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By Danielle Watkins

Morning news or late night talk show? These are the most popular times to watch television

Each day millions of people tune into their favorite TV shows to get informed, to laugh, or to figure out who did it in their favorite crime show. Hundreds of channels attract viewers morning, noon, and night. Factors like availability and TV show of preference all play a role in figuring out which time of day most people watch television.


Morning is a hectic time. Kids need to get dressed and ready for school, while parents are getting ready for work. The chaos of a weekday morning means there is little time to pay attention to television. According to a study conducted in 2013, people watch an average of 64 minutes of television between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. in the morning.

The amount of time watched makes sense as that is about the same amount allotted for a news broadcast. Best to be in the know before you get into work and hear the news secondhand from a co-worker.


Surprisingly, daytime television was the second most popular time to watch television. An average of 98 minutes is spent watching television between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. While it may seem odd, there is still a large population out there during those hours that is available to watch television then. People who work odd-hour jobs, like emergency room doctors and nurses, have the time to catch up on their favorite soap opera before heading to work in the evening.


On average, people spend nearly two hours watching television in the evening, better known as primetime. Primetime television is on between the hours of 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and features some of the most popular shows, like “The Big Bang Theory,” “Law & Order: SVU” and reality shows like “The Voice.” Families are home and can all agree on watching the same show, hopefully that is. Also, there is evening news for the grown-ups to catch up on. A wide variety of TV show categories makes primetime the most popular time to watch television.

Late night

For those night owls, late night television from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., is the third most popular time period to watch television. Viewers watch late night talk shows to catch up on celebrity gossip and hear the latest jokes about politicians.

Also, series like Adult Swim are popular as they can reach their target audience of adults who enjoy raunchy cartoons. Late night television beats morning viewers by one minute, with viewers watching an average of 1:05 minutes worth of television.


Since the introduction of Netflix in 1997, the idea of watching TV shows anytime now exists. Reasons for choosing to watch television anytime has become popular because services like Netflix have no commercials to flip through. Also, viewers do not have to deal with channels being blocked due to conflicts between networks and cable providers, like the current feud between Dish Network and Fox.

No matter what time of day it is, someone is watching television out there for one reason or another. Just be sure to watch in moderation.

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