4 Smash Hit Ways Prime Time TV Listings Are A Prime Time Opportunity

prime time tv listings data
There’s a good reason it’s called prime time—and it’s never been more prime than now.

There are more networks pouring more resources into creating more content for that jam-packed prime time segment. Both viewers and content producers alike are more focused than ever on those programs of high interest and attention. DVR viewing makes prime time properties the focus of viewers even OFF the set broadcasting clock—so they’d better be a cut above anything else that can be recorded.

And, with high-profile dramas being cancelled after only two airings, it’s never been more important to get viewers from the word “go.”

With all that in mind, TV listings can play a key part in maximizing prime time property. Because a listing can sway a viewer, or reinforce their decision, at the moment of truth. That moment—with remote in hand—as they actually select a program.

Truthfully, these prime time hints work well for all programming—it’s just more crucial in prime time.

Think maybe the description of a program can make a difference? Read on. View the examples. Then, see if having a listing in your favor is a good thing for a big program.

There’s a reason it’s on in prime time—so hype it and sell it!
When you have a marquee property like “So You Can Think You Can Dance” on Fox, don’t just let it sit there and hope someone will gravitate.

Because this program is obviously dance-centric in the title, why not give the potential viewer an idea of how the show works—while hyping and selling the attributes that make it a prime time player in the first place?

prime time epg sales

In our examples, one simply gives a “laundry list” of dancers along with a four word description of the program that only scratches the surface. (Just click the images to increase their size for your review.) Our good example highlights show elements of preparation, the dwindling field—and even the game-changing show element of elimination before a live audience.

Which example brings the show to life? And, which is likely to keep or sway a viewer? That’s the example that’s likely to have a fuller dance card.

Prime time shows have big-time stars people love—so play ‘em up!
Perhaps the key differentiating factor between prime time programming and other dayparts is the major star power the prime time offerings possess.

So, when you have that advantage, play that advantage to the fullest. Show off your A-listers as much as possible.

prime time epg star cast listing

In our bad example, the superstar contestants are listed but that’s all. In our more preferable example, the fact that they’re all Saturday Night Live veterans draws additional interest. Also, the big name stars are described as battling in pop culture trivia and other items that leverage their star power into an actual exclusive activity.

Social media is proof that people can’t get enough of their favorite stars—no matter what they’re doing. Make sure they’re doing something for your viewership by giving them their full due in TV listings.

After all, getting attention is why they’re on the show in the first place—they should do the same thing in a listing.

In a guide, shows are only as interesting as the description—so tell a story and illustrate the appeal!
It does happen to be possible to describe a show without REALLY describing it.

prime time epg listing quality

Take, for example, this next example. We see that the show “Extreme Weight Loss” in our bad example will feature Chris Powell helping a stylish 25-year-old lose weight. Something the viewer might have gathered just by reading the title of the program itself.

Now look at the good example. It actually reveals key emotional elements of the program—like the fact that the woman had been hiding her excess weight under clothing. And, it reveals her motivation to lose the weight. Both are key elements of the show’s appeal that will communicate to the potential audience.

A basic description is fine—but it’s always preferable to have a healthy diet of more robust, appealing, and illuminating listing information.

Shows are unique—so play up their unique characteristics and personality!
TV shows, believe it or not, are kind of like people.

Some are smart. Some are quirky. Others are intellectual. And, the audiences that follow TV shows actually become conditioned to a show’s personality and characteristics.

Because those characteristics exist—and because they’re what creates a good deal of the appeal a show has for a viewer—those elements of appeal should be evident in the listing, if possible.

That way, the show’s personality is reflected to an extent in the guide so that the potential viewer is aware of it—but also so that fans of the show recognize that the guide is smart, savvy, and informed when it comes to their favorite programming.

prime time epg show knowledge

In our examples, one contains a basic synopsis. The good example, though, demonstrates a knowledge of NCIS, the characters, and their relationships to each other. Which is a key appeal of that program.

That’s what gives a guide credibility and demonstrates entertainment mastery to the viewer.

Prime time. It’s not as defined as it used to be—but it’s still the focus of viewers and producers everywhere.

And, with just a little attention to the way it’s offered up, prime time can be a prime time opportunity for TV listings to help capture and keep viewers watching TV’s most important properties.


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