Ordinary language is all right.
One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.
When people on TV watch TV, they watch the news; and the news is about them.
They don't actually watch it; they turn it on, and see a report, and then turn it off.
(… a juggernautish quality…)
Grammatical remarks seem to ask for expression in the present tense. But suppose you want to make grammatical remarks about, say, watching television. What we say about watching television, and what we mean by what we say. A present tense remark would fail to acknowledge that television's moment has passed, that that's not how it works, that's not what we (have to) do. A past tense remark renders it too distant, makes it seem as if history is being recounted, while somehow omitting the particular kinds of historically contingent necessities one means to call attention to in making grammatical remarks.
—Other things air, or run.
You have to catch them, or catch them again, or later, or miss them.
Or tune them out, ignore them.
If there's a show on TV, or a program, or a broadcast, that's just where it is; but when movies are on they're on TV—being shown.
Why aren't police procedurals mysteries?
Reruns are barely a reality now.
It has to be part of the grammar of television, as a form of art, that a show can be ruined before the end of its run.
You know who seem not to know a damn thing about reading, is poets, that's who.