I'm from the UK, so I'm going to cite two examples here of things that baffle the hell out of me about the American approach to television.

1) Networks airing shows out of their intended running order.

This one's a real head-scratcher. Older io9ers may remember a show called American Gothic - a Deep South horror series. It starred Gary Cole as the (frankly terrifying) Sheriff Lucas Buck, who was either the Devil, or something pretty damn close, as he battled for control of the soul of a young boy named Caleb, against the ghost of Caleb's older sister, whose older neck the Sheriff snapped in the opening scene of the series (which scared the HELL out of me as a kid).

Them's murderin' eyes...

It was a series with a proper continuous storyline, not some sort of case-of-the-week thing, and it was dark, twisted and genuinely scary. A superb piece of television, especially for the era it was broadcast.


Yet, for whatever reason, the network execs decided to broadcast the episodes out of sequence. Viewers turned off in their droves as they understandably failed to follow the storyline, and the series was sadly cancelled (on a great cliffhanger) at the end of the first season before it had the chance to shine.

I love you this week, saucy robo-man! But just you wait!

I notice they're doing the same thing with Almost Human now, which means one week Kennex has bonded and grown closer to his android sidekick, Dorian, only for the next episode to have them acting like they've just met and cynical suspicion being the order of the day. It's jarring, it's stupid and it does nothing for the viewing audiences.


Why do they do this?

2) The random scheduling of the next episode...

Ok, you have a fantastic show, it's got fans and viewers turning on in their droves, it's a goldmine of joy and a huge success. We're eleven episodes into the series and it's ticking along at a great pace. Uh-oh! Trouble ahead! What's going to happen? Tune in same Bat-time, same Bat-Channel in whatever number of weeks the random number generator has given us for the next episode. Let's say 4? And then we'll show 2 more episodes, then break for a month. Yeah, let's do that!


Are you with me or Jack this week?

In the meantime, let's show some repeats of the same show in the same timeslot, so that anyone casually tuning in will be completely baffled as to what in the blue hell is actually going on, and why Kate doesn't know who Ben is anymore!


There's daddy's little scheduling app!

Person of Interest is a good recent example. It ran for a while, smoothly, then we had an episode on November 26, then randomly on December 17, then back running again on January 7. Lots of people will have no idea about the one in the middle, as it's so arbitrary that we may as well schedule it for zerg past floffleteen on the 37th of Bonuary! Yay confusion!


This also seems to have mutated into another monster, the mid-season finale, which is apparently an actual thing now, too?

Why do they do this?

3) Your turn!

There must be some utterly insane stuff other countries' networks do that confuse the bejeebus out of you? Shout it out, boys and girls and androgynous robots!