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Friday, September 19, 2014

FALL PREVIEW 2014: Friday

Friday nights have a lot of the same with a few tweaks to each network's lineup and FOX basically mailing it in. All in all, a pretty boring night and that should result in pretty boring ratings.

Past Friday Previews: 2013    2012    2011    2010

8:00 Last Man Standing (4th season)
9:00 Shark Tank (6th season)
10:00 20/20 (38th season)
ABC is making one small change to its lineup. Two years ago, they paired the traditional Last Man Standing with the equally traditional Malibu Country. Last year, Last Man was paired with the offbeat The Neighbors. Now they're a little bit in-between with Cristela. While its a traditional sitcom in style, it has a Latina lead and that's an interesting match for conservative Last Man Standing. Cristela star Cristela Alonzo is getting buzz but the show isn't. If it works, ABC will probably stick with sitcoms on the night. If it doesn't, this may be it because Last Man will have reached the end of the fourth year by the end of the season. Friday's top show Shark Tank and the mainstay 20/20 (in its 38th season!) round out the night.

8:00 The Amazing Race (25th edition)
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 (5th season)
10:00 Blue Bloods (5th season)
CBS is also keeping the status quo for the most part on Friday nights. Undercover Boss is being held for midseason and its 8pm replacement is The Amazing Race, moving over after years on Sundays. I think it'll have a solid transition. If it does and Madam Secretary works on Sundays, CBS will have an interesting call as there's really no other slot for Undercover Boss. The crime dramas Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods follow. Hawaii had a successful first year on Fridays and it seemed to help Blue Bloods as well. This should continue to be a solid but old-skewing pair.

8:00 Dateline NBC (24th season)

9:00 Grimm (4th season)
NBC is also keeping things pretty much the same but a new occupant at 10pm replaces Dracula and Hannibal. First up is Dateline NBC in its 24th season. This show did well with not having to compete with 20/20. Grimm follows at 9pm and is always an OK Friday performer. NBC is hoping that newcomer Constantine will be a similar draw and less of a stretch for Grimm audiences than the 1800s-set Dracula or the psychological thriller Hannibal. Still, 10pm on Fridays is a tough time to launch a new show so we'll see.

8:00 UTOPIA/Masterchef Junior (2nd season)

9:00 Encore Programming
FOX is pretty much not competing on Fridays. Early on will be Utopia and Gotham reruns. Then Masterchef Junior arrives for its second season in November. I'm not sure what the plan is for Utopia at that point but who knows if it'll even be on the air by then. Not much to see here.

New Friday Show Survival Chances
Cristela (ABC) - Fair. I'm not sure this is enough of a draw to make a difference on Friday nights, but I also could see it getting slightly better ratings than The Neighbors and that may help its cause.

Constantine (NBC) - Poor. I do think it's a tonally better fit for NBC on Fridays and it's nice to see them swing big instead of a cheap option like Dracula. But I don't think this show shows enough promise to actually work in a difficult slot.

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