Information Diet: Busy Philipps

The 'Cougar Town' and 'Freaks and Geeks' star watches lots of TV

Adweek: What’s the first information you consume in the morning?
Busy Philipps: I have a 2-and-a-half-year old, so generally speaking, I don’t get any news until I’m not with her, which tends to be when I get in the car.

What do you read or watch or listen to at the breakfast table?
If anything, it’s Go, Diego, Go! on Nick Jr., or princess music.

What occupies your mind in the car, on the subway, train, or bus?
I listen to NPR in the car, which is how I get my news. But here in Los Angeles we have KCRW, and between 9 and 12, they just play music. There are days where I can go until late afternoon without hearing anything that’s going on in the world.

Are you a TV junkie, or on an airtime-restricted diet?
We watch a ton of TV in our house. You know that Malcolm Gladwell theory that you have to do something for 10,000 hours before you become an expert? Well, we were recently joking that my husband is a TV expert, and I’m close behind him.

If you’re a couch potato, what do you watch, and how: TV, laptop, or tablet?
My husband and I try to stay with “classy reality” shows like Amazing Race or competition shows Project Runway and Top Chef, and we watch a lot of NBC comedies like 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and Community. We just started watching The Killing on AMC, and I watch Men of a Certain Age. And Cougar Town, of course! We always watch shows on our television, but we have rules about my laptop use when we’re watching, because my husband hates to go back and explain things that I’ve missed. So if it’s reality TV, I’m allowed to use my laptop, but if it’s scripted television, I’m not.

Before bed, do you: Bite into a novel; graze on Twitter; or fast until morning?
Almost every night I watch HGTV’s House Hunters, Property Virgins or Income Property before bed. I have to fall asleep to something. What I watch is cyclical: for a while it was Friends, then Seinfeld, then The Daily Show, and now I’m on this HGTV kick. I can’t get enough.

Which is more nutritious: print or Web?
I tend to get my news online, but when something really big is going on in the world, I will turn on the TV.

Give us the skinny on your favorite app.
The one I use the most on my iPhone is the free Twitter app. On the iPad, my daughter loves these stupid talking animal apps that I can’t stand. She’s been using an iPad for almost a year. It’s super kid-friendly.

What’s your biggest digital indulgence?
I do tweet. I wouldn’t say I tweet a lot, but I do it.

With such a bloated media universe, how do you cut out the fat?
Word of mouth. I trust my smarter friends and husband to help me choose what to follow.