Trees_116The potential length of the WGA walkout has created an unwritten category for TiVo owners: strike rations.

Those are the shows that you programmed with a Season Pass during more optimistic times but stopped feeling compelled to make time for. Normally, they build up until — depending on the size of your DVR — there’s a festering (5) or (10) next to the show’s episode count, or TiVo deletes them to make room for new programming.

But the possible shortfall of first-rate, first-run TV during the WGA strike is compelling many of us to pay closer attention to hanging onto the would-be discards.  Just as an example, here some the strike rations I may be turning to for sustenance:

"Men in Trees": After watching every episode in its first season and feeling it slip as it progressed, I put off returning to "Trees" this year.  But they’re there on the TiVo, waiting to fill a light drama hole.

Earl_116"My Name Is Earl": An example of a comedy that rarely makes me laugh out loud but is mostly pleasant. I tend to watch these in bunches anyway.

"Reaper": One of my favorite 2007-08 pilots fell into "I’ll watch it when I have time" status after about three or four episodes. I still like the characters and the energy, so I actually look forward to checking it out again.

The strike will also preserve some Season Passes for shows that I’ve been watching more out of compulsion than actual joy, such as "Heroes." But for those looking for a silver lining in the strike, revisiting past favorites could be the ticket.

— Jon Weisman

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