Fear the Sun! What Will Daylight Saving Time Do To Your Favorite Show's Ratings?

Categories: Broadcast TV,TV Ratings Reference

Written By

March 6th, 2013

With the advent of Daylight Saving Time at 2am Sunday, expect to see early primetime TV ratings get a haircut next week as people stay away from home a bit later in the evenings.

In 2012, the first Monday after DST saw 6.8% fewer adults 18-49 watching TV in the 8pm hour, and 2.4% fewer adults 18-49 watching TV in the 9pm hour than the previous (standard time) Monday.

Was it all due to Daylight Saving Time? Your guess is good as mine.

Will that excuse save your show? Or is it futile Fan Excuse Bingo? Only time will tell.

First Monday AFTER DST (3/12/12) - Daylight Saving Time
Portion of Adults 18-49 watching TV at 8pm: 34.5%
Portion of Adults 18-49 watching TV at 9pm: 40.1%

Last Monday BEFORE DST (3/5/12) - Standard Time
Portion of Adults 18-49 watching TV at 8pm: 37.0%
Portion of Adults 18-49 watching TV at 9pm: 41.1%

  • Richard Steven Hack

    And again, it is NOT an “either-or” situation! Why people insist on arguing for one effect vs another when it is obvious that ALL circumstances have a cumulative effect is beyond me.

    And it’s damn hard to pick the one that has the MOST effect.

    I still say show quality is a big part of that, but that effect is ALSO “disproportionately applied”. Some shows that are total crap do well (for a while at least) while other quality shows may decline for no known reason.

  • iggy

    The year-to-year declines should be more brutal than last year. Sunday is already bleeding out.

  • Fake Me Out


    Scratch ’em

  • Networkman

    I’m really concerned for alot of the network broadcast TV shows. I wish the networks could begin to end the season in March instead of May. Anyways, Revolution will see alot of decline. In the promo, it showed that the electricity was turned back on. Well, I believe that having no power was the main premise that attracted viewers to the show. I can see the show pulling in 1.8-2.2 and NBC will renew it for a second season.

  • scifi

    Please 1.8 or 1.9 for OUAT!

  • andri

    Daylight savings?smash and body of proof cancellation bearing already.smash belonged on the Internet any way.waylay waylaid Carrie diaries buried

  • Michael1

    How does Daylight Saving Time affect TV in Arizona? If they don’t change their clocks, I would think that it would move them from the Mountain to Pacific, but wouldn’t that shift network TV by 2 hours? For example, “The Big Bang Theory” airs at 7pm Mountain time on Thursday Nights, and 8pm Pacific. So, this week, Arizonans will be watching it at 7 pm, and next week, it will move to 8 pm, which is actually 9 pm. And it’s reversed in October? Can someone in Arizona tell me how it all works?

  • Michael1

    It sounds as though Arizona becomes its own time zone for TV purposes. Even though it technically becomes part of the Pacific Time Zone, prime time programming begins at 7 pm (6 pm on Sunday) rather than 8 pm (7 pm on Sunday).

    Does anyone know about Indiana?

  • Michael1

    Wait, Indiana is a dumb question. My bad. Since Network shows air at the same time in both the Eastern and Central Time Zones, then moving from 1 to the other won’t make any difference in that regard. TBBT will air at 8 pm this week and 7 pm next week.

  • Rick in Denver

    A wise Old Indian once said….

    Only the white man would think you can make a blanket longer by cutting off one end and sewing onto the other end.

  • outlawz

    i bet ya it was a white cracker that came up with this dst sh,t

  • alvar

    You Americans sure do start daylight savings early – your summer is still months away!

  • alvar

    and its fan excuse bingo – a good show will rate regardless

  • PurpleDrazi

    @Fake Me Out
    “If this in fact the case then perhaps Bill & Robert should set-up a TVbtN Stonehenge of sorts to mark the coming of spring & DST … the easily confused could then prepare and make sacrifices to the TV gods to appease their anger.”

    Silly FMO, nothing appeases the TV gods anger.

  • BigBrotherFan

    My predictions
    REVENGE 1.6
    RED WIDOW 1.2
    CA 1.5-1.7
    TGW 1.4-1.6
    GOLDEN BOY 1.3
    WHITNEY 1.1
    I’ll stop there but those are the ratings I think will happen once Day Light Savings Time happens.
    I don’t feel like guessing the rest and the only show I hate on that list, well TWO, are GOLDEN BOY AND RED WIDOW BEGONE!!!

  • BoB

    Think you are low on RW, and actually high on GB, but otherwise have to agree with you.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    outlawz: “i bet ya it was a white cracker that came up with this dst sh,t”

    It was. It was invented by Benjamin Franklin… :-) They just didn’t apply it until much later. Not sure ol’ Ben was ever referred to as a “white cracker” until now… :-)

  • JSunkist

    I predict for those who wont get 2am-3am, that all shows will have a 0.0/0 rating/share and 0 viewers and be renewed for 1 more hour next year

  • DenZel

    SMASH should see an improvement in it’s ratings.

  • Acey

    I don’t see how it’s a bingo excuse because the numbers are right there. They WILL go down. But everybody will go down… so it doesn’t amount to much.

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