TV Family Hour: Much Ado About Nothing?

By next year fully 25% of U.S. TV households will have some way to time-shift their TV viewing. That number might climb to 33% or 50% in two years.

Yet TV pressure groups keep talking about the family hour of TV programming, the 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. time slot, as if it was the most important part of families' TV and entertainment lives.

Since when can anyone say the family hour was important anyway? Not since Milton Berle was on TV -- or maybe some godawful Western in the '60s. Not since most fathers of families consisting of a wife and two or three kids could easily work to pay for their entire existence -- and get home by 7 p.m.

Snap out of it.

The Parents Television Council might complain TV networks are doing more to sex-up, or violence-up, the family hour, but that whole argument seems amiss to current events.  Kids and teens aren't even watching that much TV between 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. They are doing much else.



It's not the family hour, because everyone in this crazy economy has to work, eat, exercise, buy groceries, or gaze into space. You don't think so? Then why is NBC looking for cheaper programming alternatives between the 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. hour? Because NBC can't get enough viewers to watch, nor advertisers to buy commercial time between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

In a separate story yesterday, Apple say it was going to make its iPhones cheaper to buy -- thus hopefully giving even more potential users the capability of downloading videos to their phones. Additionally, Apple is adding a video component to a new version of its popular iPod Nano, which has been audio-only.

But now Congress may threaten to do something -- about family hour. Maybe they'll stop us watching "Kid Nation." How quaint. Does it think there is also a family hour on cell phones or computers?

Face it. The world is changing -- and parents need to take care of it. All that won't come from a network executive or a federal employee in Washington

Forget the family hour. Have a longer term plan. Worry about the family week, month, or year.

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