November 13th, 2009
12:47 PM ET

What happened to Friday night TV?

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Earlier this decade, the four major TV networks pretty much gave up on Saturday nights.  Outside of the Fox crime block and "48 Hours Mystery" on CBS, the only new network programming you see on Saturday nights is live coverage of sporting events.

Now it appears the networks are about to do the same to Friday nights as well.  CBS announced that it is cutting the episode count of Friday night staple "Numb3rs" from 22 to 16 this season - a likely sign that the show will be done after six seasons.  Fox has canceled cult fave "Dollhouse," which aired on Friday nights.  NBC opted not to air the second season of "Southland," which was scheduled to air on Fridays.  And ABC may or may not move "Ugly Betty" to another night after several poor showings on Fridays.

Pretty soon, the Friday night network TV landscape will be made up of cheaply-produced news magazine shows, low-budget "reality" fare, "re-purposing" (fancy term for reruns) of current network fare and first-run scripted shows on their last legs.  Sounds a lot like Saturday night, right?

Looking at the numbers, it's easy to understand why the networks appear to be pulling away from Friday nights. 

Last week, the top Friday night show on the major networks was the 20-year-old "Law and Order" with 8.4 million viewers.  That's almost four million below last week's 20th overall ranked show, "CSI: NY" on CBS.  And in the 18-49 target demo that advertisers crave, no network could reach a 2.0 average.  Compare that to this past Tuesday, where three of the four major networks reached at least a 3.0 average in the demos.

Can Friday night network TV be saved?  Anything is possible, but it is up to the networks to put competitive programming in these slots.  Give the viewers something they want to watch, and they will come in droves.  Disney Channel, for instance, has had a great deal of success premiering its big movie events on Friday nights - the 2007 premiere of "High School Musical 2" was watched by 17.2 million viewers.  Perhaps the networks should look at their cable counterparts for some guidance.

There was a time in the U.S. where Friday night was required network TV viewing.  CBS in the 1980s featured "Dallas" and "The Dukes of Hazzard," while NBC ruled the night with "Miami Vice" for a time.  ABC could always be counted on with successful family fare like "Full House" and "Mr. Belvedere," while "The X-Files" made Fox the network to watch on Friday nights not too long ago.

Do you think Friday night network television can be saved?  And if so, what will the networks need to do?

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Filed under: television

soundoff (276 Responses)
  1. J12752

    Mybe one of these maroons will see the corelation between dead nights on TV and the "population"they're going after. Friday sci-fi's?, yep I remember that as far back as the Twilight Zone and the Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Even when saturday nights were fantastic, with Perry Mason and Bonanza. So yes, ptb you may not care what "I" want, but "I" am the one who's actually watching your programs and maybe if you realized that, you'd still have a week's worth of programs instead of a weak 5 day showing

    November 19, 2009 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. Michelle K

    I agree, Joss Whedon needs to give Fox the boot, rather than Fox giving him the boot!

    Friday nights can be saved, just by simply going back to the formulas that worked in the past....what happened to sitcoms, especially on ABC? ABC and Fox (and maybe NBC, i don't know, i just watch The Office) have heavily relied on reality shows, and I bet if networks did away with most of the reality shows for one season, people would watch the sitcoms or dramas that are on! ( I would only keep Survivor, Amazing Race, and American Idol....oddly, these are the ones that started the 'reality' craze but.....they are the best ones out there, consistently!)

    I grew up watching "TGIF" on ABC, and then there was the night Home Improvement was on, The Simpsons on Fox (still alive and kickin'!) "Must See Tv" on NBC when i was older, and "X-Files"....

    oh how i miss the good old days!

    November 18, 2009 at 4:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. TV viewer from the Midwest

    hi there, I have been reading these comments, and they are very interesting!! tthe thing that annoys me most about TV these days are these stupid so called reality shows. everyone in the world knows they're not REAL!! I firmly believe that Survivor was the one show that began the whole reality show craze like about 9 or 10 years ago, and TV has never been the same since. and I couldn't agree more with the comments about the lack of shows that are suitable for families to watch together. it's difficult to find anything to watch with young kids. I am an adult and I enjoy the shows from CBS on Monday night, but I don't really think they are suitable for kids. whatever happened to stuff like Family Matters and even the Cosby Show? I remember that when I was growing up, most people (including me) didn't have a VCR, or DVR or Tivo, or any other kind of recording device for TV. if you wanted to watch something, you had to be in front of the TV at that time. otherwise you ended up missing it. and I also live in the Central time zone, so I watch shows that come on at 7 or 8 p.m. for me, that would be like 8 or 9 on the East Coast. (so a 9 o'clock show for me would be 10 for them.) and I do think that some shows are worthwhile, like the CBS Comedies on Mondays that I mentioned before. even shows on PBS are good. and I really love the Animation Domination cartoon shows that they have on Fox on Sunday nights, especially the Simpsons and American Dad. but there again, that's more for adults and not kids. luckily for me I don't have any kids. if I did, it would be tough for me to find anything that's suitable for them to see in the first place.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tony East Stroudsburg Pa

    I watch very little of Network TV mostly I watch News Programs during Primetime. As for Friday night or any night for that matter Network TV stinks! Between the Drug Commercials, Taking up the bottom of the screen with their logos & promos. The family has resorted to DVD's of the classic shows, from the mid 60's to the 70's. Fridays nights used to be special with the Partridge Family & Brady Bunch. Saturday's we fun too with Bob Newhart & Mary Tyler Moore. But guess the almighty dollar rules the have gut shows down to 21 minutes per half hour. compared to 25 minutes.

    November 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ls from ny

    On Friday I come home, too tired to go out, and on TNT there is Monk & White Collar. TNT have some great shows! The cable shows are better that the Network shows.

    November 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Viewer

    Not like "The Networks" will even read any of this viewer feedback, but my suggestion is to look back on when TV was doing great- the family-oriented shows like The Cosby Show, Roseanne, The Wonder Years, Perfect Strangers, Full House, Step by Step and Family Matters- were "could not miss" shows. Take a cue from those shows- they were funny, silly, and wholesome. I agree with the commenter who said a lot of shows are unnecessarily raunchy- it's uncomfortable to watch with the family.

    November 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. AMS

    What do the networks need to do? Stop bombarding us with CSI, Law & Order, and Doctor-type shows. There are more genres out there than those three! Give us more good comedy like The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, and for goodness' sake where is LOST already???

    November 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nick Rock

    Reality TV is the down fall of western civilization; Reality TV is neither reality nor TV, just cheap to make and way too easy for the sheep to follow, no plot and way more lame than their own lives. Put all the reality shows on Friday night and the people who cannot live their own lives will be locked in. You will get more 17-35 year old views and people who can only forces for 60 minutes at a shot flipping channels like mad to catch up on some poor rich kids that can’t make a fire or cook an egg. Stop, moving shows to Friday that people like on Monday with hopes they will watch on Friday. Hey big four, people go out on Friday night and have better things to do then watch TV. The networks have no one that can figure this out? Do they know about DVR’s? So many good shows are gone due to this mindless moving to get better numbers. When all they need to do is move the high rated reality shows to that time slot. Or put old black and white movies from the 30’ and 40’ and wait for Monday. Put the family crap on Monday when people have no place to go. The American family eats out and goes to the movies on Friday night. (Just like in the 70’-90’ and the 00 we are not home on Friday!) The sad thing is most people only watch 4-5 shows in a week they like and yet we pay for hundreds we do not.

    November 17, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jo Navarro

    Monday, House and Two and a half Men
    Tuesday, The Biggest Loser, The Good Wife
    Wednesday, Next Top Model
    Thursday, Survivor, CSI
    Friday, Go to bed at 8 pm
    Saturday, Go to bed at 8 pm
    Sunday, Go to bed at 8 pm

    I truly enjoy Burn Notice, Damages, The Closer, Psych, Monk, and I used to wait for Friday nights to watch "What not to wear", but can't find it anymore. Oh, but, wait, they are all cable channels.

    We are 66 and 75 years old, enjoy our evenings, but, tv is without interesting shows. The last few weeks we have enjoyed TMC with some truly good 'old' movies. But, kind of like Health Care, we old folks are not meant to be focused. However, who is buying that stuff they try to sell???? We both never miss two and a half men. Funniest show on television and we watch their reruns from 7 pm to 8 pm. Another fun show, the the big bang theory. Use your wits and laugh at them, it's funny. So tired of 'dead bodies', sci fi scarey, kill the planet, horror and idiot shows. I don't like nightmares. Yes, you could bring back 'murder she wrote', we oldie but goodies loved it and bought the sponsors products. Maybe the age of the 'suits' should be changed to allow some older folks something interesting.

    November 17, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Viewer in SC

    First of all, kudos to LA Area Teacher: I have been reading these comments and it is amazing how many comments are hard to read, mainly because people do not proof before sending. Now, to the question. I, for one, like to look at TV, provided there is something worthy of watching. Not only is Friday a problem, most any night is a problem. As stated over and over again, "Reality TV" is useless and pointless. Surely, whoever is responsible for choosing shows for these networks can come up with better viewing options. I like "Survivor" and it is truly the ONLY "Reality Show" I watch. Shows also need to be family oriented so I wouldn't have to ask my grandchildren to leave the room because of language and sexual content. Shows such as NCIS (both), The Unit (cancelled), 24, Prison Break (cancelled), and The Good Wife are excellent. These type of shows are what attracts me to TV. Some of the old movies are good to watch again. I truly am not one to get into the "gorry" stuff. Just keep it simple! I'm sure the networks will get some ideas if they would take the time to read the comments posted here. It may not be as hard as they think.

    November 17, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. teeboy

    Create quality programming, put it on Friday nights and don't move it. Also, don't panic on the ratings, give the show at least 10 episodes to find its audience.
    Plan B - Put all your "reallity" shows on Friday nights. If we like those shows, we'll find 'em and make the time to watch 'em. Do it. I dare you, I triple-dog dare you........

    November 17, 2009 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Glenn

    People will stay home if the networks create something worth staying home for. I used to do it/would still it. Oh, hey, I am home and there is nothing on!

    Almost no reason for them to be on the air if they are not going to try (read: Saturday Night)!

    November 17, 2009 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. glenn

    the networks need to stop killing good shows such as NBC "life" and hold back shows such as "Chuck". what's the deal with NBC regarding Chuck. It has a hugh fan base which should translate into good ratings. as for reality tv – they all suck ... dont watch ... thank god for Hulu , BBC America, USA and other cable shows.

    November 17, 2009 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  14. Tarheel

    I've gave up on network TV and their shows a couple of years ago with a few exceptions (Lost, Heroes, NCIS). I got tired of wathcing new shows, getting interested to only have them cancelled after one season or a few shows so I no longer take the time to watch "any" new show on network TV regardless of the hype – it'll be cancelled soon anyway so why bother.

    As for Friday's... It's USA! Monk (only 3 eps left), Psych, White Collar and Burn Notice.

    November 17, 2009 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sunee

    I don't understand the mentality behind FOX. They can't seem to wrap their huge heads around the talent they have in Joss Whedon. He is incredible and they treat him like he's from temp agency. Joss!!! Get the hell away from FOX TV!! It's infuriating to your fans to see this happening AGAIN!!!

    November 17, 2009 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  16. Clinton, MA

    Networks (and advertisers) go after the 18 year old kids because they tend to spend every dime on "stuff", which is easy to do when living with the parents or in a dorm. The older the audiences buy less stuff hence the lower advertising rates.

    TV is a mature industry; there is very little that hasn't been done already so the number of fresh ideas is diminished as time goes along. Saturday's & Friday's are just the first victims while the networks circle the wagons on a few other nights where there's generally a larger available audience.

    Niche TV is the future, which explains why so many of the USA-like channels are either owned by a major network (like NBC Universal) or are partnered with a major media mogul.

    November 17, 2009 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  17. Debi

    I think it has become the norm that if a show is moved to a Friday night, that it's on it's way out. And that's really unfortunate!
    Great shows have moved, for what reason, who knows, to a Friday night and before ya knew it, they were "Vegas" "Third Watch", etc.

    The economy is so bad and people have less money to spend on outside entertainment they turn to TV and the shows are not entertaining so we rent movies.

    November 17, 2009 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  18. Margaret

    Programming for the entire weekend, Friday-Sunday, is very poor. Thank goodness for the cable networks. I don't go out on Friday nights so I do enjoy television, but there is very little to watch anymore. I do believe there is an audience if the programming would include more than reality shows, reruns and sports.

    November 17, 2009 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  19. marilyn paul

    Why should a viewer even consider a Friday night viewing when there is nothing offered with either meat or substance to the programing. I can see why the food channel would win. Try some quality and people will start watching. It just does not happen over night but if you have something word of mouth is very powerful.

    November 17, 2009 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  20. Meg

    Does anyone remember TGIF? I think that mode of thinking worked well. It was a promotion of a group of shows that the family could sit down and watch together and be excited about. The shows were half hour comedies or family friendly shows that you didn't have to be invested for the entire season to understand the plot and enjoy the show. Television today is filled with hour long shows and complex plots i.e. Heroes and Lost that make it almost impossible to stumble upon the programming and understand what you see. Compare to the days of Full House, Perfect Strangers or even Friends. These are shows that allow the watcher to be flipping through the channels and be drawn in. I believe that this is the key to Friday night success because honestly, who is home Friday nights watching television? Families.

    November 17, 2009 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  21. jean

    Are you kidding?!!! The so-called reality shows have made network TV unbearable to watch. My husband and I have not watched ANY of these.There are some nights that that's all that is on the networks! UGH!! Thank goodness for my satellite!

    November 17, 2009 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  22. di

    if I am home on Fridays, I watch CBS, Ghost Whip/Medium/Nmbrs great shows I cannot stand those 48hrs type shows. where they drag out the contents to an hour when it would be show in 30 minutes.
    The problem with networks is they take good shows and move them all over the board, and then bring in inferior shows. I realize they cannot get the same content as cable shows, but they could try to get something decent/similar.

