What's the best night of TV?

Last updated 08:44 13/12/2010

"You know, I think 7.30pm to 10.30pm on TV3, on a Friday night is the best three-hour stretch on any channel, any night, all week." I'm telling this to my dad, as he scuttles between his garage and the busted pump for his pool, which he is trying to repair. "Glee, The Graham Norton Show, 7 Days, Wanna-BEN, it's a great night of TV," I say, extending the fingers on my left hand as I count them down. "What do you think?"

20101213He shoots me a look and I can tell he's wondering why I'm a TV blogger and not a part-time pool repairman. "To be honest," he says, indicating the broken pool pump, "I've got more important things to think about right now."

Fortunately I'm a TV blogger, so I do think about things like this.

In fact, I've spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about what might constitute the best night of TV during the week, since I noticed last week that TV3 on a Friday night was highlighted red from 7.30pm to 10.30pm on my MySky. It's a solid three-hour stretch of TV programming, even if I did panic when I first saw the big red box. I thought something was wrong with my decoder (I don't repair those either).

But it got me to thinking: what is the best three-hour stretch on television?

To figure this out, I used three basic rules: a) it must be a three-hour stretch, no more, no less; b) it must be evening viewing - three straight hours, starting sometime after 6pm; and c) it has to be a week night, Monday to Friday. Let's call it The Best Night of TV.

So here are a few nominees I came up with for The Best Night of TV, from the next seven days - in no particular order, of course ...

Tuesday, 7.00pm - 10.00pm: A killer line up of comedy on C4, even if they are mostly repeats. Things heat up at 7pm with Family Guy, followed by 30 Rock (my favourite comedy of the week), How I Met Your Mother, Better Off Ted (my second favourite comedy of the week - and by the way, one of the greatest ideas for a TV show, ever) and The Office US, before winding down with Girls of the Playboy Mansion, a show more notable for its unintentional hilarity than for any real purpose it might have.

Wednesday, 7.30pm - 10.30pm: Top notch current affairs show 60 Minutes starts us off on TV3, before we flick over to Castle on One, then back to TV3 for Sons of Anarchy. This time period used to include Chuck and Human Target, both on TV2 and both finished for the season in the last few weeks (TV2 actually doesn't feature in this post at all, since The Mentalist finishes tonight and Fringe was pulled a couple of months back; I'm not regularly watching any TV2 shows at the moment.)

Thursday, 6.30pm - 9.30pm: The documentary channels are quietly loaded with decent programmes, so we head over there for Air Crash Investigation on National Geographic, before flicking over to Prime for Man Vs Wild and SGU. By the way, have we ever figured out why Air Crash Investigation is so interesting? "Tonight on ACI, we show you why most planes are seconds away from disaster, subsequently making you question every little shake and rumble on your next flight from Auckland to Palmerston North." Actually, why do I even watch this show?!

Friday, 7.30pm - 10.30pm: The three-hour stretch which started the idea for this post - TV3's Friday lineup starts with high school comedy Glee, continues with British talk show The Graham Norton Show, then winds up with Kiwi comedy in the form of 7 Days and Wanna-BEN (which has improved dramatically since my review of the premiere).

What are your favourite nights of television - what three-hour stretch of television do you look forward to each week? Post your pick for The Best Night of TV in the comments, below!

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Sophie   #1   09:19 am Dec 13 2010

Woo-hoo, first comment! (Okay, that was pointless). I'd definitely have to go with Tuesday. I didn't like Better of Ted, and I don't really watch The Office, though it looks great-I've never had time to really get into that show. But I'm glad they added Girls of the Playboy Mansion. (I always thought you just had to be dumb and blonde to get in there-well apparently you have to be dumb, blonde AND have a stupid laugh.)

In fact, I don't usually watch three straight hours of TV any night, though Friday is definitely second-best, even though I can't stand Glee and Wanna-Ben is desperate and pathetic.

So, yeah. That's my opinion.

Jas   #2   09:34 am Dec 13 2010

have i missed something or are you just ignoring mondays?! mentalist double episodes followed by ... well thats kind of it really

JeM   #3   09:55 am Dec 13 2010

I find it is all pretty rubbish at the moment. It used to be Wednesdays way back in the day when it was Shortland St, NEW Two & a Half Men, Big Bang Theory, Chuck and Lost. But it has all gone very downhill.

Now that Jersey Shore is over until Season 3, my only Must See TV is Shortland Street & Kendra! And that's saying something about the quality of television shows on now really isn't it?!

Jo   #4   09:59 am Dec 13 2010

I agree with your first choice Chris, definately Friday night on TV3. I watch all of those shows, I especially love Graham Norton. And its good relaxing TV for the end of the week.

Scott   #5   10:00 am Dec 13 2010

Right now...there's no good night. Used to be C4's animation Thursday from 7pm to 9.30pm, but that's gone into repeats and other strange stuff that's just plain boring.

As for Friday..Graham Norton used to be edgey. This new version of him is totally neutered and I can't be bothered with it.

jem   #6   10:22 am Dec 13 2010

7 Nights of utter rubbish. END OF STORY.

Om some night , 3 out of the 5 channels I can get have COOKING shows on!! What does that leave for those of us who dont give a dam about cooking??

Not only that, but its the week before christmas and there has not been 1 single decent family movie at a reasonable time of day for my kids to watch!

Jim   #7   10:24 am Dec 13 2010

What is "TV"?

Kerry   #8   10:35 am Dec 13 2010

I love 'Coronation St',always have. Can't go past this soap for superb acting and plots. I know loads of people will think it is naff but it has been going for 50 years now so that's gotta say something. Always try and watch 'Family Guy' as much as possible and have enjoyed following 'Keeping up with the Kardashians' for pure blob-out value. Also, I usually flick onto the Documentary and History channel for a bit of culture. My husband is addicted to cricket so in recent times I have been forced to watch the Ashes series (frame-by-frame bowling...shoot me now!) and Black Caps and pretend I understand what is going on..must be time for a 2nd decoder!

Tony   #9   10:44 am Dec 13 2010

Uuuuummmmmmmm....If we're going for 3+ consecutive hours, probably Thursday (most of them anyway) would be the way to go for me. Rialto has a documentary from 8.30, most of which are pretty good and then ESPN has their 30 for 30 Documentaries starting from 10.00. Apart from that, only about 1/2 an hour of good programming on most nights

Athene   #10   10:44 am Dec 13 2010

I LIke Thursdays on C4. Family Guy, Futureama, American Dad (dont really like this one as much so I do the dishes insted) South Park and my new fav, Archer. After that its goes a bit bad since Prime have gotten rid of Qi, but Cops is on and thats usually a laugh, but from 9:30-10 theres usually a bit of channel surfing. You never know what you will come across on Stratos, so thats ALWAYS worth a look. I dont care if they are repeats, I will still watch and still laugh. On a bit of a different note, I am VERY annoyed that there is no longer The Simpsons on at 5pm (or 6pm on that TV 3 channel thats an hour behind) I really couldnt give a rats a** if they are repeats, The Simpsons is at least a million times better than just about everything on TV.

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