The 2016-17 TV season arrives in just about a month. As fall approaches, TV by the Numbers will be looking at each night of the broadcast networks’ schedule to identify competitive timeslots, see which newcomers have a real shot at success and which veteran shows will keep their ratings up.
Friday, being one of the lesser-watched nights of the week, doesn’t feature a whole lot of change. ABC’s lineup is entirely intact, and the other four networks are bringing back at least half of the slates that ended the 2015-16 season. Two new shows join the mix as well — here’s how the night looks.
All times are ET/PT. New shows in italics.
|Network||8 p.m.||8:30 p.m.||9 p.m.||9:30 p.m.||10 p.m.||10:30 p.m.|
|ABC||Last Man Standing (Sept. 23)||Dr. Ken (Sept. 23)||Shark Tank (Sept. 23)||20/20 (ongoing)|
|CBS||MacGyver (Sept. 23)||Hawaii Five-0 (Sept. 23)||Blue Bloods (Sept. 23)|
|The CW||The Vampire Diaries (Oct. 21)||Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Oct. 21)|
|FOX||Hell’s Kitchen (Sept. 23)||The Exorcist (Sept. 23)|
|NBC||Caught on Camera (Sept. 23)||Dateline (Sept. 23)|
“Shark Tank” was easily the adults 18-49 leader on Fridays last season, drawing a 1.4 same-day rating in the demographic. “Blue Bloods” and “Hawaii Five-0” just about always finished 1-2 in viewers.
New shows, but not new names: CBS is launching a 21st century “MacGyver” in the 8 p.m. spot (“The Amazing Race” is scaling back to one cycle this season). FOX, meanwhile, is turning “The Exorcist” into a series with a loose adaptation.
The battle … more or less
The lanes are pretty well-established on Friday, but 8 o’clock will probably be the most competitive timeslot for the 18-49 demographic. “MacGyver” may start well thanks to its name recognition, but ABC’s “Last Man Standing” and “Dr. Ken” were most often the demo winners last season. “Hell’s Kitchen” also tends to draw reasonable numbers wherever it lands, which could make for an interesting three-way competition.
“Caught on Camera” usually draws OK-for-Friday ratings but doesn’t figure to steal any audience from the others. “The Vampire Diaries” may get a small bump with its final season, but it likely won’t get much above the 0.4s and 0.5s it typically earned last season.
It has to be “The Exorcist.” NBC’s “Grimm” — which doesn’t have a premiere date yet but will likely return to Fridays later in the fall — has shown that there is an audience for horror-tinged shows on the night. But if an audience tunes in expecting a re-creation of the classic movie and doesn’t find it, what happens then? By putting the show on Fridays, FOX is setting the bar for success at a makable height. But it’s a harder call than most to make as to whether audiences will respond.
Fridays in 2016-17 will most likely play out a lot like Fridays in 2015-16 did: ABC will likely lead the night in the 18-49 demo, and CBS will take the viewer crown thanks to “Blue Bloods” and “Hawaii Five-0.”
FOX has a good shot at being competitive at least at 8 with “Hell’s Kitchen.” NBC isn’t doing much in fall with a night of schedule spackle in “Caught on Camera” and “Dateline.”
If “The Vampire Diaries” (0.5 average split between Thursday and Friday nights) and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (0.3 on Mondays) can hold their ratings from last season, The CW will probably be pretty happy. More likely, though, each will drop some with the move to a less-viewed night.