    November 17, 2009 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  23. danielle

    Which night the show is on is irrelevant. I record the weekly shows I want to see, and watch them at my convenience. The only time I care is when they have two shows I like in the same time slot, and I have to choose, since my setup won't tape two at a time. Then I tape the one I can't see online later.

    November 17, 2009 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  24. TommyO

    TV is dead. Print news is dead. Between HULU, NetFlix, and news web-sites I have no use for television.

    November 17, 2009 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  25. James Huerkamp

    Move Ugly Betty to another weekday night. Lord knows there is not much on during the week worth watching except for Glee and Monday night. too much police and reality shows on.

    November 17, 2009 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  26. nenecats Houston

    The first thing I thought as I started reading the story: Friday night
    was Miami Vice with my Don Johnson,Phillip Michael and Saundra
    Santiago. Put Don,Phillip,Saundra on Miami Vice current day and I
    would be there in a heartbeat.

    November 17, 2009 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  27. Bob in TX

    Friday night, Saturday night? Anyday of the week finds nothing but substandard programming on network TV. I am so sick of reality shows and mindless comedy shows. Network shows used to be entertaining. What happened?

    I know, I know.....TV execs are playing to the younger demographic who they think are buying the advertisers products. But there are plenty of folks out here who are a little older and don't want to party all weekend. We would watch if some quality programming was available. In the meantime I guess I'll continue surfing the net and read interesting books!

    November 17, 2009 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  28. Carol

    Friday nights have always been rather slow. People usually go out after work for dinner, etc....not a lot of people stay at home to watch TV. The shows that are on there now, are nothing to write home about. They do not have the same caliber as the older shows did 10-20 years ago and the staying power is next to nil. The article mentioned Dallas, Dukes, etc. back in the 80's on Friday nights. Why not try running some of the older shows that were hits back in the 70-90's time period and see what kind of viewing they receive?

    November 17, 2009 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  29. C.A. Palumbo

    If I watch anything on Fridays, it is DVD's of THE ROCKFORD FILES.

    November 17, 2009 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  30. Joyce

    They wonder why people don't watch TV on weekends? Because they keep cutting all the good shows. I love Ugly Betty & never miss it but it will probably be the next to good,

    November 17, 2009 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  31. Bruce R.

    For me, TV watching has become very very boring. WAY to many Crime Dramas and Reality TV. I get sick of them. CBS Monday night (not CSI Miami) and Flash Forward is only shows worth watching. I will read a book all other nights.

    November 17, 2009 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  32. T. G.

    The real problem is the networks continue to rate their shows based on a system that is almost 60 years old. I think that the entertainment industry need to replace the Neilsen system, or at least update it to include the number of people using DVRs, watching Internet clips, mobisodes, etc.

    November 17, 2009 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  33. Emily

    I agree with those who say they need to stop using live ratings only. I myself do not always watch shows live, as I play WoW and work out some nights, and then save those shows to watch on the weekend.

    November 17, 2009 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  34. Sam

    I quit watching network T.V. except for 1 or 2 daytime shows 5- 6 years ago when they all changed their formats. The reality show's are way past their prime and need to go to the graveyard where they belong. I grew up on ABC's TGIF, Don't remember NBC with a Friday night lineup (might be due to their "Must See Thursday's" which I didn't watch either.) If they'd go back and put on something with quality, entertaining, and with clothes less revealing then I might be willing to give reconsider. The shows from the 1970's- mid-90's still stand the test of time in reruns and for good reason. Remakes don't do didldy except waste money.

    November 17, 2009 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  35. bonnie

    I am fine with Friday night. I watch Ghost Whisperer, then Medium or Monk. I am happy!

    November 17, 2009 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  36. chris colbeck

    Put something on that adults want to watch. Quit catering to the teens and twenty somethings. They are all out on Friday nights anyway.

    November 17, 2009 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  37. Charles Muehlhof

    I've always felt that Friday nights was the last stop for any show that was placed there. In my opinion, it's what killed Star Trek on NBC.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
  38. lynne

    White Collar is a good new show. It's different and doesn't take itself too seriously. The cast is good and so are the stories. I won't miss Numbers. It's worn thin and has become tedious.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
  39. Simo Hayha

    The problem is too much shlock on TV. Give me something worth watching. I don't need special effects. I don't need elaborate sets. I need decent writing, with imagination.

    Case in point, A & E's remake of The Prisoner. They could have gone beyond the 1960's version, but they spent a huge fortune on a lavish location in Africa, a famous star and a horrid script.

    November 17, 2009 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  40. Chad

    It's self-fulfilling. The network geniuses say Friday night is a dead zone, so why waste expensive/good programming on Friday when nobody watches? As a result, there's not much good to watch on Friday. So nobody watches. Rinse. Repeat.

    November 17, 2009 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
  41. Trisha

    I remember the days of TGIF on ABC and the awesome sci-fi Fridays on Fox, now everything is a rehash or a show that wants to be a movie but is only an hour and a series. Modern times and work in this day have pointed to dvr's over watching the shows the only problem is that what works on dvr is murder on the Nielsen ratings. Also the shows just aren't written the same way anymore. I look at shows back in the day and they seem like a mirror of the times and they had shows that made me laugh. Now almost every show is either a cop procedural, medical drama, really high end comedy that looks like it took months to film but is too neat, realty shows which would be great if they weren't so boring and just more of the same. It's moments like these I really miss those old type sitcoms that work like a play, you get off the wall banter and bloopers you can't find on tv nowadays. I think CBS is the only one that still uses that style and its only on Mondays, the busiest day of the week. I think innovation in tv and Friday nights can be good again but cut down on these high concepts and make shows with likable, funny people.

    November 17, 2009 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
  42. WandaJ

    Depending where you are in your life, people are doing different things on Fridays. I am retired so I have all kinds of time to shop, etc. But I like to stay home on Friday evenings and watch television. I watch Smallville but would have preferred it stayed on Thursdays because now it interferes with Ghost Whisperer (I don't record anything nowadays). It used to be Doctor Who and BSG as my must sees for Fridays. The network bigwigs need to sit down and come up with something creative. It sure wouldn't hurt them to read all these posts. What do they have better to do? Chase after potential starlets?

    November 17, 2009 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  43. Venger

    I can not even think of wasting my time watching prime time televsion, they have lost touch of reality. All their shows blows straight to heck. I only watch ABC News, that is all. Those bleeding liberals and all thier left wing agenda. I watch Cable, thank you much Ted Turner with all your awesome show lineup and discovery channels. Don't forget the History channel. I love them all except Primetime crap. Bye and peace be with you all

    November 17, 2009 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  44. Susan

    Ghost Whisperer and Medium are a combo that can't be beat.

    I love both and together they are perfect. I acttually look forward to Friday night now.

    November 17, 2009 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  45. Jim in SF

    Networks should be offering family-fare on Friday nights. Parents with kids and pre-teens stay home on Friday night and look for comedy. ABC had so much success with their comedy blocks that this could be re-done with success.

    Family comedy – unlike CBS' Monday night comedies airing in prime-time. "How I Met Your Mother" airs in the so-called family hour and every joke is about sex including full conversations about oral sex and other acts. Networks need to learn that it's "quality" that makes people watch a show – not raunchy scripts.

    November 17, 2009 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  46. Alex

    For years, Friday night has been stereotyped as the "death slot" for shows. Whenever anything is scheduled there, people tend to give up on it. It certainly happened with Terminator last season. There are exceptions, such as Ghost Whisperer, that have done quite well on Fridays. But I agree with those who say this mentality that no one watches TV on Friday has to change. The thing is, the networks have already lost Saturday, which used to be a huge night for TV. They seem to be giving up on Friday. Sunday can't be that far behind. What about Tuesday being abandoned? The networks really need to get their heads screwed on properly otherwise they might as well give up altogether and start producing TV shows for the cable networks and direct-to-Blu Ray.

    November 17, 2009 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  47. JoBo

    To: Stephen-NYC

    Kudos to you!! All of your comments are SO right!!

    November 17, 2009 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  48. Jina

    Dollhouse has been canceled? Since when? It's on hiatus until December 4, but it's still running as far as I know (and the Fox website agrees).

    November 16, 2009 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  49. helen

    bring back tgifridays! family oriented sitcoms, etc...give family's something good to watch besides violence & reality tv!

    November 16, 2009 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  50. John

    Scheduled broadcast television is dead, they just don't know it yet. I'm looking forward to more on demand viewing. Let's all get over what night or time things are on, and just make it possible for people to watch what they want, when they want.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Tina

    Sci-Fi channel has a great show that has returned to the Friday night line up called Sanctuary. I try and stay away from the main networks and go to the cable channels like USA, Sci-Fi, etc. Those shows seem better. Maybe NBC, CBS and ABC need to take notes from the ohter stations. There are way too many stupid reality shows that have turned me off to the boring drama.

    November 16, 2009 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  52. borwin98

    Sorry, but I find TV boring. Give me a good book instead.

    November 16, 2009 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Dejected

    The major networks were what I turned to for the quality dramas and sitcoms. It's a real shame they have all but given up. Not so long ago these were the channels that you relied on for stuff like ER, NYPD Blue, HIll Street Blues, St Elsewhere, LA Law, Seinfeld, Friends, Raymond, the list is endless. Correction- it was endless until a few years ago. Instead of doin what they do best, they tried switching to the drivel that keeps E! and MTV afloat, and filling in the rest with sports. Let's be glad the various leagues aren't following the big 3 networks example and phasing out the real sports for reality star roller derby and death match versions of Survivor and Amazing Race starring Paris Hilton and the Bruce Jenner's all new Adams Family.
    I thought for a naive moment it might be a momentary pause in direction, but I'm pretty sure it's heading to a "remember ABC, CBS and NBC?" moment in some future conversation.

    November 16, 2009 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Jeph from Indy

    Not really. It's possible if the big networks try to carry only ONE normal show, but not at 8 or 9 because people are out to eat and at the movies. When people come home, try to have something worth watching. But only one show.

    November 16, 2009 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  55. D.L. Shiloh

    I recall big TV shows on Fridays when I was a kid...maybe if the networks created Friday content, to make it a "happening', then people would stay home or go out to a viewing party.

    They can't control the days of the week but they can start with what's available on TV which night. Seems like they just give up and it's one night where shows go to die.


    November 16, 2009 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Kat

    No mention of Smallville? Pathetic...

    November 16, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Dulcie - Denver

    I haven't watched a network television program in many, many years. All the networks offer is 'family-friendly' pap. Mindless sitcoms and reality shows, which I loath. Network television is painful so I watch some really quality programming on USA, TNT and SciFi. Leverage, In Plain Sight and Sanctuary are just a few of the really quality programs that the mainstream networks wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Alice

    Friday is a great night!! CBS with Ghost Whisperer, Medium, and Numbers. I do agree with those who have said to leave the schedules alone. Some of us still prefer to watch shows when they air, rather than finding another time to try to watch them. Quit moving shows around to different times, and give them time to grow and develop an audience.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  59. cj5174

    Network television can't be saved – period.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Billie

    I would just like to see some good family programming. I remember sitting up and watching Cosby Show, Full House, Family Matters, etc. with my parents. There isn't any shows of that nature any more. I would never allow my children to watch the shows that come on now. The language and behavior on these shows are inappropriate for young eyes and ears. 8:00 is not that late and young children are still up. These networks need to remember the families.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  61. cwa

    Stargate, Sanctuary, Eureka, Warehouse 13 are all worth watching on Fri nights.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Dave

    I don't know about the rest of you, but we as a family rely heavily on DVR. We record different shows throughout the week, and usually view all of our weekly shows on Friday nights. The shows that we DVR on Friday, are typically viewed on Saturday. Sunday seems to be the only night in which we are able to watch a program when it is actually broadcast. We have 3 kids, and live in the Central time zone. Most of the primetime programing comes on at 7pm, our kids go to bed at 8:30 on school nights, and our time is spent with our kids until their bed time. I too wish the networks looked harder at the DVR, TiVO, and shows being watched on-line to get a better look at how shows are rated. One of our favorite shows that was cancelled was Jericho. We couldn't beleive it when we heard it was cancelled. There was such an outpouring of support for that show (from on-line, DVR viewer, etc...) after it was cancelled, that they brought the show back for a few episodes. Although, they waited way too long to bring it back, and most of the original fans lost interest in it, and it died again. Sorry for the rant, but another thing the networks need to do is shorten the amount of time that a show is on "break". We love watching Lost, but the long breaks between seasons, make it really hard to pick up where the last season left off. And speaking of Nielson ratings, have any of you ever be chosen to be a Nielson Family???? We have, and let me tell you what a pain in the butt that was....paper forms that had to be documented for every minute of TV viewing, for each TV in our houshold, it lasted for about 1 day and we gave up on it. Bottom line is there needs to be a better way to calculate ratings.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  63. pete

    We've cut back a lot on our TV time, especially the big networks. There's just not that much on, not much that's funny, and so-called 'reality' shows are mostly people being paid to behave badly. I'll be sad to see "Numb3rs" go, though... gimmicky at times, but great to see a story imbued with intelligence and science... and great to see geeks who aren't the butt of jokes. Thanks, CBS, for giving me another hour to curl up with a good book.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Dave

    As long as we are worrying about what nights of televison can be saved lets ask another question. Can Television be saved at all? TV as it stands right now is an affront to the intelligence of the viewers. CSI CSI CSI.....NCIS NCIS NCIS...BONES BONES BONES. JUNK over and over and over J-U-N-K!!!!!!!!!

    November 16, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Alice

    I like Friday nights....USA has some of the best shows like
    White Collar, Monk and Psych.
    Not to mention, the National Geographic channel has the Dog Whisperer, followed by Rescue Ink...and Dogtown.

    Who needs the Prime Time networks when quality is on cable.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Lee

    To J

    you say that Disney is watched by little children and that adults go out. Ok, then tell me whos at home with the children? Not everyone spends every single Friday night out. I lived in the North until recently and I can tell you when winter came and it felt like 0 below...even in my twenties I was not out every Friday at a club , movies, dinner or at a friends house; There were many times I was home and most of my friends to. In all reality viewing has dropped for many reasons; people always went out, so the theory that some how people are more active or outgoing now then when I was a child/teenager is bogus.

