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Network Daytime Listings: ABC 1974-1979

1974/04/01: (confirmed date)

April 1, 1974: Pacific Time (time shifting phasing begins).

This solves some of the problems of network clearances of ABC Daytime's late afternoon shows in the Pacific Time Zone due to pre-emptions or otherwise stations taping them and airing them a day late in the early part of the day.

On the West coast, NBC ends their Pacific feed of its daytime lineup at 3pm, with its affiliates moving into syndicated programming such as movies and off-network reruns. Some CBS affiliates in the Pacific time zone ended their CBS daytime programming at 3pm instead of 3:30pm when CBS ended so that they can start their syndicated programs head-on with their NBC affiliate opponents. That is where the term "Death Time Slot" comes from; it's the practice of networks airing programs into time slots that are often pre-empted such as 4pm ET/3pm CT and PT, 10am ET, 9am CT and PT, and 12pm in any time zone where stations would bump any network show that's airing in favor of local newscasts.

Up through March 29, 1973, ABC ran its daytime lineup in the Pacific Time zone until 4:30pm, following the East Coast time slot pattern. Some TV stations that could afford tape recorders could tape delay some of the shows to air in the early hours that ABC doesn't program before it began at 11:30 am Pacific Time, while many others simply cut away from ABC at 3pm, 3:30pm or 4pm (and maybe 2:30pm) and began their syndicated programming blocks.

Also to note that, on the East Coast, the sagging game show "Girl in My Life", which yours truly was never inerested to watch (and I later found out that it doesn't appeal to any female under the age of 50, and of course no male appeal) was on opposite two other shows at 2:30pm on CBS ("The Edge of Night") and NBC ("The Doctors"), both of which were still getting respectable ratings in 1974, but on the West coast, "Girl" aired opposite two other shows at 2:30pm on CBS ("Match Game '74'") and NBC ("Somerset"). Due to the popularity of "Match", "Girl" wasn't bringing in the younger viewers at all.

Meanwhile, ABC's 3:30pm ET/PT soaper "One Life to Live" was getting respectable ratings opposite CBS's "Match" and NBC's low-rated "How To Survive a Marraige" on the two right coasts. On the Pacific Time Zone, however, "Life" had no network competition as NBC and CBS ended their daytime blocks by the time the soaper began and was pre-empted on the left coast in favor of syndicated programming.

So heads of ABC and their affiliates probably got together to hammer out a solution to several of these problems I theorized and they came up with a solution. Since many of the ABC shows on the Pacific Time zone schedule were in established habitual time slots, they would have to stay where they were. "All My Children", for example, would stay at 1pm Pacific Time instead of being moved to 12pm despite being on opposite "The Doctors" on NBC and "The Guiding Light" on CBS, or otherwise it would be pre-empted by some local ABC stations in favor of local news. "Let's Make a Deal" and "The Newlywed Game" would continue to follow at 1:30pm and 2pm, following the Eastern time zone slotting. At 3pm, "General Hospital" would be the so-called death slot as it would be the tail end of ABC's Pacific Time zone daytime day. But at 2:30pm, "Girl" would be shuttled back in time to 11:30am; in its place would be "One Life to Live", a 3:30pm ET show, to go up against "Match Game '74" on CBS as it did on the two right coasts. That made NBC's "Somerset" on the West to sag more. "Password" would remain at 12pm and "Split Second" remained at 12:30pm. Reruns of "The Brady Bunch" still began the ABC daytime block, but at 10:30am to match the Central Time zone slotting practice, followed by the 4pm ET show, reruns of "Love, American Style", a death slot program, airing at 11am Pacific Time.

Also note that when ABC aired its "Afternoon Playbreak" from 1:30-3pm ET/12:30-2pm CT, it aired from 1:30-3pm PT. The problem was that ABC aired a different pattern on the West coast by airing the third half hour of the 1:30-3pm ET game show slot, "Girl in My Life", at 11am or 11:30, and ran "One Life to Live (S)" at 2:30pm. To sync things up and confuse viewers, "One Life" aired at 11am or 11:30 PT whenever "Playbreak" aired from 1:30-3pm PT, thus "Girl" was pre-empted on both coasts, and "Life" aired on both coasts.

Also note that because ABC wanted to keep the paring of "One Life to Live" with "General Hospital", thus moving "OLTL" ahead one hour to 2:30pm, they moved the 2:30pm ET show to 11:30am PT. After the new West Coast pattern took effect, there were six shows that followed the East coast time slotting, two that followed the Central zone time slotting, one that started two hours earlier on the West than on the East (11am PT is 2pm ET), and one that ran simultaneously on the West as it did on the East (11:30am PT is 2:30pm ET) and not necessairily live. This pattern disrupted as few ABC shows as possible, but resulted in pairing two sitcoms into a hour long block, moving "Girl in My Life" away from competiting against the popular "Match Game" offered by CBS, and keeping the late two soaps paired up.

The idea of the time shifting of ABC's block to start an hour earlier may have been under pressure by their West coast affiliates to air more syndicated programming in the late afternoons, expand their local news to start earlier, move the movie packages from the early evening to late afternoon, have room for special times for their early news to accomodate prime time sports broadcasts which start at 5pm Pacific time, and other matters.

Also note that the placement of "OLTL" before "GH" on this date in the West may have influenced ABC to do the same for the Eastern feed in 1976 when they expanded both soaps to 45 minutes and shifted OLTL an hour earlier to plug a half-hour hole previously filled with failed game shows.

You can check out ABC Daytime Pacific Time Zone schedules on these Three Network Schedule pages below. You can also check out the ABC Daytime Eastern/Central schedules to see how they compare.

1974 Eastern/Central 1974 Pacific 1975 Eastern/Central Part 1 1975 Pacific Part 1 1975 Eastern/Central Part 2 1975 Pacific Part 2 1976 Eastern/Central 1976 Pacific 1977 Eastern/Central Part 1 1977 Pacific Part 1 1977 Eastern/Central Part 2 1977 Pacific Part 2 1978 Eastern/Central 1978 Pacific 1979 Eastern/Central 1979 Pacific

10/4/1978: ALCS game affecting daytime schedule

This was an example of how they tempoarily altered their schedule to air playoff games airing during daytime.

am11:00-am11:30: Happy Days
am11:30-pm12:00: Family Feud
pm12:00-pm12:30: $20,000 Pyramid
pm12:30-pm01:00: Ryan's Hope (S)
pm01:00-pm02:00: All My Children (S)
pm02:00-pm02:30: The Edge of Night (S)
pm02:30-pm06:00: ALCS Game

am10:00-am10:30: Happy Days
am10:30-am11:00: The $20,000 Pyramid
am11:00-am11:30: Family Feud
am11:30-pm03:00: ALCS Game
After 3pm for some ABC affiliates (not sure of times, many Western affiliates outside of KABC Los Angeles did not carry them, opting for syndicated fare)
pm03:00-pm03:30: The Edge of Night (S)
pm03:30-pm04:30: All My Children (S)
pm04:30-pm05:00: Ryan's Hope (S)

History of Daytime TV Schedules Main Page How To Submit Listings Early Daytime Listings ABC Daytime ABC 1948-Present ABC 1948-51 ABC 1951-54 ABC 1955-57 ABC 1958 ABC 1959 ABC 1960-64 ABC 1965-69 ABC 1970-73 ABC 1974-1979 ABC 1980-84 CBS Daytime NBC Daytime DuMont Daytime Three Network Schedules 1948-1969 Three Network Schedules 1970-1979 Three Network Schedules 1980-1989 Three Network Schedules 1990-present
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