Before heading on vacation, I got into a Twitter exchange with Maureen Ryan over whether we’d pick HBO or Showtime if we could take only one. (My pick: HBO if the choice were for all time, Showtime [for Nurse Jackie] if it were this summer only.)
It’s a fun, often-asked question, but it also got me thinking. We’re getting to the point where basic-cable channels, like AMC and FX, are producing enough great programming that they compete with HBO and Showtime in their own right. Suppose you could buy cable channels a la carte (as some consumer groups have been trying to get cable companies to allow): which would you buy?
In fact, let’s make it more interesting: If you were limited to ten basic cable channels only (no premium channels), which would you get?
I’m thinking, in no particular order: AMC, FX, Bravo, CNN, HGTV, BBC America, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network / Adult Swim, MTV, Discovery. Although the kids would probably insist on Boomerang. Or Nickelodeon. And SyFy is eventually going to make a series I really like again, I hope. And I might actually like Fine Living better than HGTV. And… OK, I need to get back to you on this.