    Back in the 80's it was only the "big" three, then in the 90's Fox came. I remember when cable was so new that everyone talked about getting HBO. Times have changed, there are just simply more options. Cable, DVDs, Internet, Video games. Besides this article didn't talk about cable network shows such as Syfy or USA. Monk has always been a staple on Friday nights and has done very well.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Fred Balligan

    Why watch television on any night? You just need to record the programs that you are interested in and watch them at your convenience. Although, there are few that I am willing to record.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Rex

    Hey you networks. Not everyone is 18 to 49 and not everyone goes out on Friday night. My wife and I are faithful watchers of Numb3rs and use to watch Ghost Whisperer. However, it got too far out and we never cared for Medium. Nor do we watch any sports. Put some good shows on like "The Good Wife" or "Trauma" or like some of the shows that TNT has during the summer. There are lots of us who would appreciate some good Friday night series.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Artifex

    I agree with a lot of what Stephen – NYC had to say. Following in his shoes, here is my reasoning:

    1) Broadcasters are so infected with the immediate payback disease that infects all of corporate America that they no longer commit to anything. Trot out the old saw about how long it took Seinfeld to catch on – that timeless series would have been canned season one by todays shortsighted standards.
    2) QUIT moving shows around to prop up the crappy smut that is failing elsewhere in the creative black hole that is your low-budget lineup. If a show actually is good, we lose track of it when it inevitably gets moved all over the place to 'save' some godawful pet project.
    3) And to fuel the low budget, take no risks, get a payback as quickly as possible mentality we are offered endless amounts of bandwagon crap-TV like those mindless, shallow reality shows. What garbage. Or cheesy, unoriginal knock offs like the Mentalist. Shameless ripoff, anyone? What, did a tribe of retarded lemmings kill off all the producers and take their place?
    4) Hey, guys, stop being worried about the cable channels eating your lunch and stealing your advertisers and take a look at what they are doing: investing in creative storyline, high production values, and committing to the long term....DOH! WE used to do that! Bugger!
    5) STOP these truncated series runs, that are chopped up all over the year. We used to now that a series premiered in the fall, and ran through spring, uninterrupted. Nowadays, we get a couple of episodes here, a couple there, and if we're lucky, Oh Boy! Maybe six strung together. Why are you hell-bent on making it so hard to follow Burn Notice,Psych, Leverage, and so on? Need to see if yet another iteration of some predictably manipulated trailer park reality show might possibly get you a few hundred more viewers?
    6) Hey, we don't watch the commercials anymore because THEY SUCK! Look at the super bowl – people actually WANT to watch the commercials then, because they are cool, and not your usual go for the crotch crapola you usually foist on us. The success of Budweiser's Sam and Louie doesn't mean we clamor for pitiful, endless parodies like the AFLAC duck or the stupid Gecko or traveling gnome that were funny ONCE. We remember Plop Plop Fizz Fizz and I can't Beleive I ate teh Whole Thing. The Norelco Santa. Where's the Beef. Mean Joe Green for Coke. EDS and the Herding Cats. The Trunk Monkey. Timex watches that keep on ticking. The Uncola. Monster .com's "When I Grow Up". Joe Isuzu the Liar. Mikey Likes It! Gravy Train dog chases. Dr. Pepper – Be a Pepper. Hai Karate. Contacts Tiny Time Capsules. Mr. Whipple. No one remembers one loud volume 15 second assault of mindless copycat run-the-mediocre-concept-into-the-ground blabbering from the next.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  70. JWB

    The networks force feed us crap after cheap crap and then wonder where the audience went? Its hilarious and I personally don't feel sorry for them one bit. Coupled with non-stop intrusive long advertising about the next big drug that going to cure your anxiety and male dysfunctions (side effects include hitting the power button) and sirs them right!

    As for the exceptions, the shows that are worth watching I will be paying the 1.49$ and watch them on my schedule through Appletv! Take that networks! What, feeling a little anxiety? Take some drugs!

    November 16, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Matt

    It's all been downhill since they took Urkel off Friday nights.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Linda L.

    Try PBS. Always something good–cooking, Nature, History, etc.
    Expand, it's OK!

    November 16, 2009 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Sally

    I am tired of Ugly Betty this year, so that won't save Friday for me. When they have new episodes I watch What Not to Wear on TLC, and for just silly shows to laugh at, I do watch Disney sometimes (I am over 40). I think it's true that a lot of people aren't home on Friday night, or if they are, they are watching rented movies.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Anonymous

    For everyone bad-mouthing networks and supporting cable shows:

    Yes, cable shows are interesting too. However, not everyone has cable (almost 20% do not actually).

    I know that Fox owns cable stations such as FX, SyFy, National Geographic. So even by watching shows on these stations, you're still supporting a network.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Steven

    I remember growing up with the Friday Night Movie on CBS (where I remember watching a first time director Steven Spielbergs' horror movie) and then later on it was Dukes of Hazzard and Dallas. Somewhat entertaining shows. NBC and ABC were not very strong on Friday nights until they came up with the more family oriented or sports oriented shows (remember The Games People Play on NBC? – Mr T had his start on there).

    What would get ME back to watching TV on a Friday night? Hmmm... how about something interesting to watch. A decent storyline. Something that's NOT Going to be cancelled because the execs get scared about a little drop in viewers.

    I wish they would can the commercials or bunch them all together either before the show or at the end of the show or make the show a Part 1 Part 2 type of show and cluster commercials between Parts 1 and 2. After all, most of us are paying SOMEONE to watch these shows sine the majority of us have either cable or satellite.

    Also, get rid of the freaking pop ups during the shows. I have software for that kind of stuff on my computer. Maybe someone will make pop up blocking software for TVs so we can get those annoyances blocked?!

    November 16, 2009 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  76. J

    No. It cannot. Author used a show on the Disney Channel as an example of a Friday night success. Duh. Its obviously a show for little kids. What can small children not do? Drive. That is why the numbers were so high.
    Adults go out on Friday nights. Good tv programming should fall between Sunday and Thursday. That is when most people are inside. There isnt a show that will create a hermit on a friday night out of a social mover. So let go.
    As far as X-Files in the 90's is concerned, I had the VCR set to record friday nights. Peace.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Don

    The Dukes of Hazzard and Dallas "owned" Friday nights, just as The Love Boat and Fantasy Island "owned" Saturday nights. All four of these shows have something else in common: they existed before VCRs (and now DVD players and DVRs) became standard in homes. Now, Friday and Saturday nights tend to be either movie nights or "let's watch what we recorded earlier this week" nights – something most people couldn't do before the mid-1980s.

    ABC had the right idea with programming Friday nights for families, but Nickelodelon and Disney figured this out, and the networks lost their Friday night base just as they lost their Saturday morning base.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Jim

    TV is why America is lazy and fat. Get off your collective butts and do something. TV is nothing more than lame commercials trying to sell you made in China junk and high priced pills for to get you dependent on big pharma. America is full of legal and illegal junkies. Of course, we can always get our kicks watching the idiots on reality TV which is about as real as pro wrestling.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  79. nascarnh

    SyFy ...... Sanctuary, Stargate Universe... They make my whole families friday night – who needs network TV!

    November 16, 2009 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  80. b

    There are still major networks? More and more we are watching cable shows......The History Channels, The Discovery Channels, the home improvement channels, Food network, PBS are what we watch. I turn Leno on to see the monologue then switch. I can only think of one or two network shows we watch on a regular basis.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Brandon

    Fact of the matter is, less than 2% of all video content is viewed over the internet, and most of this content is YouTube videos. People watching scripted shows over the internet are doing this primarily because they missed a show when it aired, and have no other way of watching it. Let's face it, who wants to watch a show on a low resolution computer monitor when you can watch it on a large screen HD television?

    Networks already take DVR ratings into account, well before cancelling a show. The main rating networks look at is Day of Air + 3 (combined ratings of a show from when its aired to three days after its air date). It's not like television networks have uneducated people working for them who would cancel a show at the drop of a hat. Cancelling a show costs networks, and their affiliates millions of dollars in revenue.

    Networks like to establish relationships with talented producers, whom they believe can provide them with several hit series'. Fox probably backed Joss Whedon on "Dollhouse" in order to preserve an already established relationship with him down the road. This show was probably never expected to do well, and I would assume that viewers will be able to see the remaining season of Dollhouse in December after the conclusion of November Sweeps. Besides, it would cost Fox too much money not to air the remaining episodes it's already purchased. They're probably just waiting for an opportune time, when ratings aren't as important.

    I agree with many of you, in that people just aren't at home on Friday evenings watching their televisions. Airing a show on Friday or Saturday is the "kiss of death", in that it's not expected to bring in crazy high ratings.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Bob

    Write good material for people first, have patience, viewers follow and advertisers follow herds like bears follow salmon. It works.
    Today Networks write and buy scripts to please advertisers. The fish will not chase bears.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Sharon

    Friday nite TV is fine - just not the regular networks. USA has had Monk for years (love it), also now White Collar and Psych, both are great shows. Or, try the Travel Channel - the guys who stay all night in haunted places. Or the History Channel.

    There's other stuff than just ABC, etc.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Lee

    Maybe if networks consider cutting the commercial ads down to a minimum, like 3 minutes instead of 12 minutes per half hour, do away with all these prescription drug commercials, have some QUALITY creative programming instead of reality shows and re-hashed medical and family dramas, then maybe I would tune in.

    Netflix saved me.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Beth

    I think of Friday as "movie night," and have since I was a kid. When I was younger and now as an adult, we would often either rent a movie or if their was a fun TV debut of a theatrical movie, we would watch that. I thought it was pretty standard to have movies on TV on Friday nights, but have been really disappointed in the options the last few times I've looked.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  86. E

    In defense of many of the shows that are cancelled, why don't the networks put some marketing behind them other than for the premiere? Dollhouse looked good from what I got to see, but there wasn't alot of marketing behind it. Also try putting some good shows on during a Friday night. Quit leaving people with shows that you obviously want rid of. That's how Friday nights can be saved.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Nicole

    Who stays home on Friday nights? Families stay home on Friday nights. That's why Disney is doing so well. Bring back family friendly programming and the networks will have no more problems. I agree with everyone else who says to bring back TGIF.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Loren

    If I'm watching TV on Friday nights, it's SyFy, formerly known as Sci-Fi Channel. I watch very little TV because 98% of it is brain-dead. Put something worth watching on – in other words, no more "reality" TV, stuff with real plots – and I might start watching it again.

    Sadly, this means that 98% of the American public would then *stop* watching it.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Liz

    I'm sad to see "Dollhouse" go the way of "Firefly" and "T:SCC", but let's face it....Friday night is where TV shows go to die.

    I think people just aren't as up to staying in on Friday nights anymore. Now that we don't have to worry about programming a VCR to record shows (I love my DVR) folks aren't as concerned about missing their favorite shows anymore. Everyone watches their favorite programs on THEIR time now. Plus, with syndication a lot of shows are aired multiple times during the week ("The Office", "Law & Order: SVU").

    November 16, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  90. SD

    There's no such thing as quality TV anymore. Everyone targets those who enjoy vulgarity, pushing nudity and sex as far as possible and bathroom-style humor. Example: "House" used to be good. Now it's no longer about the rare and interesting illness that a quirky but brilliant doctor diagnoses with his team. It's more about who's sleeping with whom, how rude it's possible for House to be and barely focuses on the patients. All TV shows are going this route – maybe the first season is alright, then they think you're hooked and start wanting the crud-seekers. I don't get hooked – I go out instead. Nothing on TV is ever worth staying home.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  91. LaLa

    I am with Amy D. – bring back TGIF!!!

    November 16, 2009 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Dianna

    I don't think Friday nights can be saved. Most people are not even at home on Friday. Its the end of the week and people want to go out. If people do stay home, they want to watch something that is going to be entertaining, and right now, there is nothing on worth watching.

    November 16, 2009 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  93. James

    Let's face TV in general is going on an eternally downward spiral. Gone are the great executives like Brandon Tartikoff, Grant Tinker, and Fred Silverman who revolutionized TV viewing in the 1970s and 80s.

    In their place are people who have run out of ideas. NBC is back right where they were prior to the savior that was Bill Cosby who came in and saved Thursday Nights and NBC in general. With Leno now out of his cushy 11:35 slot and now at 10PM, they are getting pummeled by Letterman in late night. I now hardly watch Conan, and I've only watched Jimmy Fallon once. Leno, I stopped DVRing him about two days into his run.

    ABC and CBS have it better. They know where to program the hits. They struck at NBC's weaknesses and have basically hit them hard and are succeeding.

    Fox manages to hold their own.....despite a few aging programs. "The Simpsons" two decades after premiering still manages to make me laugh. While the CW is a small little blip on the radar

    Gone to cable are top drawing programs....shows like Monday Night Football (gone to ESPN), and movies that Broadcast networks used to show on Sunday and Monday nights. (When's the last time NBC ran "NBC Sunday Night at the Movies"?) The made-for-TV films have all defected to Lifetime and the cable networks.

    The networks have basically stopped trying. Rehashing the old stuff like "V" and "90210" isn't working. The networks need to clean house. Start taking more chances. There's better stuff on cable. Shows that they are willing to broadcast that push the envelopes.

    The networks need to get with the times, stop bowing down to those who complain, and push the envelope. Get rid of what doesn't work (Jay Leno clearly isn't doing it for NBC), and be willing to bring what the people want.

    November 16, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Michael

    What happened to T.V. period?

    November 16, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Melissa

    The problem with the networks is that their programming sucks. Its gotten to the point that the only good shows are on cable.

    November 16, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  96. shirl

    NBC should decide what to do with Leno; several shows have lost audience due to moving shows to accommodate his 10 PM show, whic is not doing well. Law & Order (my fav) was moved to Friday night and even though story lines are great, along with great actors, it has lost viewership

    November 16, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  97. kh

    For my wife and I, Friday nights are movie rental night. It's near impossible to get through a movie during the week when you have to wake up early the next day. Everyones lives are busier these days, you always hear that, and it's true. I think most people use Friday night to do things they don't do during the work week, whether it's going out, playing games, renting movies or even doing housework! There's something liberating about Fridays that, if you watched the same TV shows as you did M-T, it wouldn't quite feel like a Friday!

