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Since its invention, television has been an important part of American life and culture. In
our modern society, there are even those who would argue that it has become an absolute
necessity. Recently, many people have been debating whether or not television content is
corrupting our youth and Americans in general. In spite of this, I believe that the networks do an
adequate job of providing programs that appeal to the different categories of viewing audiences.
In the early evening, one can find a variety of programs that connect with a large audience
spanning children to adults, however as the night progresses the program content changes in
order to target mature audiences only.
When the early evening programming begins at around five o’clock the viewer has
various selections to choose from. It is about this time that many people are returning home
from work, so news programs are a staple of these early time slots. Following this is a barrage
of comedy sitcoms, movies, and dramas, such as “Home Improvement” and “Melrose Place”.
Their viewers include children, families, and single adults. Therefore, these time slots draw larger
audiences than any other.
As the evening dwells on, one can start to see a gradual change in program content as
they begin to lose the younger viewers and start focusing on more mature audiences. The
content becomes more violent and sexually explicit. The comedy also follows this pattern and
becomes more adult oriented, such as HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam”. This is also the time of night
that those famous infomercials begin airing. The reason for this is that these are the cheapest
time slots to buy and broadcast on. These hour long commercials usually end out the viewing
In conclusion, it is apparent that television programs are devised to target specific groups of
viewers. The networks set aside the early evening for children and families, and still provide
entertaining programs for mature viewers in the late evening. To state it in the simplest way
possible, when it comes to evening television programs they go from mild to wild.
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