So this is a random thought, that is probably not consequential in any regard, but—how do networks decide which nights of the week are going to be their prime time slots? It seems that the popularity of sporting events, over general television shows, seems to obfuscate the prime time television slots.
My main example is Thursday nights. Thursday is a huge prime time night for ABC, with Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder all airing sequentially from 8:00pm through 11:00pm. In that same time slot, Thursday Night Football airs. TNF is marketed as prime time sporting television, but it directly conflicts with a huge network’s most popular shows.
What is the payoff in scheduling these television shows on specific nights, when sporting events thoroughly overshadow them in terms of ratings and popularity? Right now, the baseball playoffs completely knock television shows out of their normal slots, to make room for the games to be aired on live television (I’m not bitter).
Another example is shows which air on Monday nights. Any show which airs on Monday will have lesser ratings than a show that airs on Wednesday, due to Monday Night Football. This is extended to shows which air on Sundays because the NFL has a monopoly on all shows which air on Sunday. Basically the entire weekend’s worth of prime time television is taken up by football.
The article below highlights which shows in the last week were rated among the highest (in terms of millions of viewers). The very top shows Thursday Night Football and Football in America which is the Sunday night football game.
I think the way “prime time” is identified is very subjective, and not really efficient. There should be a day where no sports are aired, and we just watch plain old television. That night will be reserved for the best television shows, and for nobody else.