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?
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.
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.