and local stations for the missed shows.

The commercial networks are not oblivious to the long-term financial stream that may flow with the continued online sale of TV shows, and most offer previously shown episodes online for a fee, sometimes bundled as an entire season. Local TV stations are often more generous, typically allowing for free viewing of previously broadcast local news and features while they are still on the local station websites. Some foreign websites have illicitly recorded copies of popular American TV shows which they allow to be downloaded for free or for a fee, an activity that is probably illegal, as it may be theft of intellectual property, and thus, should be avoided.

Recently the CBS network announced that a limited selection of full-length episodes of its primetime TV shows will be available for free download until August 31, 2012, from its website at http://www.cbs.com/thanks. Among the free episodes that can be downloaded are: Blue Bloods, Season 2, Ep. 12 "The Job"; CSI (Las Vegas): Crime Scene Investigation, Season 12, Ep. 12 "Willows in the Wind"; NCIS: Los Angeles, Season 3, Ep. 1 "Lange, H"; Hawaii Five-0, Season 2, Ep. 1 "Hai'ole"; The Best of I Love Lucy Volume 1, Ep. 17 "Job Switching" (1952); Twilight Zone Season 2, Ep. 6 "Eye of the Beholder" (1960); Survivor, Season 24 (One World), Ep. 1 "Two Tribes, One Camp, No Rules"; The Good Wife, Season 1, Ep. 1 "Pilot" ; and CSI: NY, Season 08, Ep. 11 "Who's There?". All of these free episodes can be downloaded from iTunes, Amazon, or VUDU. While these episodes are presently available for free, the download sites also list almost all of the other episodes of these shows which may be viewed or downloaded for a fee, with some season bundles available for substantial discounts off of " la carte" offerings.

A lot of users of Amazon have subscribed to its Prime service, which is best known for offering its members free second-day delivery of items shipped by Amazon. What they may not be aware of, is that Prime members can now also view hundreds of TV shows (and full length movies) without any additional charge via the Amazon streaming media service. At present, Amazon lists 1715 TV episodes (and over 2000 movies) which can be viewed at no additional charge by Prime members.

Google's YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/shows) has thousands of both recent and classical TV shows and clips online from TV networks all over the world. YouTube lists the TV shows by genre' including Action & Adventure, Animation, Classic TV, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Entertainment, Food, Nature, News, Reality & Game Shows, Science Fiction, Soaps, Sports, Travel, and other topics.

For those who may have missed the news, most local and network news programs have video segments or stories available online shortly after they are broadcast. Going to the websites for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, CNN, and other news networks will display the extensive number of video news segments and complete news broadcasts that are available online. Almost all local TV news shows have extensive video libraries available online for later viewing

Hulu, http://www.hulu.com/recent/episodes, has about 2000 recent TV episodes of all types available for free, including the TV Sunday news hours, reality shows, comedies, news magazines, drama, soaps, cartoons, sports, and several other show types. Hulu TV shows can be sorted by genre', air date, or by most recent episodes added to Hulu. It is interesting how many episodes are posted to Hulu by their networks on a typical day; as an example for Friday June 22, Hulu added 25 daily episodes, while on Thursday, June 21, Hulu added 35 episodes from that date. On Friday, Hulu added Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, ABC News 20/20 (Rielle Hunter interview), Jay Leno, Friday Night SmackDown (wrestling), ABC NightLine, Good Morning America, The View, and 15 other episodes; several of the other episodes are in Spanish. Thursday also added the Daily Show with John Stewart, The Colbert Report, Saving Hope, Jimmy Kimmel, ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Charlie Rose, several shows in Spanish, and several other episodes. Hulu also includes shows from the Food Network, A&E, BET, Bloomberg, Bravo, CNBC, Comedy Central, Fox Business, FX, Golf TV, HGTV, History Channel, Military History, MSNBC, MTV, NBC, Spike, Starz, USA Network, WWE, and dozens of other foreign and domestic TV networks and channels.

Millions of people subscribe to Netflix (netflix.com) which has an extensive library of both recent and past TV shows and series. While visiting a relative that had a Netflix account I watched several oldies on his computer, including Rat Patrol, classic westerns, old TV comedies, and a few other old TV shows.

If I miss a news show or story, I usually check the station or network website first where I can often view the news that I missed. Hulu and YouTube are typically my next choices, and they often meet with success. Sometimes, if it is a TV show, I will check the network website as they frequently indicate the date that a particular show will be repeated, giving me a second chance to view it.

Not having a DVR, all is not always lost if I miss a favorite TV show.

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