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Friday, September 16, 2016

FALL PREVIEW 2016: Friday

Here is my Fall Preview for Friday, a night with no changes on ABC, some gambles on CBS and FOX, some quiet offerings from CW, and a punt from NBC until January.

Past Friday Previews: 2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

ABC
8:00 Last Man Standing (6th season)

8:30 Dr. Ken (2nd season)
9:00 Shark Tank (8th season)
10:00 20/20 (40th season)
ABC has finally found a pairing it likes for its Friday night comedy. After three failed partner shows to Last Man Standing, Dr. Ken proved to be the most compatible option yet. It gave a strong (by Friday standards) option for ABC and will probably continue as long as Last Man keeps going (it always has tough negotiations for renewals). Shark Tank continues at 9pm. It is past its heyday but still a great Friday option, quite often still the top demo show on the night. At 10pm, 20/20 returns for its 40th season (though season 1 was just a summer so they may wait to honor 40 years until next season). All in all, it's the only steady night for ABC.

CBS
8:00 MACGYVER
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 (7th season)
10:00 Blue Bloods (7th season)
CBS has been airing reality shows for a couple years in the Friday 8pm slot but they will go back to scripted programming with the reboot of MacGyver. The show has undergone retooling since it was picked up but CBS has put it in a low-pressure slot where a surprise would be great but a bomb wouldn't be too damaging. They can easily slide in Undercover Boss or The Amazing Race here. Two long-running dramas end the night, both entering their 7th season. Hawaii Five-0 and especially Blue Bloods are good fits for the night and solid total viewer performers for any night. They are a successful duo that seem compatible with each other.

NBC
8:00 Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon (3rd season)
9:00 Dateline NBC (26th season)
NBC is not really competing in the fall on Friday nights. They are bringing back low-rated cheap option Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon at 8pm. It didn't do anything here last year but somehow got a spot on the fall schedule. It will lead into two hours of Dateline NBC in its 26th season. I don't really know why NBC is doing this here when they actually have limited space in their schedule thanks to The Voice and football. They have already announced that the final season of Grimm and the much delayed Emerald City will air on this night in January.

FOX
8:00 Hell's Kitchen (16th edition)
9:00 THE EXORCIST
FOX is going to Hell on Fridays with the Gordon Ramsey and Hell's Kitchen at 8pm, always a solid Friday option. Then at 9pm is the new reboot of horror movie The Exorcist. In theory, this seems like a creepy Friday night offering and it won't have to compete with Grimm as it originally did. However, this is still a very quiet slot on a network that hasn't been a player on Fridays in quite some time so it's a tall order. Still, FOX is not giving up on Fridays like NBC.

CW
8:00 The Vampire Diaries (8th season)
9:00 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2nd season)
The CW has an odd pairing on Friday nights with shows that are either heading to the grave or trying to pull off another miracle renewal. The Vampire Diaries was the CW's top show for awhile but the vampire craze is long gone and Diaries has plummeted in recent years. It is benched to Fridays for what has been announced as its final season. It was time for this show as it's a relic of a previous CW era. At 9pm is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend moving over from Monday nights. The show has received some critical acclaim but its ratings certainly did not warrant a renewal and now it must head to Fridays. If it was getting 0.3 demos on Mondays, it could get pretty ugly here.

New Friday Show Survival Chances
MacGyver (CBS) - Poor. This is a tough timeslot for a scripted show and I just don't think people are clamoring for a MacGyver reboot. It might have had a chance somewhere like Sunday at 8pm but on Friday at 8pm? Doubt it.

The Exorcist (FOX) - Poor. This isn't a horrible gamble for FOX here but I just don't ultimately seeing it do enough even on a lower expectation night. Like MacGyver, is this really something anybody wants on TV?

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