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U.S. TV dayparting; daytime television in red.

Daytime is a block of television programming taking place during the late-morning and afternoon on weekdays. Daytime programming is typically scheduled to air between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., following the early morning daypart typically dedicated to morning shows, and preceding the evening dayparts that eventually lead into prime time.

The majority of daytime programming is typically targeted towards women (and in particular, housewives). Historically, soap operas, talk shows, and game shows have been fixtures of daytime programming, although daytime soap operas have seen declines in North America due to changing audiences and viewing habits. This type of daytime programming is typically aired on weekdays; weekend daytime programming is often much different and more varied in nature, and usually focuses more on sports broadcasts.


Target audience and demographicsEdit

The type of programming is designed primarily to be viewed by audiences who choose to seek a career in homemaking rather than employment, such as housewives[1] and secondarily those viewers who might not usually carry a daytime job, such as the unemployed, senior citizens, evening shift workers, and college students. For most intents and purposes, however, the traditional target audience of daytime television programs has been demographically 18-49 women, as the large majority of daytime viewership has historically consisted of housewives,[1] and as such daytime programming is hosted by women or personalities popular among women, and pertain to subjects such as women's issues (including health and lifestyle), beauty and fashion, current events, and celebrity news/gossip.

Because of demographic shifts and the decreasing number of people at home during the daytime, the daytime television audience has shrunk rapidly in recent years, and that which remains is largely over the age of 55 and thus considered undesirable for most advertisers.[2]


In the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Australia, talk shows (hosted by a single personality or a larger panel) are a significant part of this timeslot, as well as, to a lesser extent, game shows and soap operas. In the U.S., the Big Three television networks all provide some degree of daytime programming, but the once-popular genre of soap operas have declined; although a few remain active, they have been largely replaced by less-expensive programming such as talk shows (including GMA Day and The Talk). Game shows were also common in U.S. daytime lineups, but by the 1990's, only CBS's long-running The Price Is Right remained (which was later joined in 2009 by a revival of Let's Make a Deal, which replaced the cancelled soap Guiding Light).

In the U.S., Syndicated programming is most common during the daytime hours on broadcast stations, often within the genres of game shows, news-based shows, and talk shows (including personality-based programs, or tabloid talk shows with a focus on sensationalistic and controversial subjects), as well as court shows, and syndicated packages of reruns from popular drama and sitcom series. Notable syndicated daytime programs in the U.S. have included The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, Judge Judy, Live with Kelly and Ryan, The Jerry Springer Show, Maury, and The Wendy Williams Show. Another popular audience in this timeframe is the college student; game shows such as the original Jeopardy! (1964–75), Match Game (1973-79'; 1990), Family Feud (1976-85; 1988-93; 1994; 1999—present), Card Sharks (1978-81; 1986-89), Press Your Luck (1983-86), and, since the 1990s, The Price is Right, have targeted this audience.

Local newscasts may also air during the daytime period, typically focusing on continuing coverage of events that had occurred since the morning news, and other forms of lifestyle-oriented stories. Some stations may produce daytime talk shows designed to feature advertorial segments brokered by local businesses.

Meanwhile, news channels usually program rolling news coverage where a set schedule of stories is followed (as opposed to evening and prime time, which typically focus on personality- and opinion-based programs), but this can be interrupted at any time for breaking news stories and other live events. The stock market trading day similarly falls within the daytime hours for channels devoted to business news, whose audience is concentrated towards out-of-home viewers. Children's television networks usually use the 9 a.m –3 p.m. timeslot before children of school age return home to air preschool programming for young viewers, while PBS member stations might either carry exclusively children's programming, or instructional programming to be taped for later use, programs which can be watched as part of acquiring college credit, or for viewers to eventually acquire their General Equivalency Diploma.[citation needed]

Other basic cable networks generally rerun episodes of their current prime time programming, often in marathon format; stations that devote much of their programming to acquired reruns may also follow this strategy, or use the daytime slot to burn off a contract for a less popular program (in this sense, daytime can be seen, much like the overnight, to be a graveyard slot that is useless to program with high-budget content).

Sports television networks in the Americas can take advantage of the time differences with Europe to fill their daytime slots with European events, most commonly soccer. The same pattern happens in Europe with Asia-Pacific sports. On weekends, daytime television is often devoted to domestic competitions. In the United States, American football, in particular, is a staple of Saturday (college) and Sunday afternoons (professional) during the autumn months. In Latin America, soccer typically airs on weekend afternoons, therefore European sports air in the morning and noon. Otherwise, daytime lineups on sports-oriented networks are typically devoted to studio programs featuring news and analysis (in some cases, being simulcast from sports talk radio programs) or other pre-recorded programming, such as reruns of recent or lesser-viewed events.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b,5764140
  2. ^ Schechner, Sam (June 18, 2011). "As Venerable Soap Operas Die Off, Fans Fight for One More Life to Live". The Wall Street Journal.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Breakfast television
Television dayparts
10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
Succeeded by
Early fringe