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Page updated: February 9, 2017

Prime Time Tonight

"Prime Time Tonight" was a segment that aired on The Weather Channel from October 1989 to September 1991.

It featured local listings and previews of TV shows, movies, and specials airing that evening on cable TV during the prime time hours (hence the name).

It was narrated by two unidentified male announcers.

The segment was made possible thanks to the technology of the WeatherSTAR 4000.

While the WeatherSTAR 3000 also had the ability to display information based on a viewer's location, it could not display any graphics.

As a result, only viewers whose cable system had the WeatherSTAR 4000 were able to see the segment.

Additionally, as part of an initial testing phase, the segment was only made available to viewers in the western and eastern time zones.

Unfortunately, the experiment failed, and the segment ended when The Weather Channel's two-year contract ended.

As a result, viewers in the mountain and central time zones never got to see the segment.

In the eastern time zone, the segment ran from 6:56pm to 10:31pm.

In the western time zone, it ran from 7:56pm to 11:31pm.

The segment was comprised of a one minute local forecast, the segment itself, and another one minute local forecast.

Viewers who didn't get "Prime Time Tonight" saw a short studio segment (usually a radar recap), a three minute local forecast, and another short studio segment (usually the 24 hour forecast).

Since there were three local forecasts going on in the studio, one right after the other, the songs were recorded together.

So instead of three different tracks, it was one five minute track with a delay of one or two seconds in between each song.

Sometimes the third local forecast would start before the previous song had ended.

Some WeatherSTAR 3000 viewers heard the "Prime Time Tonight" audio over the three minute local forecast.

Also, occasionally the three song set was used as a "N" flavor during the late night hours (regardless of the WeatherSTAR the cable provider had).

And when "Prime Time Tonight" was over in the eastern time zone, viewers saw the three minute local forecast.

For whatever reason, The Weather Channel decided to use mostly new songs for this segment.

In other words, they were generally not part of the regular playlist.

They also lacked narration.

There were two playlists during the segment's run, with the second one starting in June 1991.

Below is a near-complete list of the songs that were used during each list.

October 1989 - June 1991

1 minute
1. Dan Siegel - Rhapsody
2. Skywalk - Jesse James
3. Lonnie Liston Smith - London Interlude
4. Dan Siegel - Little Creek
5. Ira Stein And Russel Walder - The Calling
6. Dave And Don Grusin - Birds With Long Legs
7. Ira Stein And Russel Walder - Transit
8. Dave And Don Grusin - Pico Pica
9. Ira Stein And Russel Walder - The Underground
10. Christopher Mason - Morning Has Broken
3 minutes
1. Dan Siegel - Where Are You Now
2. John Tesh - A Thousand Summers
3. Ira Stein And Russel Walder - The Calling
4. Christopher Mason - Something Beautiful
5. Spyro Gyra - Limelight
6. Dan Siegel - Celestial Body
7. Dan Siegel - Little Creek
8. The Rippingtons - Earthbound
9. Moon August - Potion
10. Yellowjackets - And You Know That
11. The Rippingtons - One Ocean Way

June 1991 - September 1991

1 minute
1. George Howard - Broad Street
2. Bobby Lyle - Love Eyes
3. Network Music - Above And Beyond
4. Bill Shields - Sunset Breeze
5. Mark Sloniker - Harpo's Tune
6. The Rippingtons - Let's Stay Together
7. Michael Brecker - Quiet City
8. Bob Thompson - Rainbow
9. Kevin Eubanks - Hope
10. Max Groove - Fiesta Sol
3 minutes
1. Max Groove - Crystal Dawn
2. Max Groove - Fiesta Sol
3. Brian Bromberg - Magic Rain
4. David Lanz And Paul Speer - Desert Rain
5. Michael Brecker - Quiet City
6. Bobby Lyle - Love Eyes
7. Bill Shields - Sunset Breeze

And here are some video clips of the segment, showing the changes made to the segment during its two year run.