Miss your favourite shows? Check out these great alternatives

It’s a strike that could drag on for a long time. Members of the Writers Guild of America are off the job and seem determined to stay that way until they get a piece of the revenue pie whenever something they have written is downloaded from the Internet. At this point Hollywood producers TV networks and film studios aren’t willing to cut them in.

The impact of the writers strike on the average TV viewer is light. The fallout is that we’re currently unable to see many of our favourite celebs shamelessly pitching their latest movie or book since all the late-night talk shows are running rebroadcasts. I recently stumbled into a vintage Tonight Show on which host Jay Leno’s hair was salt-and-pepper instead of its current all-grey status. It gave me great the-universe-unfolds-as-it-should comfort to see that Leno was just as unfunny all those years ago.

Things could get very bleak for couch potatoes if the Hollywood writers strike drags on resulting in no new episodes of all of the big U.S. network drama and comedy series. I suggest you start seeking out your alternative viewing choices now. Move up your channel menu past ABC FOX NBC and CBS and take a gander at some of the specialty network shows you’ve never watched before.

Channel surf over to A&E and check out the spooky new reality series Paranormal State . This half-hour show features a group of young attractive Penn State university students who spend their off hours hunting ghosts under the banner of the Paranormal Research Society (PRS). What really makes this program work is PRS team leader Ryan Buell. He’s a smart compassionate young man who reportedly had his first brushes with the paranormal at a very young age. When Buell speaks of demons possessions and other out-there subject matter he is so earnest it’s hard for even the hardened skeptic to doubt his convictions.

Two other reasons to seek out A&E on your cable or satellite tuner are the true crime series American Justice and Cold Case Files . These real-life tales of murder and other violent crimes are far more compelling than even the best episodes of CSI Criminal Minds and all the other procedural cop drama shows out there.

My choice for the best specialty network for escaping the no-new-episodes of The Office Ugly Betty or Heroes blues is the Discovery Channel. While my favourite Discovery Channel show the artic crab fishing reality series Deadliest Catch is currently not airing there are many other entertaining things to watch.

Want something creepy? Tune into A Haunting featuring dramatic re-creations of real ghostly events. Something fun? Try Dirty Jobs where affable and adventurous host Mike Rowe takes on such undesirable gigs as sewer inspector horse inseminator and hot tar roofer. Looking for something to make you feel better about your motoring skills? Enjoy Canada’s Worst Driver in which previously licensed Canadians get behind the wheel for a number of road challenges and manage to scrape nudge and smash into all sorts of stationary objects while scaring the crap out of their passengers.

Who needs new episodes of Desperate Housewives ? There’s a dude on the tube that drives so badly you’d think he’d never seen a car before!