    November 16, 2009 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Hilda

    We seniors are at home on Friday nights trying to find some quality programs to watch.....Monk is going away so Ghost Whisperer and Medium are all that's left. I used to watch Numbers, but got very tired early on of the gobblygook disussions! I like the premise, it just gets very deep.

    I won't waste my time on what is called "reality" shows and most of the rest is R rated. I resort to Disney channel quite often just to find something that doesn't disgust me.

    We seriously need quality programming on all nights, but please don't let Friday night go the way of Saturday!!!!! There's absolutely nothing to watch on Saturday night. I'm a widow and 65; I'm not the only one here at home trying to find something to watch.

    November 16, 2009 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Steph

    I understand that Reality Shows are very cheap to produce. But how much longer can people stand to watch this type of garbage?
    I say leave the shows alone. Or try them on a different night. A lot of families go to the movies or rent movies for Friday and Saturday nights.
    How about giving the shows a chance?

    November 16, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  100. R. Daly

    The USA network seems to be taking over Friday nights at our house. With light, fun, family friendly shows like Monk, Psych, White Collar and Burn Notice thats where we are after a long week. Maybe the other networks should look USA.

    November 16, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  101. Mark C

    Oh, please. The networks gave up on Saturday nights in the 80's. They had new shows, but they were relatively low-budget shows like the Golden Girls. Likewise, Friday nights have been a low priority for a long time. Weekend nights have low viewership, particularly low among the younger demographic that advertisers like.

    The bigger news is that the networks have just pretty much given up altogether, on all nights. Cheaply made shows (reality and now Leno's 10 o'clock show) dominate the schedule, with scattered exceptions.

    November 16, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  102. Jenna

    It seems to me that the demographic that would be most inclined to watch TV on Friday nights would be families with young children. That is probably why the early 90's TGIF was so popular. If the networks are counting on those who are not recording the shows on DVR, put family programming on. I highly doubt many families with young children gather around the TV to watch Dollhouse or Numb3rs on Friday nights, as great as they are. The Friday shows of present, that are popular, but not getting the Friday night viewing audience, should be put in Mon-Thurs time slots where they will get a fighting chance and capture the audience following they deserve.

    November 16, 2009 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  103. Young Joyce

    Maybe Friday night viewer numbers are down because THERE IS NOTHING TO WATCH!!!

    November 16, 2009 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  104. Stacy

    I remember Friday Family TV night with great fondness. It was my father's early night from work and we did sit around and watch the tube. This lasted through hight school as well. As a mother of a kindergartener we thrive on Disney Channel's line up for Friday nights as this is when I can relive those moments.

    I am a huge DVR person for other shows and daytime soaps (ok, stop the laughing). I hope technology has caught up to the network execs who can somehow monitor the "taped" program viewers. I'm always hearing how low ratings are for the soap opera world, but do the numbers account for shows that are recorded? I record Heroes on NBC because from 8 to 9 is my child's bedtime routine. Sadly, its the only show on prime network that I watch.

    With tons more channels offered now then there were 10 years ago, numbers will drop, but that doesn't mean a show is failing. If the networks are worried about money, have the execs take a pay cut!!!

    November 16, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  105. Melissa

    I used to watch TGIF on Friday nights on one of the networks (can't remember which one) with my kids years ago. It was great because there were four family friendly sitcoms between 8:00pm and 10:00pm that I could watch with my kids. The only family friendly sitcoms that exist anymore are on Nickelodeon and Disney, and they rarely play new ones. I think ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox would benefit from bringing back the family friendly Friday night sitcoms.

    November 16, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  106. Jean

    The major channels are forgetting about the stay-at-home majority, over 60 crowd. What about us? Hey, we watch TV a lot and we can't stand these stupid reality shows. Give us some real acting with real actors and real shows. We love Ghost Whisperer and The Medium. That makes our Friday night!

    Our crowd absolutely can't stand anymore dance shows and "jiggle" shows. The only people who make money are the British who host and judge and of course the sponsors. Is anyone in Hollywood feeling the pinch? Isn't anyone getting sick and tired of seeing the same people day in and day out on these shows? Leave Leno alone. He's great!

    November 16, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  107. Diane

    I always loved TGIF programming. Those were always fun family shows. Because after a week of busting butt at my office and going to bed early, Friday night is my night to be lazy, watch tv, order pizza or a movie and sleep. Saturday is my out and about day and party night.

    November 16, 2009 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  108. Mike

    The Big Four networks?

    1. SyFy
    2. Disney
    3. History
    4. USA

    November 16, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  109. Dan

    I was a fan of Sarah Connor Chronicles last year, but that's about it for Friday. Friday is time for Netflix at my house. CW moved Smallville to Fridays, but this season is dreadful. It has been steadily getting worse over years and I am pretty much done with it. Friday night is a graveyard, and has been for about a decade. The author of this article is not stating anything new.

    I'll watch if FOX brings back Sarah Connor Chronicles!

    November 16, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  110. Ned, Palisades, ny

    It comes down to putting on shows that people want to watch. Programming, the way that it is executed now, puts up good shows against good shows on other networks. Now, I have to choose to watch CBS(comedy run-how I met, accidently, 2 men, big bang) or fox (house/Lie to me) on mondays. Tuesday, wednesday and thursday are the same way. Why should I have to choose? The networks should own a night, and take it by force. Must see TV owned Thursdays, now-not so much. The result is that I can not watch a movie on Friday or Saturday night, or any first run shows. I am left scrounging on PBS. Other nights, I am stuck having to watch dance shows, which are about as exciting as having cable and only being able to watch the three shows about cake decorating, or reruns of L&O or CSI miami.

    The networks need ot man up and own a night. One note, put "V" on Friday and stop competing against SUTUCD which will continue to kick your butt.

    November 16, 2009 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  111. Nancy

    We are in our 60's and at this time of our lives are really, really upset with what we're being forced to view on TV – especially on Friday and Saturday nights. Zilch, zero, nada.

    Give us something decent to watch and we'll watch it. We don't know where you get your numbers from but if it's from the Neilson box, you can forget about it. That's good for nothing.

    November 16, 2009 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  112. Brian

    Network Execx need to track the use of DVR's. I a,most never watch live TV on Friday nights, but I do DVR 2 shows each week.

    November 16, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  113. Louise

    I agree with most of the above. I enjoy Ghost Whisper too, the reality shows really are way over done and stupid!! Hardly ever watch regular channels anymore. Cable is not always good either (wonder what the h- we are really paying for! Anyhow I love watching movies and hate it that they show the same ones over & over & annoying is that? Love the real old movies too. Love Project Runway, it is amazing how talented those young designers can be...Heidi Klume is totally annoying though (I am sure most of you don't enjoy that show-but it can be very interesting). Intervention is very intense at times, sad. HGTV great to catch at times. Love Mad Men. Catch up on All My Children on Soap Net at night – even though it is so unreal. Been hooked on that one for years! Don't go out much do I? In my younger days I was out most of the time. I channel surf alot keep switching. Too much sex and violence these days on TV – in my day there was I Love Lucy, etc. Ed Sullivan, etc. Of course those days are gone, we can now only watch reruns. Even CNN can be sickening at times!! It seems like the bad/sad news is always the "good" news. To sum it up TV has gotten way out of control!

    November 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  114. Jerry B.

    There are two good shows of Friday nights (and only two good shows): "Ghost Wisperer" & "Medium".

    November 16, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  115. Tony D

    Commercials and lame programs have drove many away from tv.
    I personaly cant stand to watch 4 mins of tv then 6 to 7 mins of commercials and up comming events and the same thing over and over.
    The tv execs have lost their minds if they think viewers like that sort of thing. I can watch all my favorite shows on the internet with less or no commercials I canceled my cable I dont need it anymore

    November 16, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  116. J

    I don't understand why Fox just didn't move Dollhouse to Tuesday nights. NOTHING is on Tuesdays except for the new "V" series at 8pm.

    They stupidly moved House to Mondays to compete with Heroes on NBC. Way to divide the viewership, Fox. Who makes these decisions???

    November 16, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  117. Emmie

    I agree with ladyj that Friday night is a perfect tv night. I'm too tired at the end of the week to do anything but drop my butt in the recliner and watch something. Dallas was and X-Files were perfect for that.

    Does anybody remember when the number 1 shows were on Saturday night? I'm thinking of All in the Family and Mary Tyler Moore. You just didn't go out until they were over.

    November 16, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  118. judy riker

    Bring back Friday Night Lights!!!

    November 16, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  119. karenina

    Friday night in my early teens: The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Here Come the Brides, The Odd Couple, Love American Style. Man, I miss those days….

    November 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  120. Linda

    Please put something entertaining on Friday night TV.
    We look forward to coming home and relaxing & watching TV, eating some popcorn, etc. Come can all do better than this!!!!
    Not all viewers are going out on Friday nights. I bet more people are home...the economy stupi...........!!!!

    November 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  121. Mike

    Awww people won't be able to watch TV. What are we going to do with ourselves? How did the human race ever survive before the 20th century? We are doomed. No more TV on Fridays or Saturdays! Boohoo!

    November 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  122. jnywest

    Well, if it is not clear to everyone in the industry, it is certainly clear to the consumers of the product.
    TV IS DEAD!!!

    They have been puting crap on TV for years now, and they wonder why eveyone has left the networks and spend all thier time on the net and HULU.

    It is not as if they were not warned. For decades now the consumers of TV have been saying to the producers, "this is crap, we don't like it, stop it or I am going to go do something else." Well, there you go guys, your industry is almost completley dead now, congrats!

    November 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  123. Conrad Shull

    Make Friday night music night.

    November 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  124. baschem

    Learn from Disney! If the networks would air family programming on Fridays kids would watch. If they really want to bring people in cut down on the commercials. TV is hopelessly boring for kids because they don't care about the stuff for sale and by the time the commercials are over the kids have lost their concentration and moved on. 8 minutes in between programming is an eternity to a kid. I understand networks have to make money but if they are having trouble making money now making some is better than making none.

    November 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  125. Jo Janet Koblack

    Friday night TV is all about White Collar. We LOVE that show! Great characters, great writing, great plots, great acting. It'sengrossing, witty, serious and clever. I hope it runs for years & years and is issued on DVD.

    November 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  126. SA

    There is a reason why DVR and other such show recording devices are not taken into the N. Ratings, because all of the networks make their money off the commercials > more viewers = more revenue for them. They know that most people do not watch the commercials if they record the show, seriously who would want to. So for all the people complaining about them not taking the DVRs and etc. into consideration should realize, that's because of those such devices that shows are more prone to be canceled now-a-days.

    November 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  127. Skittles

    Network executives are too egotistic and out of touch to realize the majority of viewership home on Friday nights are adults with minor children. However, there are no network shows on Friday that are appropriate for family viewing. Go back to TGIF type fare. Stay away from reality and crime shows.

    November 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  128. Donnamaie White

    PBS – Mystery night is Friday night (channel 54 in my area) – when they are busy running off-topic shows, auctions, etc – it's DVD time. I tried Numbers but it wore out the premise sometime back. Weird script writing. Nothing has been worth watching on the "networks" for a long time.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  129. burnouttx

    The death of Friday Night TV? Here are some points:
    1) Reality TV sucks – most people have enough of reality with working a 9 to 5 job and most do not want to come back home just to watch someone else in their poor attempt to deal with it.
    2)Cable/Satelite dish networks – Sad to say for the Big 3 (ABC, CBS, NBC) but there are more choices out there now. I'm more of a Discovery/History Channel/Syfy guy. (Except for Ghost Hunters. I can feel my IQ literally melting when that is showing. Thats a show that should follow John Edward's so called speaking to the dead crap and leave.)
    3)The Internet – streaming video sites, torrent downloads, etc. why settle for what your local cable provider has when you can watch videos from around the world if you know where to look? Ever notice that in some video streams, the audio is automatically turned up while the commercials are playing?
    4) Again, Reality TV sucks.
    5) Recording Tech – Watch it on your time and not the stations time. 'Nough said. Buh-bye...
    6) Writing – so far The Mentalist and Stargate Universe are holding my attention so far with a good plot line and good character interaction. You just dont show a story on TV, you have to make the viewer want to follow along with the story's journey.
    7) Did I forget to mention that Reality TV sucks?

    November 16, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  130. Ray from Atlanta

    As a Senior Citizen, I look forward to watching TV on friday nights. As some of your readerssaid, Ghost Whisperer and Medium are the only decent shows on friday nights. Let's hope they survive and the other networks get some good shows started that night.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  131. Janet Taylor

    Take a look at cable. Get some hints.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  132. Orion

    Well I think the major issue is the networks really are not alltogether on the same page as their viewers. Viewers these days just record their shows they want to watch so they can watch it when they want to. Most people are doing other things Friday traveling, or going to clubs.

    Also if the networks would just get rid of the stupid reality shows and go back to sitcoms like they use to have I think more people would stay home and watch it. Also stop killing off shows that don't show more people watching it....some might just be recording it and really enjoy it. ABC has killed off Defying Gravity....why? Because nobody was watching it. Why was this? ABC didn't do any advertising for it, they put it on on a Sunday night at 10pm. So in reality ABC just paid a bunch of money to create a show, paid the actors, the set designers and put it on but never tried to get an audience for it. So it's the networks fault that they have killed off certain nights and put a sour taste in the viewers mouths.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  133. Robert E.Dowling

    It surely appears that Friday nights are governed by 18 -49 year olds. I am 73 years old and the mindless shows that appear on Fridays are nothing of interest to our group 55-80 years. We don't care about some bimbo exploiting her body to gain publicity for whatever the cause. We are the group that cannot sleep longer than 2-3 hours at a time and we need something of value to remind us of our culture not the naked future. If that was the case we would watch the pay for view channels. Thank You

    November 16, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  134. Mike Jones

    The writer has completely overlooked 'Medium' , the show that moved from NBC to CBS to make room for the Jay Leno 'show'.

