Why is 7pm not "prime time"?

There are now a couple of “surprize” hits at 7pm.
First Jon Stewart’s repeat of the night before, which got so much viewership they had to “leverage” the audience and now run Conan O’Brian from the night before.

But there is no cometition for new shows in that slot.
Why not? Who decreed that people only want reruns and news before 8?

Not here in the Central Time Zone! For us, all the big shows start at 7 and end by 10 for the nightly news and reruns of The Simpsons, Seinfeld, etc.

It’s really nice because I can watch the prime time shows, catch some news and even throw in some Seinfeld and still be in bed by 11.

Back in my day …

Prime time started at 7:30 E/P (6:30 C/M), 'cept Sunday. In the '70s the FCC decreed that the networks were to give back a half hour of this to the local stations. 'cept Sunday. The goal was to increase the amount of local programming shown. Instead we get more re-runs and game shows. Yet another failed experiment at making TV worthwhile.

Note that a network has to get an exemption from the FCC for anything that runs outside of the new “prime time” slot. While some things like the Oscars are exempted, recent network requests for things like Bond movies have been rejected.

At Arizona time all big shows start at 7 and are over by 9 or 10. We start watching TV at six, actually, but there aren’t any new shows then.

('Course, then, when Daylight Savings Time starts and ends, for non-local channels we have to adjust by an hour. Sigh.)

I grew up in Central Time and, indeed, “prime time” began at 7:00 pm. I’ve lived in Eastern Time for about 3 months now, where “prime time” now begins at 8:00 pm. I go to bed fairly early (that is to say, I stop all TV watching and go to bed and read at ~10:00), so much of my former viewing has been truncated.

The standard reaction amongst life-long Eastern Timers seems to be that it is absurd for Prime Time to start at 7:00 and of course they stay up to start watching (for example) Saturday Night Live or David Letterman at 11:30, whereas I will probably not see either of these programs again for a long time!

I don’t mind; it simply means that if I have to go to a late meeting or event, I’m now home in time for Survivor!

I grew up in the ETZ and now I’m in the CTZ. I have to admit, I like central times much better. Count me in the early (relatively) to bed club. I have a hard time staying up for Monk on friday night (9-10 on USA). Most of the time I’m done with the telly by 9 or even 8.

Of course, this will all change when Hockey season is really under way, but that has nothing to do with prime time. :slight_smile: