Do You Need the New Five-Show DVR?

On Oct. 11, DirecTV introduced the "Genie," a DVR that can record five TV shows at once. Who needs to record five TV programs at the same time? If anyone does, it would be THR's chief television critic Tim Goodman, who went looking for a day and a time slot on the fall schedule where a savvy viewer actually might find useful such a device …

If you like a lot of insanely bad series, this actually wouldn't be too difficult. You might be able to do it four or five times a week. But if you were looking for quality, it would be a lot harder. Nothing comes close on Mondays. But Tuesdays are interesting. Starting Oct. 23, the 9 p.m. hour will have both Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23 on ABC, while the same hour on Fox has New Girl and The Mindy Project. That's four good shows but only two time conflicts. If Go On gets better on NBC, that's your third 9 p.m. show -- still not five.

Some viewers might be able to make it happen on Thursdays, but not me. For one Friday only (Oct. 19), you could come very close in the 9 p.m. hour with Grimm (NBC), Fringe (Fox), Nikita (The CW) and the Boss season finale (Starz). That's four channels. You could complete the test with CSI: NY on CBS -- five channels -- but I wouldn't be moved to do so.

On Sundays, yes, it can be done. In the 9 p.m. block, you've got Boardwalk Empire (HBO), Dexter (Showtime), The Walking Dead (AMC), The Good Wife (CBS) -- those are the four I would watch, plus Sunday Night Football (NBC) on the East Coast -- but others easily could add a fifth show with Revenge (ABC) or even Family Guy and American Dad (Fox), making the Genie worth your money.