    'Medium' has been posting it's best ratings ever since moving to the Friday time slot from Mondays/Wednesday/whatever that NBC had it programed in.

    It has excellent acting and excellent writing... but where's the story in that?
    Oh yeah, how about the lead-in show to Numb3rs is posting it's best ratings ever! Maybe Friday isn't so dead after all...

    November 16, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  135. carol

    Can Friday night TV be saved.I say only if we have shows come back like the Cosby show, Rosanne,The nanny.That is the only things that can save Friday TV rember TGIF.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  136. TV is now terrible

    It is not just Fridays – I cannot stand most new shows out there (like 90%) – I am a member of gen Y. I have to get all my entertainment from sometimes way way WAY back, and I have been doing it for years. In the early 90s, as a kid it was not so bad with TGIF, but as now, its all mostly reality crap or the typical cop-doctor- teenage drama that has been poisoning tv for the last decade. If I want to watch Friday night tv shows, I will pop in a dvd and spend the evening with Lucy Ricardo, Archie Bunker or George Costanza.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  137. Joe

    Frida Night Lights is now showing on Dierctv. What a shame it could not be on NBC, but that is their choice

    November 16, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  138. J.

    I do not watch ANY THING live any more (except for sports). I record everything on my DVR and watch it later to fast forward through the commercials.

    I agree with those who suggest family entertainment for Friday night. There are a number of parents who stay home on Friday with their kids.

    Stop with the reality TV, it is completely stupid proving that those who watch it are sheep.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  139. j

    Friday Night Programming? It doesn't exist but, then, neither does decent, quality programming for the other 6 nights of the week. There are VERY few quality shows on any major (old) network anymore. Probably only a handful. Until the networks start making shows that have intelligence, wit, aren't about cops or blood and gore, and have a lighter and funner (is that a word) air to them – people will be leaving every channel in droves.

    Think about the quality shows that have taken a hike recently: Chuck, Pushing Daisies, Friday Night Lights. Changes in shows like Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives have also given them a tired, bored, ho hum nothingness.

    Don't know how networks come up with the people that watch shows and rate them – but whoever they are – they're not doing a good job. And, heck, those of us who are baby boomers – we DO stay home on Fri. nights and enjoy t.v. When we have to watch PBS for something relevant and interesting and thought provoking – well, what can I say.................................... Glad I have cable.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  140. SM

    If the networks want Friday night and Saturday night to be successful then they should gear their shows to the middleage to senior viewer. Think about it. Most teens and the 20 to 35 crowd are out partying or hanging around the malls with their freinds. If they were home they would be to busy on the computer or the cell phones texting each other. I remember not long ago Saturday night had show like The Profiler, The District, The Pretender that I always looked forward to Saturday night watching. Now all the good shows come on 2 nights a week and it makes me record 2 or 3 shows so I can watch later.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  141. Tara

    I think the problem really comes from the "demographics". I'm a 28 year old Mother of two and I work a full time job. My husband does as well and even though we watch several shows throughout the week, we feel Fridays are for catching up. We both come home after the weekly dance school and basketball practices and want to sit down and relax. We cuddle together on the couch and look for good tv. Guess what? There is none. We've watched, at times, Ghost Whisperer but other than that there is nothing! The networks, especially NBC, kill off shows too quickly because they dont have the "viewership" they are looking for. What happened to providing diversity to the population. Just because a show isn't number 1 doesn't mean that its dead. I think its pretty self-evident that friday night's are going to have a substantially lower viewership than that of Tuesdays. But don't take the tv away from the people who DON'T go out because we have responsibilities at home. One important point to the killing of lower viewships, NCIS. I've been watching NCIS since its insemption. However it took 7 seasons to get to number 1. I think that when they won the night from AMERICAN IDOL, it showed that the public just might have been sick of reality shows.
    I too remember watching the TGIF as a kid with my brothers and knowing (and wishing it didn't come) that once Perfect Strangers was over, we would need to go to bed. What happened to family tv? I would love to sit and watch tv with my kids instead of them going into their bedroom and watching the same episode of Spongebob for the upteenth time. Yes, digital age, Tivo, etc is all well and good but when people ask what's wrong with this country, maybe we should be looking at this. Families dont have anything to watch together anymore. Bring back TGIF, The wonderful world of Disney, heck, raise Ed Sullivan fro mthe dead. Just give us parents something decent to watch!

    November 16, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  142. MJ

    If the nets just forgot about the 18 to 30 group – then they could come up with programming that makes sense for those that are at home on friday nights ! Younger couples that have children – they are home. Middle aged couples 45 to 55 – they are at home. So would it not make sense to have the comedys and drama about those types of people on fridays? Modern Family and Cougartown would probably do well. As would Deperate Housewives and Brothers and SIsters.

    Personally – I watch alot on friday as it's become sci fi night. SGU, Sanctuary, Dollhouse – plus Medium and Law and Order.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  143. Jen

    Friday nights can definitely be saved ... you hit on it in your article – give people something worth watching. Law and Order has its following but don't expect new viewers to flock to it.

    My friday night viewing is spent on USA and Syfy – they offer great programs that are suspenseful and comical. None of the current programming on ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX offers that. I'm sure it did at one time or another but they either swapped times/days or cancelled the show. How can you get an audience when you give up on a show after 3 episodes? That barely gives people the time to know the characters and attach.

    Also, the majority of people have DVRs now so many shows are recorded and watched later. I do it to avoid commercials. I'll record my shows, go out for the night, and then watch everything later on or during some other free time.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  144. friday

    Why don't they have the fun shows for younger kids on friday nights any more? there were always cute, fun shows for kids on friday night, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Family Matters, Faith and Hope. I know they may be seen as cheesy shows, but they were clean, fun shows, alot of which is missing in tv now. I cringe at some of the things they broadcast on tv that my children are seeing. I grew up when 3's Company really pushed the limits for tv. And we wonder what's wrong with our kids nowadays. No more reality tv. Can't stand it! It's a good thing for cable, otherwise there would be absolutely nothing to watch other than the local news.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  145. Bob K

    Please don't cancel Numb3ers!! It's one of several crime "escape" programs on TV...thought provolking and well characterized.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  146. Amanda

    The people who are at home on Friday nights are probably families with young children. I think that's why ABC's TGIF line-up was successful in the 80s and 90s. Maybe they should try family shows again.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  147. Guy B.

    Oh did not see this so a comment on it

    Stephen – NYC – I so agree with him about all the txt on screen, I know what channel I'm watch why because I selected it, the networks that do this insult my intelligence when they post that junk, CW and all the rest of you, your driving us away so dont blame us for not watching

    November 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  148. Kris

    People in charge at the Networks should be fired. Hire Teenagers or young children that have a clue as to what is entertaining. I mean really....Jay Leno EVERY NIGHT for 4 nights in a row...BORING!!!!

    Reality TV should be killed - everybody knows it isn't REAL and does anyone care anymore? Its like eating fast food every night...its cheap, it will fill you up but you get what you pay for...a lot of empty calories.

    Dollhouse was awesome. It was different and cool. It appealed to Men, women and teenagers. The stories were creative and the women were HOT and kicked butt. My husband and teenage son looked forward to the new episodes. Like with all the other good shows that have been just wasn't given the opportunity to take off.

    Seriously....Fire all of the executives in charge....they have no pulse!

    November 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  149. Lori Coulson

    I'd be so happy if ABC would move "Castle" to Friday at 8pm and "The Forgotten" to Friday at 9pm. What is with showing all the good ones at 10pm?

    Newsflash for the Networks - some of us have day jobs, have to be in bed by 10pm, and/or don't have TIVO/DVR. I'd love to have something good to watch on Friday night.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  150. Stumped

    Watching the boob tube is a thing of the past. People either record or watch on the internet on their own schedule without 20+ minutes of commercials. Execs are either too dumb or just can't let go past to realized this. I haven't had cable in ages. I watch Hulu or other sites for the shows I like, when I want to watch. I don't have to worry when they come on or if they are going to be on at the same time. And commercials make anything worth watching on the tube unbearable. The quick cancellations and schedule changes are the result of the powers that be not being in touch....what a shock.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  151. Lorene Shortino

    Maybe if the networks could find some people who could really write, instead of just endlessly recycling the well written shows of the past, people would be willing to watch again. Of course people still watch Law & Order – it was entertaining (and still is, even in reruns). Trauma and Mercy (to name a couple of new shows) are good but Third Watch was better. Are they ever going to get rid of those 'reality' shows? Real people in real life don't do most of what the 'reality' shows depict and many of us wouldn't want to.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  152. James from Elk Grove, CA

    The networks need to start be testing the water on new shows by putting it on the internet first. Hulu or the Network site for example will be a great place to poll to see if the show is worthy of prime-time. I am sick of the network of pulling shows after only a few episodes. Sometimes it takes more than a few episodes for people to understand the characters or to hear through word of mouth that the show is worthy of watching. Not everybody hangs out by the television set to watch trailers of new shows. Maybe the Networks need to use the silver screen, twitters, facebook, myspace, etc to show clips in order to create the hype needed to make a show sucessful.Create the fan base first then air it in prime time.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  153. carolyn

    I DVR everything I want to watch, viewing shows on my time. It's a shame that networks make these silly decisions. I'm still not over Fox cancelling Sarah Conners, Terminator! What a dumb mistake. I guess they'll continue to do this until nothing very worthwhile is left, other than some good news programming. The great benefit is I can cancel the cable, turn off the TV, save on electricity & read more books.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  154. Guy B.

    I watch on Friday and Saterday night all the show I did not have time for on Monday to Thursday. But in the new world nothing matters anyway as I'm over 50 which means I'm dead and my opinon matters to no one, so yes let the networks die, change is change, and time for them to go. I would rather pay for each show I watch, then perhaps I can get a show that's of interest to me and not have to suffer commercials that are of no interest to me and just get the content I paid for.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  155. Kimberly in Kentucky

    For me, Friday nights are only for Monk (which only has 3 shows left) on USA and The Soup on E! - once Monk is gone, prob watch reruns of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on Food network.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  156. Ian

    Here's a phenomenal idea. Just cancel Friday night altoghether...just take it off the calendar. End the week with Thursday and problem solved.

    Let's get one thing straight...Ghost Whisperererererer and Medium suck!!!!

    November 16, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  157. riley

    it is interesting to read this story and the comments that follow. I am usually too tired on Friday nights to go out and do anything, so I am one of those black sheep who actually stays home and watches TV. I used to watch Ghost Whisperer a while ago, but I got tired of it because it got too dark. and I couldn't follow the story anymore. and I am sad to hear about Numbers. I've enjoyed that show from the beginning, and I still like it now. my only complaint is that the background music is getting too loud these days. it seems like that part of it makes it hard to hear the actors talk. I don't know for certain if this is what other shows do, or if that's the only one. (??) and I am not much into news-related programming, except that one on PBS on Friday nights called Washington Week (with Gwen Ifill.). I watch that all the time, not just because there's nothing else on, but it helps to explain things in the news that might have been overlooked, or difficult to figure out all by myself. other than that and Numbers, the quality of it is so poor, there's almost nothing at all worth watching on Fridays anymore. well there's Monk on USA, but that's almost done, and Psych is done until early next year. oh well.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  158. Robert Laird

    Friday night television is like Saturday night television, which is like ever other day of the week. Mindless drivel constantly interrupted by commercials hard-selling you to buy things you both don't need or want. I stopped watching television several years ago and now only occassionly turn it on.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  159. Adam

    You know, it's not that hard to figure out why Friday night television is dying. One, Hollywood is out of ideas. It's the same type of shows rehashed over and over. Doctor shows, lawyer shows, cop shows, boring, yawn and turn it off. Shows like Modern Family are a breath of fresh air. Two, the invention of a little thing called the VCR which spawned the DVD and now BluRay player make it easy for families to gather together for movie nights hence blocking out Friday nights for network TV. Three, with the digital age comes no loyalty to shows. In the early 80's, one couldn't DVR or TiVo or HULU their favorite show. They had to actually watch it. People would schedule their times around shows because they wouldn't have a second or third chance to watch it.

    But I think the biggest thing is that Hollywood is simply out of ideas. For their lack of ideas, the big networks try to vamp up their floundeing shows with more blood, more violence and more skin and quite honestly, people are fed up with it.

    Come up with something fresh and new and people might stick around.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  160. Dianne

    We never watch TV on Friday night because we have other things to do on that night, but we records Numb3rs and watch it later. It's a really good show from which you can learn something. If the networks would have some shows that are worth watching and not cancel them after 8 episodes or a year and leave their viewers hanging, we might be inclined to watch more. I personally am sick of shows that should only be shown to adolescent boys of any age like Two and a half men. And, the reality shows are so stupid, I don't know why anyone watches.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  161. Tim

    I think Medium is the best show on TV. Very well written and acted. I have a 70 inch plasma and do not enjoy little pictures, cell phones, 12 inch laptop. My DVR is working overtime with all the channels out there.I do also enjoy Tabitha takes over. An English chick with a bad ass attitude. Very enjoyable. Friday night TV could be Tuesday programming with my DVR. Any day is any day for TV now.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  162. mike

    if there are 5 network shows a week I watch, then that's a lot. stop putting on ridiculous reality shows, which i'm proud to say i've never watched one – i can tell by their advertisements that they're idiotic. I would still rather watch old tv reruns (andy griffith, barney miller, honeymooners, odd couple, etc.) than turn on most of the crap that's on network tv. Networks throw crap down our throats and we're expected to watch it – biggest loser, wife swap, dance with stars, – all mindless drivel.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  163. cookspencer

    I'm always home on Friday nights watching tv by myself. I've been a huge fan of Ghost Whisperer for years and wouldn't miss it. Now that Medium is on immediately following, it's just made my day. It's my favorite night of television!!!

    November 16, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  164. Amy

    THANK YOU FOX & NBC! Our family is not able to afford going out on Friday nights like before and are forced to spend time at home. We used looked forward to staying home and watching The Terminator & Dollhouse. Now that those shows are cancelled we play Board Games and try to have fun together as a family so it is actually better to turn off the tube and go back to how people enjoyed Friday Nights before the invention of TV.

    November 16, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  165. Patricia G, Houston, TX

    ABC why did they move Ugly Betty to Friday's in the first place? Such a great show...but true to ABC they will probably end up cutting the show. After they moved Life on Mars (who decides this stuff) and then dropped it like a bad joke like they always do ...I am learning to not get too attached to anything on ABC...i.e. "V" great show but it is on ABC will probably end up being moved then dumped...I am not a fan of ABC bad no loyalty to the fans....

    November 16, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  166. Jim

    Let me run one of the networks. Give me a two year contract, at industry executive minimum, with a performance based renewal option at the end of those two years, with a year to year performance based salary and renewal deal thereafter, and I will guarantee that people would laud a "new era" in television programming and that viewership would increase. If I failed to achieve that, I would become a spokesperson for the industry letting the world know just how truly difficult the job is. I also guarantee that I couldn't really do any worse in overall numbers.

    And trust me, I'm no industry insider.

    November 16, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  167. Leah Rosenthal

    Used to make sure I was home every Friday night to watch Si-Fi's line up of STARGATE SG-1 and the surrounding programs. Completely forgetting the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" rule, they messed with the formula and blew it to heck. I'm sorry; gave STARGATE UNIVERSE a chance, and it's incredibly boring, with no appealing characters to care about.

    November 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  168. betty

    I think right now people don't have a lot of money to go out so they order in and hope for something good on Friday night. How about running a really good recent movie ?? It would be something different and give people something new to watch. Everyone is so tired of the stupid reality shows and cornball comedies. Give us something adult and exciting to watch. W

    November 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  169. Ella

    bring back TGIF!

    November 16, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  170. PT Byrd

    Sitting in front of a television set on Friday night is equivalent to those of years-gone-by gathering 'round the radio for the evening's entertainment - it just isn't happening anymore. The times they are a changin'.

    November 16, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  171. cirestan

    Friday & Saturday nights are movie nights at our house.

    I'm just wondering how long scheduled program is going to be that important. With the introduction of the DVR, and streaming video on the internet, I think the networks are still trying to force us to conform to the way THEY want us to watch TV.

    Really, I give it at most 5 years before it's more along the lines of "Watch on Demand" in one week increments.

    November 16, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  172. Roger

    The best part about Friday night is Star Wars: The Clone Wars! Now if the west coast could just get Cartoon Network in HD that would be AWESOME!!!

    November 16, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  173. Brunwick

    A group of us had a discussion about how TV programming has really changed in the last number of years. It used to be that viewers could count on the TV season running from September to (approximately) late May. Viewers would know when the shows were shown and they could count on new episodes. Nowadays, the season is hard to define, one week a new episode will show, and then the next couple of weeks reruns. As well, the satellite companies keep changing the times in which the show would appear, or it would be eliminated it all together and then show up a month or two later. Perhaps TV corporations and the satellite providers should meet. Ultimately, however, the viewers are paying the price (literally) for a lot of sub-standard programming and entertainment news. It's like a processed meat sandwich: all filler and little meat!

    November 16, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  174. Jan

    What about USA programing? The new White Collar is fun and I love Burn Notice. Also, I have always liked Numb3rs – it's a shame it might go away. I agree that most everyone who watches Friday night TV probably uses the DVR. There is too much going on to watch Friday shows on Friday.

    November 16, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  175. Steven R.

    Networks are trying so hard to get the 18-year olds they forget the rest of us who don't go out partying on Friday night. Somehow they need to change their perception of what makes a successful show. Especially Fox, which has aired and cancelled good shows like Wonderfalls, John Doe, Terminator and Dollhouse on Friday nights.

    November 16, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  176. Eva

    As a child there was nothing better than TGIF on Friday nights on ABC. It was like a treat for all of us kids to watch the shows and eat pizza and popcorn. It felt like a 'movie night' to us. When I was a teenager I willingly gave up my Friday nights for "The X-Files" missing football games and parties just to sit in the dark and watch my favorite show. Now the only show I care about on Fridays is "Medium" and my DVR catches that one for me... I've only sat down maybe two Fridays this season to watch it. If I didn't have the DVR I would have to weigh that show against whatever else I wanted to do.

    November 16, 2009 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  177. Grumpyoldlady

    Numb3rs is the only thing worth watching for me on Friday nights any more and it's getting soapy – sure sign a show is outliving itself. Don't look for anything watchable to replace it either. Maybe one of the cable channels will come up with something good – or at least show reruns of something I wasn't able to watch in its original time slot – maybe I'll get to catch White Collar?

    LOSE THE REALITY SHOWS and go back to making STORIES with INTERESTING CHARACTERS. Only the cable networks (mostly USA) are doing that nowadays.

    November 16, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  178. Annie

    Come on over to USA. Monk, White Collar, Psych! You know, the intelligent person's Friday night fare. I haven't looked to see what's on ABC, CBS or NBC in about 3 years. Judging from this article and the responses, the answer is 'not much.' Not that this would be any different from any other night of the week for ABC, CBS, and NBC. How much crime, sap and Jay Leno does a person need?

    November 16, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  179. ponder

    I do watch TV on Friday night and the network I watch is CBS. I don't have children nor do I have a desire to watch highschool kids play football/basketball. I go to the movies but for matinees only on Saturday/Sunday afternoon. I HATE REALITY SHOWS!!!! The networks should know that these shows are not mentally stimulating. I have noticed that a few of the new tv shows are not on this week and wonder if they too have seen the chopping block. I liked Southland and was looking forward to seeing it again and what has happened to Friday Night Lights? You know a lot of the"older" generation is at home on the weekends and they count just as much as the "younger" generation. So keep this in mind before you mess with the line up or cancel shows!

    November 16, 2009 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  180. Jason

    It's all about the cable networks. Look at the success they are having on Friday (Monk, Psych, etc.)

    November 16, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  181. Toni

    I am sick of TV – the networks for their lousy programming – too many reality shows and lousy sitcoms. What's happened to the writers? They can't come up with anything other than sexual inuendo and sarcastic interplay between characters? I too amy hooked on Netflix. Now I can watch a series or a movie and not see any of the shows/movies cut or language taken out or changed.

    I'm really sick of paying for cable/satellite too. Long ago, you were paying for movies and series, without commercials. Why are we paying for cable/satellite if we have to watch commercials? I think there's only one station commercial free – TCM.

    And I agree with Stephen-NYC. What the heck is the reason for all the on-screen logo crap? We all know what network/cable station we're watching. I want to enjoy a show without seeing what is coming next. Leave me alone to watch TV.

    November 16, 2009 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  182. The Truth

    Battlestar Galactica was not only on Fridays but also on pretty late. I remember as a kid the uproar due to Dukes of Hazard being on Fridays causing loss of attendance to high school football games (this was before wide spread recording usage). The article mentioned other successes and there were many more that were not mentioned. Heck I remember the days when Saturday late afternoon and evenings had some decent programming as well. The problem is dilution, too many channels out there. Imagine if we cut them down by 3/4 and kept the best shows from each axed channel, we would finally have daily quality tv back like we did 20 plus years ago.

    A good show, that people want to watch, will bring in numbers no matter what day its on. The only excuse is if its paired against a highly rated show on another network, then they are competing against each other for viewers.

    November 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  183. Laura in Lubbock, Texas

    My favorite show is Medium. Therefore, I am excited to watch TV on Friday nights. Thank you CBS for saving it. I agree that networks make it hard for their shows to succeed when they switch them around to different nights, and also don't give them time to develop an audience. Several shows have caught my interest in the last couple of years, but they were yanked off the air way too soon. There are also several shows that I really want to see, but they are scheduled at the same time and I have to make a choice (no TiVo at my house). V would be an example.....I wanted to see it, but was not prepared to give up ANTM, which ends this week. Some networks rerun their shows at different times, say in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. I have gotten hooked on several shows this way, because I missed them earlier in the week. I appreciate the creativity of this programming and really think it is needed due to the insanity of family life these days. Families are pulled in many different directions and is likely the biggest cause of a drop in TV viewing.

    November 16, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  184. T

    Makes me wonder if TV (programming that is) is on it's way out....

    To quote Lt. Cmdr. Data from the ST: TNG episode: The Neutral Zone...

    Sonny Clemens, musician, who awoke from cryonic freeze and asked about putting on the Braves on the tube, puzzling Commander Riker.

    Data's response – "He means television, sir, that particular form of entertainment did not last beyond 2047."

    November 16, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  185. mark

    I can't believe nobody's mentioning USA network. THAT's where all the viewers go from 9 to 11. They consistantly have the best original shows, whether Friday, Thursday or Sunday. Right now it's Monk and White Collar. I don't even watch Numb3rs anymore unless I record it and watch it later......

    November 16, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  186. Patty

    Numb3rs is one of my favorite shows, and I'm sorry to hear that it is going by the wayside – BUT – I nearly always DVR it and watch it about 1:30 a.m. (after Craig Ferguson). It's been said before; people are out on Friday night, but that doesn't keep us from watching good TV – we just don't watch it on Friday night. The networks are making a big mistake if they start treating Friday like Saturday night! If they start showing reality TV or news magazines, I for one will just watch cable when I'm home, and won't DVR anything when I'm not.

    November 16, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  187. Donna

    We gave up on network TV years ago when the programs became so dumb even if I was bored I couldn't watch. We prefer cable where we can watch movies and a few intelligent shows. If I'm going to choose to sit in front of the TV I want to watch entertainment.

    November 16, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  188. Sandra Adams

    Check out USA on Friday nights. Beteer than most or LMN.

    November 16, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  189. Hell Atlantic

    i hope everyone understands that the entire reason for tv (and radio, while we're at it) is to show commercials. so there will always be commercials. thats like saying "i wish my gym didn't charge a monthly fee" – duh, the gym exists only to make money off your monthly fees, the equipments is there only to get you to pay the money. tv shows exist so that a tv network can get as many of you as possible to park your butts in front of the tv so that their advertisers can try to sell you a product. the only way there wouldn't be commercials is if you get one of those "this programming is being shown to you uninterrupted thanks to our sponsors at General Electric". or you'll see tons of product placement (i'm sure you've noticed how those Coca Cola glasses are always showing the coke logo on American Idol).

    since Friday is such a weak night for competition from other shows, a network figures "let's send this underperforming (by our standards) show to one of the weakest nights of the week where it should have little competition". since everyone knows Friday is a horrible night for watching tv you'd think that whomever is left home to watch tv that night is likely to tune in to your show. if you put a show like "Survivor" on Friday, yeah, it'll have weaker ratings than when it normally airs, but it's gonna crush anything else in its time slot on Friday since it'd be the strongest show at that time. that's what networks try to do. try to get the biggest piece of a really small pie. if you excel at running, you may not be good enough to compete at an Olympic level. but if you're a good runner and you run against weaker competition in theory you should clean up shop. that's why shows move to Friday.

    November 16, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  190. Gary

    I don't watch network TV much anymore with the exception of occasionale late night Seinfeld reruns, and PBS. Network stuff is just the same old stuff over and over, way too broken up by car and viagra commercials... I don't know how they keep anyone's attention, it's just not very interesting on Friday or any other night, and there are many better alternatives. I think it's circling the drain, and good riddance.

    November 16, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  191. D.Campbell

    In general, regardless of the night television is horrible. Fox shouldn't have quit on Terminator and stop with all the "reality" shows. The 80's were great you had the best night time soaps, Dallas, Dynasty and Knots Landing to name a few. Desperate Housewives is not the same flash forward 5 years??? Law and Order SVU is just not the same this season there is no bang! Sitcoms are a sad story there aren't any good ones!!!!! I don't like the new comedies without laugh tracks and there is no intro song to the shows.
    Perhaps networks should learn what formulas worked from 20 years ago. There is no originality left and Americans should stop remaking classic British shows and give struggling writers a chance they can't be worse than what we are subjected to.

    November 16, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  192. Erin

    Bring back TGIF!!

    November 16, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  193. mark

    How about FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE EIGHTIES. All 80's movies and videos on Friday nights? Seems like there is not much on anymore except reality tv – and I get enough of that during the day at my job. Why would I want to come home and watch it on TV?

    November 16, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  194. Joy

    Personally, I believe it's because the whole family can't sit around and watch shows together anymore. The TV sitcoms are now filled with foul language, sexual references, and they aren't very intelligent either. When you look at the success of movies like Shrek, Up, Toy Story, etc, the audiences are there, entertainment like that is wanted. TV networks have yet to take advantage of that. I still remember TGIF, watching Boy Meets World, Family Matters, etc, with my mom and dad. We all enjoyed it. What happened to shows like that on the major networks?

    November 16, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  195. Tracie

    I completely agree! Stargate Universe absolutely sucks! It's horrible. We need to bring back real sci-fi, not this soap opera that takes place on a ship so we will call it sci-fi junk!

    November 16, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  196. Clinton, MA

    My family used to watch something on network TV 6 or 7 days/week & we are now down to 3 or 4 days/week with Friday being one of those days.

    Most of the programs we currently watch have been on for at least a few seasons so we know they won't be around for more than another couple of years.

    We're calculating that within the next 2 to 4 years, we will have no reason to watch traditional network TV.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  197. Mikel

    The Networks should all be clamoring to get WWE Smackdown, which is pulling in higher numbers then what is mentioned. That is what the 19 – 49 are watching.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  198. Karen McCausland

    CBS is stupid to lower the episodes ordered for Numbers. CBS has always been my network for Friday evening, Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint (now Medium) & Numbers. When the episodes of Numbers are done that's it for me. Personally I think the inmates are runnint the asylum these days!

    November 16, 2009 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  199. Robert

    The networks seem bent of self destruction. From constantly cutting production values, to the unending schedule changes without rhyme or reason, to overlaying every program with multiple promotions for other programs, to attacking and actively destroying any program's ability to maintain, let alone tell, a coherent story.

