A better way to show TV program times
During promo announcements, there is a slightly awkward notice of the air time of the program: "Eight o'clock, seven central." There must be additional programming for the western US: "Nine o'clock, ten mountain." Not only is there the cumbersome verbage, but networks must record and air different spots based on the time zones.
Concept and solution
A simpler and clearer way to communicate show air times - a graphic that shows a stylized map of the US with the 4 time zones delineated and the air time in each zone. Each zone shape is a distinct and representative shape. The viewer, who cares only about one time, will soon learn which shape on the map to focus on to get the time. The voiceover announcer could even say "Nine, Ten, Eleven, and Twelve". We would soon learn which number in the four applied to our time zone area.
Design and Production
The options shown convey a basic shape of the continental US - enough to recognize and remember a specific time zone. There are several ways to render the info. One could have varying grey to mimic typical time zone maps. Others could rely on divisions between the zones. Shows airing at 30 minutes past the hour could be communicated with the familiar 30 stacked next to the hour. Below is a sample showing a location on a screen.
Concept: spring 2005
Sketches: October/November, 2005