Well, I have a VCR, but don’t use it much. Tapes are expensive and the thing likes to eat them. I don’t have cable either. But, Curwin, you’ve got it right in your OP. If there’s a show I want to watch, I’ve got to make sure I’m home to watch it, and I’m really grateful for commercials. It really doesn’t bother me.
Another point about reruns - until fairly recently, the viewer could not count on an episode being rerun later in the season, unlike the situation today.
For example in its first season ('61 / '62), “The Dick Van Dyke Show” broadcast 30 episodes; in the last season ('64 / '66), 31 episodes were broadcast. MAS*H broadcast 24 episodes in the '72 / '73 season and 20 episodes in the '81 / '82 season.