When I was a wee lad, the TV Guide used to put a little "(R)" next to program listings that represented repeats. Anything without the mark was brand, spanking new.
These days, it seems that the listings indicate non-repeats with "(N)" or "(New)", and no mark indicates a repeat.
The old method implied, justly, that there was "something wrong" with the old episodes; they were substandard, singled out as pariahs of the VHF set. Well, maybe not, but they certainly weren't as cool.
The new method indicates that repeats are the norm, and that we should be excited -- nay, ecstatic! -- by the airing of an episode which hasn't been recycled four times this season already.
The new method also serves as an indicator of the quality of today's programming, and the dedication to the consumer of today's networks. "If you haven't seen it, it's new to you!" indeed.
The two methods together demonstrate why the only things I tune in to regularly these days are Red Sox games. Go Sox! 162 new episodes per season!