The conventional wisdom is that Friday night is where scripted shows with little promise go. Either shows at their end of their runs (Medium, likely CSI:NY), ratings challenged newer shows (Terminator:SCC) or rookie shows the network doesn’t have much hope for (Miami Medical).
But this season, could a Friday timeslot have actually been an advantage for CBS’s Blue Bloods? And, could a Wednesday 10pm timeslot have been a disadvantage for The Defenders?
Might their likely fates have been reversed had their starting timeslots been reversed?
On Wednesday 10pm, The Defenders averaged a 2.23 adults 18-49 rating for new episodes last fall. That was CBS’s lowest rated non-Friday show, but still the show fell below a 2.0 rating only twice (1.9, 1.8). It was given a limited order for additional episodes this season, and is being relocated to Friday 8pm, and almost certain cancellation.
On Friday 10pm, Blue Bloods averaged a 1.80 rating in the fall for new episodes, fractionally better than CSI:NY’s rating (1.78). Sure, it was far below CBS’s Sunday-Thursday show ratings, but that was to be expected for a Friday drama (certainly CBS’s past renewal/cancellation history demonstrates they grade on a special ratings curve for Friday shows). I currently rate its chances for renewal at a “toss up”, certainly better than the chances for The Defenders.
However after three nights on Wednesday at 10pm, Blue Bloods has produced ratings of 2.0, 2.1 and 1.6. Lower than almost all of The Defenders outings last fall (and no Daylight Savings Time to blame yet!).
Based on its Friday track record, I still give Blue Bloods a better chance at renewal than The Defenders even though it’s had lower ratings, simply because of the “Friday Curve”.
Might the rookie season fates of the two shows have been reversed with their timeslots?
Would The Defenders have been better off starting on Friday?