Snowstorm viewing: What's your best story?

It doesn’t take Nielsen figures to guess that TV viewership increases when snowstorms hit areas of the country that aren’t used to it, but it’s nice that they confirm it. Pat McDonough, Nielsen’s senior vice president for insight and analysis, tells the Associated Press that the Jan. 10-13 storm, which blanketed a large section of the country including areas of the South, had a bigger impact on TV ratings than any other in recent history. Total viewership was up 8 percent compared to the same days in 2010. With schools closed, it’s no surprise the ages 2 to 11 and teenager demos saw big jumps — 18 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

As much of the country is buried again now, let’s share our best snowstorm viewing stories: Was there a show you got hooked on during a snowstorm? Was there a show you can’t believe you actually watched during a snowstorm? Have you done something insane during a snowstorm because you were desperate for at-home entertainment?

I remember back in 2004, I was with two friends in Cape May, New Jersey during an ice storm. The house we were at didn’t have cable, but it had a VCR, and I had brought VHS screeners of I Want to Marry Ryan Banks starring Bradley Cooper, Jason Priestley, and Emma Caulfield (still my favorite ABC Family original movie) and an upcoming episode of Chappelle’s Show (the one with The Racial Draft). Well, I think we watched Chappelle’s Show first, and the tape got stuck in the VCR. We had no business being on the road, but we were that desperate to watch I Want to Marry Ryan Banks that we drove to Blockbuster and had some high school kid help us get it out. (Pretty nice of him, looking back.)

Your turn. Can you top that?


Comments (36 total) Add your comment
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  • J

    Many, many episodes of Jerseylicious. That’s what got me hooked!

  • Cory

    I watched “30 Days of Night” during a blizzard at night by myself. In hindsight, I’m think that the reason I was so terrified was because of the frighteningly coincidental circumstances under which I watched the movie because the next time I watched it (when there was not a blizzard occurring), it wasn’t scary in the slightest.

  • Marie

    It didn’t snow anywhere near where I am living, so I got to go frolicking outside on our fake/man made hills.

    • Dalia

      Lucky!!! I’m so over this snow thing. My favorite snowed in memory was my junior year of college when we got an ice storm and my entire dorm gathered to watch the Mighty Ducks. We ordered Chinese food and tipped the delivery guy like 50% for braving the ice storm to get to us.

  • Laura

    I started watching a “Celebrity Rehab” marathon while sick with the flu one winter. It was mighty entertaining then, but I’ve never been tempted to watch it since.

  • Melissa

    In last year’s DC Snowmageddon, we caught up on ALL FIVE SEASONS of LOST that had aired so far. We watched the first and fifth seasons in their entirety, and many, many episodes of the other seasons. We relied on back issues of EW (including last year’s pre-season-6 LOST issue) to help us figure out the must-see episodes of seasons 2-4.

    I feel a surge of pride just thinking about it. It’s my greatest accomplishment as a TV viewer.

  • Caiti

    I watched all of Ally McBeal in an embarrassingly short amount of time.

  • Diana

    Lost. In 2004 I refused to watch a show about a plane that crashed on an island until a coworker who was obsessed with it, let me borrow the first 13 episodes on VHS because we were due for a blizzard that weekend. Needless to say those 13 episodes made me a Lostie through the entire series. I still love you Sawyer!

  • Jeff

    This has been the winter of Dexter. Two seasons on streaming Netflix, two seasons rented from the video store, and one season on Showtime On Demand that my building suddenly (and legally) has. Sixty episodes. I’d kill for more!

  • Brandi

    Yesterday was my birthday and unfortunately I was snowed in. So, I watched seasons 1 and 2 of U.K. Skins. I. AM. HOOKED.

    • Audrey

      Seasons One and Two: Amazing. Three: Not so much. American version: teh suck.

      • Brandi

        I’m addicted to the first generation, that’s why I’m a little skeptical to continue with the second generation. And yes, I totally agree about the American version. It was horrible and I have no idea why everyone is getting in such a tizzy over it. Seriously, if they watched the U.K. Skins, it would make an episode of the American Skins look like an episode of Gossip Girl.

  • Ktct

    In South Eastern Connecticut, we have over 30 inches on the ground. As a mom of three boys, we are loving ESPN!! But once the kids are asleep, I am addicted to Without a Trace re-runs.

  • Meli

    I’d like to agree with your story, but when the snow and ice storm hit Atlanta a couple of weeks ago, the local TV stations ran nothing but local TV news coverage all day, every single day. There are only a few ways you can say ‘if you don’t have to be out driving, don’t.’, but you wouldn’t know it from the network affiliates.

  • copykat

    I live in Washington, D.C., so during one of the many snowstorms we had last year I stumbled across what turned out to be the pilot episode of Supernatural. I don’t really care for science fiction, but I got sucked in anyway and wound up ordering the whole series on Netflix.

  • Rusty Shackelford

    Watching that new show Perfect Couples for the first time. OMG, such a horrible, horrible show. It’s making my head hurt

  • tvaddict

    Pretty Little Liars marathon and season 1 of Community on dvd. Also, planning an every episode of Buffy/Angel marathon

  • melissa

    Over the four-day weekend this January (MLK weekend), I watched every single episode of Community. I’m obsessed with that show now!

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