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Cable Programming

The TV Binge to End All TV Binges

@johnsolit

March 20, 2013

Starting on March 25th and ending seven glorious days later on March 31st, I may try to watch more consecutive hours of television than most people watch in a month.

Why?  Because my local cable provider, Comcast is hosting Watchathon Week – a seven-day video on demand bonanza offering Xfinity customers over 3,500 TV episodes from 30 different networks for FREE! That’s everything from Duck Dynasty and Game of Thrones to Mad Men and Psych. We’re getting it all – full seasons, old and new, whether you subscribe to the channel or not.

This specific promotion is for Comcast customers only, but many cable providers offer thousands of hours of year-round binging options through on-demand services.  And cable networks often run full-season “catch up” binges so you can get caught up before the next season premieres.

As Maggie Suniewick, VP of Video Services at Comcast Cable said, this “will be the biggest catch-up ever in TV history.” And she should know – cable for years has offered TV binge viewing – with Video-on-Demand and extended weekend marathons – well before it became the latest pop culture fad.

In fact, Watchathon Week has the potential to be the ultimate TV binge of all time. According to The Guinness Book of World Records, the record for the longest TV watching marathon of all time was set last February with a staggering 86 hours and 37 minutes.  There’s plenty of time during Watchathon Week to knock “Hold a Guinness World Record” off your bucket list.

But for me, this isn’t only about quantity – it’s about quality. So my plan is to watch as much of best television ever created as I possibly can. I’m going to watch season four of The Wire in one streak.  And when that’s done, I’m going to watch season six of The Sporanos. Based on these seasons (arguably these shows best seasons) I will determine once and for all who best “can’t-tell-if-you’re-a-good-guy-or-a-bad-guy” TV character of all time is: Omar or Tony.

And then to lighten the mood, I’m going to watch Archer. I’ve never watched a single episode, but trusted friends tell me it’s a can’t miss for fans of cartoons, and spoof comedy.  When that’s done, I’m going to watch Curb Your Enthusiasm until Larry David makes me so uncomfortable that I have to turn the TV off.

When my TV screen is melting, my eyes are bloodshot, and my shirt is caked in Dorito dust, I will have watched some of the greatest TV ever made.

Enjoy, take all necessary safety precautions, and let us know what you’re planning to watch.