i have to admit i have tv shows that i am addicted to. west wing, lost and house spring to mind. there are other shows i enjoy but am not addicted to and really don't care if i see them or not. however, watching dick clark on new year's eve and the appalling short nye coverage got me to thinking.
when i was a kid, back before betas or vcrs or dvds or dvrs or you know, anything but the basic three channels, certain tv shows were major events.
the academy awards were huge. (i know some people are still major fans but i haven't watched one of these in more than a decade i'm sure). but as a kid--i was enthralled w/ them. i rarely had seen all or even any of the movies nominated, but i loved the ceremony, the acceptance speeches (you know, back when they let actors ramble on regardless).
other television shows/movies that were annual events---the ten commandments; the wizard of oz; miss america pageant (tho i totally loathe this whole idea now, we watched them every year. the hubs mentioned miss universe and why was it named that and not miss earth because it's not like you saw any martians or saturnians as contestants. good point.) new year's eve w/ dick clark was a huge deal, as was the macy's thanksgiving day parade and the charlie brown christmas special (hell, all of the peanuts holiday shows plus all the bass & rankin christmas shows).
perhaps i'm sounding like an old lady now (truly, i'm only 40) and in the big picture of life the fact that tv shows held such importance might be kind of sad, but i look back on these shows with nostalgia.