Mandi Bierly
January 04, 2008 AT 12:00 PM EST

So I’m reading this piece on about how Disney Channel edged out USA for the title of 2007’s top-ranked cable network by roughly 15,000 High School Musical fans viewers. I get to the lists of the Top 10 cable nets in total viewers (in order: Disney, USA, TNT, ESPN, TBS, Lifetime, Fox News Channel, A&E, Cartoon Network, and Nick at Nite) and in the 18-49 demo during prime time (USA, TBS, TNT, ESPN, FX, Discovery, Spike TV, A&E, Comedy Central, and MTV). Because I like to torture myself, I suddenly think: What if I could only have five cable channels. Which ones would I choose? After much “I’ll never see another Rocky marathon on Spike? Another ABC Family original?” whining on IM to Slezak*, I came up with the following:
• Bravo: I need Project Runway.
• USA: New episodes of Psych and Monk start Jan. 11, so that’s good. I also get Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order: SVU repeats — score.
• TBS: Saturday mornings just wouldn’t be the same without Movie and a Makeover, especially when Ghost (Jan. 5) and Housesitter (Jan. 12) are on this month’s schedule.
• VERSUS: I can get NASCAR and some college football on the broadcast networks, so the only other sport I truly need is the PBR (Professional Bull Riders).
• Discovery: If I hadn’t made that stupid New Year’s Resolution, this would read Comedy Central. I guess I’d finally have to make friends with my neighbors so that I could visit them every night at 11. And when there’s a new episode of Reno 911! (Jan. 16!) and South Park.

Your turn. Name your networks, and be sure to include how long you debated. Me? On-and-off for an hour.

*Slezak’s picks: TVG (Television Games Network, his “horse racing channel’), HGTV, Food Network, HBO, and Bravo. He’ll get BBC World News on PBS and visit someone with TNT for holiday Law & Order marathons.

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