Why do producers choose to release weekly episodes of tv shows/cartoons/etc on Sundays?


It might be just a coincidence, but I have been noticing that most shows I watch that are released weekly, air on Sundays.

Is it really a thing? And if it is, what is the commercial reason behind it?

In: Other

The typical American family is most likely be home on Sundays. Church and then family days. Most jobs also don’t operate sunday so it’s likely to have the highest potential audience.

Sunday nights is the most coveted spot in live TV, with the potential for the largest at home audiences. Traditionally many of the most prestigious shows would be shown at 9 or 10 at night on a Sunday night in order to ensure it got maximum viewership. More viewers = more money

While once popular across all channels, over time, this time slot has now mostly been taking over by cable and premium networks (like HBO) showing their best programs at that time and broadcast stations like Fox aren’t quite as competitive there compared to going up against Game of Thrones.

NFL also has Sunday night games, which are generally the most watched NFL game of the week for the same reason, Sunday night has the potential for the largest at home audience.

Traditionally, the best slots for TV shows are in the evening time, Sunday through Thursday. The reason for that is, especially before DVR’s and streaming services changed the game, the best time slots were when the most people were likely to be at home, watching TV. Most people work during the daytime, so evening times after dinner are considered “prime time.” And people are most likely to go out or travel on Fridays and Saturdays, so those are considered the worst evenings – though Saturday can be great for kids’ programming like Saturday morning cartoons. In fact, Friday nights are often called the “death slot” because of how likely the shows that air on Fridays are to get low ratings and get canceled.

Of the good days for primetime TV, the premiere slots are typically Thursday night, because most people stay in and plan to go to out on Friday night, and Sunday night, because people are likely to be at home, relaxing and getting ready for the next week (and typically Wednesday is next in precedence). Shows that air in those times have a tendency to do better and pick up higher ratings, which means that good shows sometimes gravitate to those prime slots. After all, if your network has a new show that you want to succeed, you’ll try to put it in the best timeslot possible. And if you have a show on another night that’s doing well, it might be good to switch it to one of those dates, to take advantage of its popularity and get even more viewership and ad revenue.

Basically, good shows are more likely to air on Sundays or Thursdays, on the major networks at least – those slots tend to select for the best quality programming, so our favorite shows are more likely to air on those days. Though, of course, streaming is changing the game a bit, with Netflix and Hulu releasing shows on any day, and Disney+ choosing to release everything on Fridays, hoping to get a big weekend boost.