When television came into the scene, the network owners more or less
followed the same time-tested formula. Only this time, the number of
categories was almost doubled because there was an important detail
added to the medium – the visual element.
One of the biggest
come-ons for watching free TV shows is the availability of several
varieties of these free shows. Each category is designed to cater to
Here are some of the more popular and important ones.
in the early days of TV, broadcasting the news was of paramount
importance. Prestige and the continuing reputation of networks depended
largely on how they handle and disseminate the news. This time, they
are spiced with the added moving visuals in contrast to photo stills in
newspapers and simple descriptive narrations in radio broadcasts.
TV Serials And Series
are drama stories that vary each week but headlined by the same group
of characters. The featured stories or situations could be on specific
locales (hospital dramas) or occupations (police action-dramas).
are continuing stories of a group of characters, where each week’s
episode picks up the narrative thread left off from the preceding week.
This is not a popular primetime format in the U.S. right now, except in
daytime soap operas. (Soap operas got their nickname because they were
largely sponsored in the early days by soap manufacturers.)
variety is the miniseries, a continuing story aired on limited number
of episodes. The more notable successes were Rich Man Poor Man and
These are basically comedy
shows headlined by comic actors in comic stories about everyday lives.
The characters in these 30-minute-long shows usually deal with odd,
uncomfortable and mostly comic situations.
the term implies, a special is an important one-time show aired with
much fanfare and can interrupt or temporarily replace any regular
They can be a big movie, a documentary, a musical event,
an awards show like the Oscars, a live event like a presidential
oath-taking, a big sporting event, or coverage of an important cultural
These are shows where
people talk about various topics initiated by the host. Sometimes, they
feature a panel of guests to help discuss the issues at hand. Another
feature is the taking in of live phone calls from viewers.
shows can also be comic all throughout, with comedy hosts and celebrity
guests talking about current entertainment issues or about the guest
are popular shows usually shown on daytime where there is a real
contest with big prizes and rewards. To spice up the games, celebrities
are sometimes included as players either playing against themselves or
against ordinary contestants. (Spelling Bee was the first TV game show.)
relatively new show concept is supposedly unscripted and unrehearsed.
They feature non-actors interacting with one another, dealing with
invented challenges (like ‘surviving’ in an island), or competing
against each other for some rewards (affection of another person, big
money, etc.) They usually emphasize interpersonal conflicts and the
varying emotions of the participants and the resulting “real-life
Today, there also
exist the so-called specialty stations or channels whose programs cater
to a specialized group of audience. Examples would be cable stations
like Animal Planet, Nickelodeon, National Geographic, ESPN, Discovery
For the average viewer, these are bonanza days of
viewing free TV shows. You can pick and watch any program you like at
any hour of the day, seven days a week. Unfortunately, one has to live
one’s life as well – eat, sleep, and work.
Boris C. has been writing articles for 2 years. He specializes in various topics. Come visit his latest website about unscented pillar candles and read his latest post about soy candles wholesale