    The people making executive decisions for the networks clearly have no understanding of or appreciation for the product they sell or the industry they work. Their answer in all situations is to take the enitre jigsaw puzzle every single week and throw all the pieces in the air. If any two pieces magically stick together and the ratings that their own actions have depressed, recover somewhat. "Well then, I'm a programming genius."

    The networks are simply an extreme version of the ultra-short term lack of thinking that is destroying American competitiveness and quality in every endeavor. The networks have brought "management by the numbers" to a new, insane low.

    W Edwards Deming, the father of modern statistical management theory and practice, said the the most important immediate and short term numbers for every business are "unknown and unknowable"

    Businesses, therefore, need to take a long term view of long tern survival of corporate and product entities and manage to those longer term trends that can be known and managed against intelligently.

    The network executives are destroying unknown but vast amounts of potential revenue through their ignorance and stupidity.

    How long will corporate shareholders be willing to ignore the enormous amounts of wealth they are sacrificing to let these network executive schlubs play their moronic games.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  200. Texaslady

    I doubt that many young people stay home to watch TV; they probably Tivo or otherwise record whatever they want for later viewing. Then they go out and have fun. As an oldie, I do stay home on Friday night, and I like to watch "Ghost Whisperer" (although the plots have been getting decidedly strange the last couple of seasons), "Medium" (although I'm watching the last season of "Monk" in that time slot for now), and "Numb3rs".

    IMO, the TV network honchos are ridiculous to think they are going to be able to put anything on Friday nights that will get their target audience to stay home. With Tivo (et al.) available, they will record what they want while they are out on the town. The networks just need to realize that the Friday night audience is going to be smaller...end of story. It doesn't help when the "suits" decide to shuffle shows around and rearrange them. You never know when these nitwits are going to move a favorite show to another night, and usually without bothering to advertise it! What a bunch of overpaid morons!

    November 16, 2009 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  201. Tim Johnson

    There is so little to watch on television on any given night it's no wonder that Fridays are suffering. The networks are completely ignoring the older viewers who don't go to the movies on Friday or Saturday night. This crapfest of "reality programming" with its mind-numbing array of fame-hungry morons who are willing to make complete asses of themselves for a few minutes of fame and a few dollars has largely turned off a large portion of viewers. The older generation isn't hooked on their computer and video games. We just want decent programming and writing with some actual thought put into it. If you don't invest in the viewers, they won't invest in you.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  202. Kathy

    Networks may not be aware that in some markets "local network" programmers have blocked viewing to past audiences of Network TV. I know that in our area we switched from local cable to dish network and all of our local network channels were taken from us. We are blocked from receiving CBS and NBC and are only able to view ABC if we pay extra to receive it. So networks before your throw in your hat – INVESTIGATE and find out just how many locations across the country are affected in the same way. We were very local viewers of Network TV before this fiasco and had to give up some of our favorite shows including Numbers and wait for them on re-runs on USA, TNT, or TBS etc.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  203. Short T

    Watch the last season of Mr. Monk or try White Collar for fun. And gosh knows a rerun of one of the L&Os is just about on 24 hours a day and is always good for brain semi-fodder. I just wish Mondays and Thursdays weren't stacked to kill my DVR. SPREAD IT OUT PROGRAMMERS.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  204. colleen

    What really gets me is that we are put in the posiiton that we now pay a pretty penny for TV (cable and dish) and when we didn't pay TV was better! *Somebody has a good thing going.) I find the shows I like are now on at the same times too, so I store up a few of those and watch them Friday or Sat. night. I also find FOX, USA, TNT, and FX have great shows from "House" to the "Closer." SO I watch them a lot. And I totally agree that reality shows suck. Game shows would be better than that, and they aren't expensive. They just brought back "Let's make a Deal" with Wayne Brady and he ad kubs a lot so it's kind of fun.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  205. Pat

    Friday and Saturday network programming is so bad that I have to watch tv shows that I recorded during the week on those nights. Their poor programming has also given me a good reason to go to the movies again.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  206. LongTimeFan

    What's wrong with Friday Nights is that networks are not giving shows a chance anymore. The fact that FOX has cancelled 'Dollhouse' is a devistation to a very large fanbase. Do they not look at the internet at all? Who makes these calls?

    Have the networks taken into consideration that we are in the 21st century? Have they heard of DVR? If the fans are not in front of the tv watching the show right then and there, I can gaurantee that the DVR is capturing it for them.

    Give shows a chance, period.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  207. Bob Camp

    On Friday nights, I watch whatever shows up in the mail from Netflix or whatever we rented from Blockbuster. Because I can stay up a little later on Friday night and so I have time to watch a 2 hour movie. In the 80s, no one had a home theater system. Now many people do. I think people are just watching movies or going out, knowing there are several ways (DVR, Hulu, etc.) to catch up on what they missed.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  208. Steve in TX

    Okay... admittedly being late, I think there are one or two points I can carry on a little more.

    First, I agree that it does appear to be about the commercials. With DVRs and TIVO we can skip the utter nonsense (which is really what commercials are all about). I have news for companies... with the invention of a new computer network (called Internet), we have "on-demand" advertisements. What I'm getting at is that commercials provided a service back before the technology age became a household thing. Now, when we want something, we don't say "I'm looking for a new car... let me watch TV and see what the car commercials are saying for their product!!" If I want a car, I go to the internet, look at the vehicles that strike me, read the online reviews (various forums) for those autos, then go test drive the ones I'm seriously considering. There has not been a car commercial in 10-15 years that has made me stop and say, 'heeeey!!"

    Secondly, with so many ways to watch shows without commercials (or limited commercials), why bother with TV. Let's go back to the car thought. If I could go to a dealer who will talk to me endlessly about things I'm not concerned about (and don't relate to the car) or go to a dealership who just shows me what I'm interested in, which do you think I'll choose?

    I just watched seasons 1-4 of lost over my computer with Netflix (hooked to my TV via HDMI)... and I'll wait for 5 and 6 to come out that way, also. Why have the networks tell me what they want (read: who pays them) over what I want?

    Wake up, networks. There are too many ways out there to watch the shows we want. You can get greedy (along with actors) and show us things we don't want (keep following the declining ratings), or you can show us what we want. Your choice.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  209. mike

    Network television is going down the same road as the 8 track tape. Can't happen too soon for me!

    November 16, 2009 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  210. Family of 6

    We have 4 kids ranging in age from 5 to 14 and would love to watch some family movies, a comedy, or even drama on a Friday night. This is the one night of the week that we can finally sit down and relax and watch some t.v. together. My children relish the time that we can make popcorn and sit together to watch t.v. on a Friday. But we are hard-pressed to find anything to watch that appeals to everyone between 8 and 10 o'clock. Bring back real family t.v.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  211. Scott

    Friday Nights – The Clone Wars. Forgot about the major networks – their programming is in so redundant. CBS – how many crime shows do we need? ABC – how many serialized dramas and crappy comedy's do we need? NBC, Jay Leno – who cares anymore?

    November 16, 2009 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  212. Paul

    People, people, people... Its Friday. Go outside! The fact that TV networks are struggling on Friday and Saturday nights is a good thing.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  213. Jim

    As mentioned earlier, with young children, Friday night could be the best night to watch something together, Rather the networks seem fit to have commecials that are not intended for those under 12 replayed ALL THE TIME. A Viagara commercial is not proper for an 8 yr old, yet they are replayed constantly and they wonder why viewers have left – it is becasue they have left their sense of decency and common sense.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  214. ttw

    My husband and I get so frustrated with network television in general, never mind on Fridays. Very few good shows. I noticed a show we did watch on Fridays (we don't generally go out on Friday's, normally we go out on Saturdays) but Friday we were watching Southland, now I see that one isn't gonna be on.

    So much non-sense and general crap on TV. I hate reality TV shows, good lord, what a joke and networks are crammed with them over and over.

    I'm hoping they won't just up and cancel the few good shows we watch such as 'House'. That is a show worth tuning into.

    Either than above we watch our cabel networks for alternative programming, movies and sports. Network tv as it stands generally sucks.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  215. Dan Porter

    The networks are giving in to the cable shows. USA and SyFy seem to have focused on Fridays with their main shows.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  216. moodyblue

    If you mention Dallas, you have to add the show which immediately followed – Falcon Crest. That was two solid hours of truly entertaining TV. Saturday nights back in that era? Love Boat and Fantasy Island – another great reason to have stayed home (that and the fact I couldn't get a date).

    November 16, 2009 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  217. Ann Huntington

    I only watch network TV sparingly and Numb3rs, Ghost Whisperer, Medium, Law and Order, CSI-Los Angeles are about it. I gave up Ugly Betty after season 3 when it looked as if she had learned absolutely nothing about personal fashion and I wondered how such a smart girl could still be so dumb. I don't watch any reality shows. So, with the exception of the above and an occasional football game, there isn't much that holds my interest. Strange, because I have always been a tv fan.

    November 16, 2009 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  218. Violetfairies

    TV is dead-period. There is nothing really worth watching anymore especially since most of the time slot is taken up with drug commercials. I decided not to get cable when I moved in August and I don't miss it. Instead I watch dvds of TV shows from the 50's – early 70's and old movies. Shows were funny without being stupid or offensive and they don't insult my intelligence.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  219. O'Dell

    I have not owned a television for more than 20 years because sometime in my late twenties I realized mom was right when she referred to television as "the idiot box". There are so many more interesting things to do these days than sit home and watch neurotic surgeons or unrealistically attractive CSI agents perform tasks that are not part of their real life counterparts job description. It's also seems to me that people who rely on tv as a form of escapism mimic the behavior of the "idot actors" they watch on shows they describe as "captivating" or "well written.

    November 16, 2009 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  220. Kellie

    There are 6 shows that I like that ALL air on Thursdays!!! Maybe the networks should consider not all competing for the same night! I would love to have my fav shows not all on the same night!

    November 15, 2009 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  221. Amy D.

    Bring back TGIF! Am I right?

    November 15, 2009 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  222. Chad

    There is too much on TV on Friday night – forget the big 4 networks. You have resurging popularity shows on networks like Syfy on Fridays, and hmmm, let's see, oh yeah, the Internet. All these major networks show their episodes online now so who wants to sit in front of the TV on a Friday when they can run their DVRs, Tivo's and do something more productive, only to go back and watch the show later. We no longer live in an era of couch potatoes, but Internet potatoes. The networks are simply not going to get their "insta-grat" ratings on great shows like Dollhouse (sad that it was cancelled).

    They need to invest in better quality programming like Syfy is doing with Caprica, SGU, and Sanctuary. Reality TV's formula doesn't work anymore. Can anyone see the demise of Bravo on the horizon since Runway has left? Everyone is tired of watching the Housewives and these real estate agents, and no one in their right mind should be watching Kate and the kids as their family goes down the toilet any longer. People do not sit in front of their TVs when the weekend begins anymore. Spending time with family during this economy is becoming more and more the standard. The internet and DVRs let them go back and watch it later. The networks need to include these new venues in their ratings and not rely on the cable or airwaves any longer – these "antiquated" models for measuring ratings no longer work. GET A CLUE NETWORK EXECUTIVES!

    November 15, 2009 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  223. Chris

    I agree with alot of commenters here. I think the networks have forgotten who watched Friday night TV back in the 90s when ratings were high. Does anyone remember TGIF? As a teen I couldn't wait for Friday night TV. All of my friends and I could stay up a little later than normal, not have to worry about homework, and watch family friendly TV that our parents didn't mind us seeing. It was the perfect compliment to slumber parties and late night ice cream. The TV networks have gotten lost in reality tv zone and have forgotten that sitcoms used to be their bread and butter... and still would be if they would just invest the time in building some up!

    November 15, 2009 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  224. Liz M

    Friday Nights needs to be scheduled for Family programming. I remember that as a child, TGIF was on ABC and it was a solid 2 hour block that my sisters and parents would watch together. Often, because of sports practices and religion classes, the other nights of the week are booked with events and the family cannot spend time together doing a simple task like watching TV. If it was blocked with family programming, and a teamed up with Hasbro (The Family Game Night people), they could market it as a family night – play a game while watching decent programming for all ages. They could also do a tie in with a national pizza chain and offer a promo for cheap food and the night is set.

    November 15, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  225. Lin

    Well, they killed "Friday Night Lights" and sold it off to another network. One of the best shows out there and one that was hitting many demos. Our entire extended family watches it – 13 year olds to grandparents!
    If there's nothing good to watch of course we'll rent movies from Netflix!

    November 15, 2009 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  226. Trynn

    What a shame. Dollhouse was the bright light on Friday nights, and now it's being extinguished. And Numb3rs is in danger. I guess that means I'll have a free night because there's nothing else worth watching on Fridays.

    I agree wholeheartedly that Joss should look for a network that understands and appreciates his shows. We lost Firefly, we lost Angel. . . Joss is ahead of the curve and the networks just don't "get" him. The fans do & are fiercely loyal. If Firefly came back tomorrow, I'd be watching every episode. Then again, Nathan Fillion is doing superbly in Castle on Mondays.

    I haven't watched Ghost Whisperer since the plots got weird (husband dies, husband comes back...) and never liked Medium. And baseball season is now over. What does that leave for Friday nights? Zip. Nada. Zilch.


    November 15, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  227. Edna

    I cannot be the only person that does enjoy the Friday night shows. My husband and I look so forward to the NBC lineup of Ghost Whisper , and Numbers, and we have grown to like Medium. Come don't cancel Numbers , it is a very good show that makes our Friday nights bareable.

    November 15, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  228. Sharon

    Thank you Stephen from NYC! Every point he makes is the reason I refuse to watch network television. The few show I do like to tune into, I will use the DVR. No one wants to sit through commercial after commercial after commercial, etc. There are occasions when I have actually timed how how long the commercials were in regards to how many minutes of the show I actually watched. The absolute worst is being forced to watch a commercial for another show down in the corner, or those giant logos. Why do the networks still do this stuff. It just ticks us off enought to change the channel. And we almost always change to a cable channel just to watch anything that doesn't have commercials!

