We get our news from the web and social media; we watch what we want, when we want, with or without ads, thanks to streaming, satellite, cable and clever recording machines.
Some programmes - Coronation Street is certainly one - remain a feature of millions of people's lives. So it's understandable that tabloids use the shorthand "Corrie Kev, Corrie Ken, Corrie Rita" when writing about events in real life, even though most fans are likely as familiar with the actors' names as with the characters they play.
It's partly about quick identification and partly about the count, which is why we get "Corrie Kym" (actress), rather than "Corrie Michelle" (character) and why Michael Le Vell was "Le Vell" in a Mirror heading one day last year and "Corrie Kev" the next.*
This habit of regarding real and fictional names as interchangeable does, however, grate when the story is about a court case or even an actor's death.
Take a look at the first two splash headings below. Are they appropriate?
The Mail is besotted with her. When she's not on the front, she's in the feature pages: "We've lost the art of chivalry, says Downton's Lady Mary";
"Donwnton's Lady Mary: corsets stop you slacking"
Downton, like Coronation Street, enjoys an audience of some seven or eight million, so let's cut the subs some slack there.
The Telegraph meanwhile has a photograph of the actor Mark Rylance at a film premiere under the headline "What's Thomas Cromwell plotting now?" Very little, I should imagine, since Cromwell was beheaded 475 years ago.
There comes a point when it's time to grow up and rejoin the real world.