Do we in Northern Ireland expect too much from television? Or is it that we have come to expect too little?
These related questions crossed my mind when I read a Belfast Telegraph editorial written by a clearly exasperated leader writer who wanted to see Have I Got News For You and the Jonathan Ross Show on the BBC1 network.
Instead the Friday Show, hosted by Eamonn Holmes and Rachel Tucker, was being screened from Broadcasting House in Belfast for viewers in our area. The supplanted network shows were pushed into later viewing - 'time-shifting' as it is known.
Was this a good piece of scheduling by the BBC planners? The answer depends partly on whether they have judged correctly what you - their esteemed viewers - want. But it also depends on viewer expectations.
The problem in a nutshell is that viewers generally do want local programmes at decent times while expecting to see their network programmes, particularly the high-profile ones, at their normal times. Doing both is often impossible.
We should remember that the TV shows on network that particular evening (Mr Ross et al) were not denied to viewers here. They were merely moved to nearer bedtime. Perhaps past bedtime.
If you really wanted to see those network shows as the rest of the country was seeing them, then substituting any other programme becomes an annoyance. Expectations have been thwarted.
The viewer annoyance is compounded when the inserted local programme does not appeal.
I looked at the Friday Show. It was not a bad offering. A typical chat and entertainment show which began with nervous over-scripted banter from the two presenters, but which eventually settled down. It had reasonably high production values.
I've certainly seen much worse on local screens.
However, from viewing figures I've had sight of, it was not an immediate hit. That said, shows like this can take time to build an audience and there is sufficient promise in the Friday Show for BBC programme mandarins to stick to their guns.
Making programmes - local or national or network - demands certain skills. Scheduling them demands another skillset and I have come to believe that local TV schedulers are like military police - they suffer from having enemies on both sides. Not only are they are ranged against the schedulers of every other TV channel, they are also reviled by the schedulers of their own network service based in London.
I suspect, from experience, that the BBC 1 schedulers in London, scheduling against ITV, regard the insertion of local programming by yokels in far off places like Cardiff, Glasgow and Belfast as an act of officially-sanctioned sabotage of their carefully crafted, aggressive succession of programmes.
It means little to them that research actually has shown that local non-news BBC programmes outperformed network on BBC1 by a 5% share. (ITV schedulers in London probably think the same about UTV schedulers, by the way.)
There ought to be 'holes' in the network schedule for ample local and regional programming, such as that provided for early-evening news programming on both UTV and BBC - times when nothing is provided from network, allowing every region to do its own thing.
But that only works if every region up and down the country can fill the hole - and they all cannot do that - except for those protected regional news magazine slots.
So when somewhere like BBC Northern Ireland does what it is supposed to do and makes various other local programmes, it has to create its own 'holes' in the network schedule for them by supplanting and time-shifting network - and that causes problems.
The local programmers and schedulers should not be put in the position. When they are given the duty, as they have, of making local programmes, they should also be given attractive slots in the network schedule to broadcast them.
But that is to ask for an ideal world and in our London-centric country we aren't going to get that. So what then is the answer for those rejecting the local offering?
Part of the solution lies in satellite broadcasting, whether Freesat or Sky.
If you receive on satellite and want the network offering, you can select ITV or BBC as it is seen in London. Part of the answer is to record the time-shifted network offering and play it back when you want.
Part of the answer is for viewers to look at the network offering online through catch-up players like iPlayer or the UTV/ITV equivalent.
But also part of the answer is for the broadcasters to offer local programming which viewers in overwhelming numbers actually prefer to the network alternative.
It can be done. The local BBC drama 'faction' Scapegoat, about the murder of Judge Curran's daughter, time-shifted David Attenborough's Life to 10.35 pm. I am guessing that this was acceptable because Scapegoat was such good viewing.
UTV has fared better in resolving this conflict. They don't have slots in the ITV network either for their local offerings, but many of their programmes are indisputably preferred to ITV.
UTV Live is the most-watched regional news in the whole of the UK - not just the ITV network - and Lesser Spotted Ulster and Ultimate Ulster are the most watched regional programmes in the whole of the ITV network. So no complaints. But remember, UTV makes fewer local programmes than BBC Northern Ireland.
However, this debate is masking one that should be taking place. There is no unfixable problem relating to local programmes, but there is a big one about how Northern Ireland is being represented on the networks to the rest of the UK.
BBC represents us with some drama and a few other bits and pieces. On ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, the main commercial channels, there was absolutely nothing last year from Northern Ireland about Northern Ireland.
Scapegoat should have been a UK-wide programme; its themes were universal. But network didn't want it. Except for some news, we are being largely forgotten and sidelined by the rest of the country.