Grand Theft Auto IV introduced the ability to watch television shows in most safehouses, although this feature is largely useless in actual gameplay and, like radio stations, is more of a minor feature used to pass time and to round out the fictional world of GTA.
Each television allows the player to watch up to 2 television networks (Weazel & CNT); however, the channels are not numbered, so finding a show is more or less coincidental. Most of the shows are running time-shifted, so while "I'm Rich" may be almost over on one channel, for example, it may just start on another.
The feature is carried over to its episodic titles, including The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, with new shows and advertising added in. However, depending on whether the player opted for downloading episodic DLC or obtaining Episodes from Liberty City, the availability of shows and ads from GTA IV in both episodic titles, like radio stations, varies between DLCs and Episodes from Liberty City:
- In DLCs, existing programming and advertising from GTA IV and a DLC purchased earlier will be present in the new episodic title, and vice versa.
- In EFLC, only programming and advertising from TLAD and TBOGT will be available in both episodic titles, as much of GTA IV's content is not included in the stand-alone compilation.
While there is one television for each safehouse in GTA IV, the player can only watch TV at the Lost MC Clubhouse in The Lost and Damned until "Get Lost", to which point the player has no legal means of watching television; in The Ballad of Gay Tony, one TV is available in Luis' safehouse.
GTA IV alludes that two other television networks, CCC and X, exist in the in-game universe, but are unviewable.
- Split Sides (both Ricky Gervais and Katt Williams).
- Republican Space Rangers (Episode 6 is added in TLAD).
- Venturas Poker Challenge.
- Weazel News Parody of fox news (Special report on the Motorcycle Menace) (TLAD).
- I'm Rich.
- The Serrated Edge.
- Princess Robot Bubblegum (TBOGT).
- A History of Liberty City. The program comes in two parts: Part I in GTA IV, and Part II in TLAD and TBOGT.
- Most of the commercials and shows appear to be made when the game was in it's beta stages.
- Some of the shows and commercial contain clips from previous Rockstar games, such as, GTA San Andreas, Bully, and Red Dead Revolver.
- There is a glitch in The Lost and Damned that allows you to watch the TV even after the end of the game. Take a helicopter and land on the roof of Lost MC Clubhouse. Walk around to where the TV would be inside just under the roof, and you will be prompted to watch the TV. If you do this there is only 2 ways to get outside of the clubhouse: kill yourself, or reload an old save file. This glitch is fixed on Episodes from Liberty City.
- Another way to watch TV in both the episodes and the main game if you haven't unlocked the Bohan safehouse. First you must travel over to Niko's Bohan safehouse. The front door will be locked and can't be opened but you can walk to the back entrance to enter the building into the safehouse and watch TV at any time.
- The ability to watch TV within the game you are playing on your TV was mocked by Volition, the developers of the Saints Row series in this commercial for Saints Row 2.
- The ability to watch TV returns in Grand Theft Auto V, and plays a role in a specific mission. Michael De Santa is also commonly found watching TV during cutscenes or after switching characters, and can watch TV under the player's control as well.