Sometimes convention is just inertia. Something’s done a certain way just because that’s the way everyone else is doing it. And that’s an opportunity for a business willing to go against the grain.
Example: TBS’ use of “stacks” of programs (mentioned in this article). Running blocks of the same show helps the network stand out among the hundreds of cable channels out there.
On Mondays, for example, TBS fills the three-hour prime-time block from 8 to 11 p.m. with six reruns of “Family Guy.” On Tuesdays, it repeats the pattern with “The Office.” Wednesday is Tyler Perry night, with three hours of original comedies from that producer, who has a large following among black viewers.
“We kind of fly against the convention of traditional television,” Mr. Koonin said. “We don’t program horizontally, looking for shows that flow into one another. We program vertical stacks of programs.”
Clever. Anyone who’s sat down with a DVD of Family Guy, Mad Men, or Lost knows that watching multiple episodes in a row leads to a different type of viewing experience. We’ve all got that one friend who disappears for an entire weekend when a new season of 24 comes out on DVD.
So while every other networks assumes there’s just one “right” way to program, TBS has ignored convention and reached out to a different kind of viewer. Great example of zagging when everyone else is zigging. It’s working too: TBS is the No. 1 cable channel among viewers ages 18 to 34.