It will do this only if something upstream from the TimeRangePicker is actually setting a timerange.
In general the rule is that if a module provides some key "foo" downstream, and it sees that same key "foo" arrive from upstream, it tries to prepopulate itself to that value. This simple rule applies to basically all Sideview modules.
So for instance if you have a Search module up there, and that module defines "earliest" and "latest" params that define a "last 24 hours" search, then whenever the TimeRangePicker receives a push from upstream, TimeRangePicker will obediently set itself to "last 24 hours".
Often you can rework this by reordering the modules. Sometimes but not always the necessary reordering ends up with the view being a bit cleaner as well. Feel free to post XML or email email@example.com and I'll provide feedback on how the view xml can be improved.
And as a last resort, assuming you have a current version of Sideview Utils, you can put this right upstream from the TimeRangePicker: