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Nets Toss in Towel on Friday Scripted Development

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September 29th, 2008

Mediaweek is reporting what many have discussed in our comments for quite some time, that the broadcast networks, for the most part, have abandoned scripted shows on Fridays.

As the ratings race heats up, most broadcasters are resigned to the fact that Fridays no longer may be in the race at all. With the exception of CBS, the networks are scheduling an increasing number of fallback nonscripted programs there, rather than aggressively developing new shows for the night. 

Household usage on Fridays is the week’s second lowest. And most programmers said it’s tougher to justify spending the same amount of money for shows on Fridays as for shows in the middle of the week. Further discouraging broadcasters from programming the night is the notion that whatever viewers are available one Friday might not be available the next. 

“People don’t make a point of being home on Friday,” said Jeff Bader, executive vp of ABC Entertainment. “So it’s harder to have appointment TV on that night.” With the audience seemingly in flux, Bader said ABC’s strategy is to “put something on that the viewer doesn’t have to watch every week.” 

That may be a self fulfilling prophecy, but if CBS turns out to be relatively more successful than the rest their strategy of going fully scripted on Fridays may be vindicated.

Robert and I both believe that the CW has put Everybody Hates Chris and The Game on Friday's to die. This is how the CW's scheduler puts it:

his mandate at the CW has been to initiate flow for the network, starting on Monday. So Friday, he said, “was not as high a priority.”

Read the rest here.

 

 
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