    November 15, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  229. Roz

    The networks should quit with the Nielsen Ratings for one thing. The way tv viewers watch shows now is not accurately reflected in the ratings in this new media world. With the availability of Netflix, DVR"s and TiVo, people don't have to sit in front of the tv every night in order to catch their favorite shows. Friday night is movie night for alot of people, so in order to pull in the viewers, make Friday night Network Movie night. Play a series of movies related to a specific topic or theme,("Anne of the Thousand Days", "Elizabeth", "Mary Queen of Scots", "Elizabeth, The Golden Age" for example) or a movie trilogy played back to back, and throw in some of those behind the scenes clips from when the films were made. Don't interrupt with advertisements and screen logos of upcoming shows. Put in an intermission between the movies so the advertisers can do their thing (like when the SuperBowl is on, but on a less expensive scale), and viewers can grab a snack or whatever. Make tv fun! Make it competitive with going out for those people not into bars and clubs. They could do so much more than just playing follow the leader when creating programs... make the shows more diverse in both plot and casting. Reflect America as it is now, with people of all ethnic backgrounds starring as leads, not just supporting roles. In essence, change the sheet music from the early days of TV; Do some interactive or live tv programs like SyFy did with Ghost Hunters on Halloween night on special occasions or holidays. Resort to quality writing, without the need for profanity or gore or extreme violence to snare viewers. Well-written, likeable characters will keep your viewers interested.

    November 15, 2009 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  230. selena

    Forget Friday...bring back Saturday morning cartoons with Bugs Bunny starting the morning followed by School House Rock..

    November 15, 2009 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  231. John Hawkins

    Get rid of reality TV. We already know the world is full of freaks and weirdoes. Despite the reality of good and talented people among us that seems to be ignored these days, look into them to open our eyes and feel what is around us. Stop the remakes. If you love the classics such as most of us, then don’t revamp, but reemerge them. Granted SCI-FI channel did great with Battlestar Gallactica, I’m a little leery to sit down and watch V, and I loved that series. I stop watching prime time in the late 90’s because, that’s when TV turned crap. Now I devote my time to Discovery, History and Science and let’s not forget about a little comedy. You can’t mess those up, well, maybe comedy. Good luck in fixing what has been destroyed for so long. At least we have books to read, that’s if people still can read these days.

    John Hawkins
    Orlando Florida

    November 15, 2009 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  232. Chris

    I think the biggest problem is as has been mentioned several times here. People DVR shows. Watch them on Hulu. The other fact is that we (or the networks rather) rely on numbers from a company called Nielsen who uses decades old rating systems to get their numbers and they aren't even accurate. So much so that ABC and Fox are either taking them to court or will be taking them to court for inaccurate numbers.

    Take for instance Fox for an example. Look at how many shows they have canceled in the past decade that have excelled in either DVD sales or even spawned movies. Family Guy. Futurama. Firefly. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Now Dollhouse.

    I guess some of us who want those shows can hope and pray they are picked up by better stations than Fox like Sci-Fi (or excuse me – SyFy).

    November 15, 2009 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  233. kkannma

    Law and Order has been so good this year. I have watched L&O since it began and this year it has returned to form. I don't always watch it live but always TIVO it. Also, Medium is a good show too. I'd say Saturday night is more of a deadzone for TV.

    November 15, 2009 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  234. Thomas Kolakowski

    What needs to change on Friday nights are the network's expectations on what the rating should be. As most have said, Fridays are a good DVR night as many are busy on Friday nights. Others look to cable on Friday nights. Friday night is SciFriday on SyFy, which has been incredibly successful for the network. USA has shows like Monk and Psych running on Friday nights. These quality shows cut into the networks big time! I was DVRing Dollhouse and watching SyFy. Wondering what new show will die in it's place?

    November 14, 2009 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  235. LA Area Teacher

    To create the same excitement for television that once existed, I think the networks need to go back to the mini-series and the creation of television "events." We record everything and then watch it at our convenience. We do sit in front of the television on Friday nights–we just might not be watching what is airing that evening–it's rare for anything to be compelling enough week after week to sustain that kind of viewer dedication. And over the last few years, it seems the networks replay shows suddenly mid-season so I don't count on a new episode each week anyway. The only thing that would make me tune in on a specific night is with a quality program sequenced over several nights...i.e. a 4 or 5-part series that plays Mon. through Fri and, even then, I might lag a day or two behind each episode. I don't have the patience to watch anything over several years anymore. Nothing has been good enough. Usually there are too many weak episodes mixed in between better ones. Just spend the money shooting the best scripts in fewer episodes, the way HBO tends to do it. That will create more variety in the schedule, more leanness in the stories, more "buzz," and probably more DVD sales later. There are a million great stories out there–just start with the classics. Wouldn't even have to pay royalties to the original novelists.

    November 14, 2009 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  236. Jerri Thompson

    Friday is the end of the work week for most people. Why not have interesting TV shows on. I was surprise to see this article because I was telling a friend "there is nothing on TV on Friday nights." I need the Friday night shows to ease my mind after a stressful week. Maybe, CBS needs to rearrange the shows on their station or better yet, come up with some new shows. Why take some of the shows being cancelled and show them on Fridays! It is better than watching nothing at all. The way I watch reruns, surely I can watch cancelled shows. Anyway, just my opinion.

    November 14, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  237. Shane Gibeault

    Its the digital age, who sits in front of the T.V. anymore? I remember sitting in front of the family when I was in my teens watching TGIF as if it was scheduled in stone each week. These days however, I'm just not as enamored with sitting infront of the tube. I'd rather be out doing things, and if I need a media fix I can always catch a show on my laptop, Netbook or Android phone. Those are the new media outlets.

    November 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  238. Steve

    I have seen several comments about commercials. I think that for the most part the creativity is lost for commercials. Oh, there are a few that are fun to watch, but that is rare. I remember when I lived in Germany that there was two or three hours of commercials back to back then the regular programming was not interrupted; but this was quite a while back. Thank goodness for DVRs. I can fly past the waste of time.

    @Cynthia, you mentioned what happened to Friday Night Lights go, I have seen commercials for them, just don't know what network it was on.

    November 14, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  239. amyinoaktown

    What's wrong with Friday night TV?? I have 4 shows that I DVR or watch on Friday nights....more than any other night of the week!!; Ghost Whisperer (CBS), Ugly Betty (ABC), Law & Order (NBC), White Collar (USA)....there's something for everyone on each of the networks! If you are trying not to spend $$ by going out, I think the line up is pretty darn good!NN

    November 14, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  240. Jackie

    With all the crap 'reality' shows, why bother turning the tv on?
    Remember when people used to make sure they were home to watch their favorite tv show? Dallas, Knots Landing, NYPD Blues, ER, Dynasty, just to name a few. They were high in ratings and you didn't want to miss a week because something good was going to happen. Now, half the time you can't count on your program actually being on when its supposed to be.
    Cut the so called reality shows. They are a waste of a time slot. When the only good show on a Friday night is not on until 10 (Num3ers), sometimes you get wrapped up in other things and forget to tune in. Too bad that a good show has to be cancelled because a network can't captivate an audience anymore.
    Take a step back and review what used to grab viewers attention. How about putting the show 'The Good Wife' on Friday nights at 9pm, see what happens.

    November 14, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  241. SunZane

    I think the fact that kids are tuning in to Disney on Friday night vs. going to network TV for their fix says a lot.
    Networks programming is for the everyman, which means that they generally aren't terrific at any one thing. Plus, if they decide to switch streams from a drama to kid's programming in that time slot that they have to track down that market and permit that show to last long enough for it to find its audience...which is something that networks no longer have the patience for.
    Niche markets like Disney benefit from the fact that all they do all day is kid's programming. Kids are not only used to tuning in to Disney, but since that network is so good at figuring out what kids want, and they aren't laden with the ratings expectations that network TV has, it's that much easier for them.
    As for what is currently on Friday nights....a lot of it seems like its aimed at a crowd who doesn't want to open themselves up to the possibility of much more exciting things on other channels. The networks settled for the audience that was left after other channels ran off with the history buffs, nature enthusiasts, current events zealots, and so forth.

    November 14, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  242. Cynthia

    What happened to Friday Night Lights? This program was excellently written and acted and had the sports theme so many viewers flock to see. I, for one, want to know the fate of coach since he refused to play politics with his team and was delegated to the other side of town.

    November 14, 2009 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  243. Cathy

    When my kids were younger, we would watch sci-fi friday nights,Stargate sg-1,Stargate Atlantis,Battlestar Galatica, what better fix for a sci-fi addict.Then the kids went to high school events,sci-fi screwed everything up canceling Stargate and Stargate Atlantis, but I made sure I was home to watch Battlestar, never missed an episode, of course sci-fi screwed that up to (cancelled it too early, didn't respect fans enough to have it on a regular schedule, kept putting off the last episodes for nine months,leaving fans hanging). From this I have learned to Tivo everything, none of the networks out there are really concerned about fans, only the advertisers, the demographics they decide on to promote to the advertisers. If you are over 30, none of the network care what you want to watch. I'm not interested in fake reality tv, I'm not interested in a song over a scene(except for that wonderful Bear McCreary),give me a good murder mystery or a good sci-fi story and I'm happy but I'm not 30, so the networks could care less what I think, that's their problem, they could careless of what the fans think, only of their demographics and numbers of viewers.

    November 14, 2009 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  244. ladyj

    friday night tv to me is a savior. after being in school all day every day of the week, I love to cozy up to the couch with a nice cup of cocoa and watch my Ugly Betty. And whats with all the greed lately? There was a mention that the Disney channel has had more ratings recently – well, newsflash network folks, they're kids! they usually spend more time at home. And I also know people don't have time for commercials, hence the TiVo. We're becoming busier as a people, and to be honest, the wave of commercials I think is what should be axed. It ran its course when it could. i remember watching commercials as a kid, and I loved it. well i'm older now and my patience is slowly dwindling. If network managers understand the power of TiVo, why not tweak their number-of-viewers scale instead of cutting off shows that don't bring in the same number of viewers as in the 70s or 80s?? We can't possibly be comparing anything now to then people!!

    November 14, 2009 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  245. Steve

    I haven't watched network TV in years. I would start to watch a new program and loose interest in it within 10 minutes; they can't seem to hold my interest. I prefer informative programing like The History Channel, National Geographic etc. and reruns of the older classic TV series. I record them to DVR so I can fast forward through the commercials.

    November 14, 2009 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  246. Benita

    I agree with most of the viewers that people are busy on fridays and that reality T.V is getting really old for the most part. But on the subject of comedy family sitcoms, I think that the old gag reel way of doing things with the same plot lines needs to be revised. People want to watch comedy that is fresh,funny and new. No rehashed scenes. With all these comments i wonder if the network execs are paying attention.

    November 14, 2009 at 4:24 am | Report abuse |
  247. Aiden

    I generally don't go out on a Friday night because where I live, there are enough yahoos that spend their evenings out drinking away their dinner and then act like fools afterward. I"m not a Devon Downer, just reality.

    Any how, I think that Friday night television programs should consist of healthy programming. For example, why not bring back Friday night "t.v. movies of the week" on regular networks. I also miss ABC deciding it wasn't worth anything to keep a Wide World of Disney movie and show schedule for good use. That is why I watch the major cable news networks at night, even though they are starting to get on under skin because of many shows being that of yelling opinionated programming.

    My point is, that many programs I remember watching when I was a youth and in high school (80's and 90's) were far better than what is on network television today.

    November 14, 2009 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  248. mari

    the biggest pet peeve is how often when a show does well, the networks decide they need to move it around on the schedule. As if we will follow like sheep. The want it to compete with something doing equally well which means one of these shows will eventually die. Give shows time to get their audience, if it is good the numbers will eventually show. Don't play a shell game, like the game we don't always find it.

    November 13, 2009 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  249. Greg in Huntsville,AL ( Hugh Gregory Wynn)

    The networks can take a hike on Fridays-my heart belongs to SyFy. Reality TV really sucks- let it die. I don't think the broadcast networks are dead yet- I watch NCIS and Cougartown for example but Friday nights are just part of their problems. They cancels shows way too fast. There is really a lot on sat or cable that is just as good or better. I also like BBC, A&E, History and just tons of other programming that the broadcast networks are in a losing battle with. Frankly I'm going to yet again mention SyFy because they know their audience and give them what they want Fridays but be honest I don't what those ghost nights are about. Basically I am fairly open, I don't watch TV all the time and catch a lot of news on the net. Is there really a future for the broadcast networks- if I were them I'd wise up and in particular at least give new shows 10-13 weeks to see if there are viewers and I do use my DVR a lot but hey that allows to keep up with broadcast and sat if theres a conflict. So again it's not JUST Friday nights and wake nets- I'll watch good shows- for now. And again and again dump the reality because they aren't!!!

    November 13, 2009 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  250. Chris Havens

    Friday night tv started losing its appeal when it became less than family based. Friday nights are the nights when family can stay up later with one another and enjoy games, family time, or good tv. Since there's not such thing as "good tv" on Friday night now, one must look beyond tv for family entertainment.
    Come up with something wholesome and enjoyable for the WHOLE family and not just the teens and adults. That disgusting show "Three and a Half Men" isn't even allowed in my house. The networks could devote Friday nights to old movie night too, as some networks used to do on Saturday night, i.e. "Creature Feature" or "Plenty Scary Movie".

    One word of relief from the Friday night tv boredom....Netflix.

    November 13, 2009 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  251. Jenny

    I think that the networks need to change how they look at ratings. What's being watched live isn't at all the simple total of how many viewers a show has. We don't watch anything live- we wait for the Tivo to record it, and then watch it later and fast forward through the ads.

    November 13, 2009 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  252. BB

    If they didn't have such crappy programming, people would have a reason to watch on Friday's (or any other night of the week). There are many shows they could pick up from the cable companies which would be cheaper than funding their own. They blame the economy for everything..there have been recessions in other years and that didn't stop the networks from providing decent entertainment.

    November 13, 2009 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  253. jennifer

    I think when they decide to cut friday night programming I will be pretty much done with network tv. I pay 250.00 a month for cable so I can I have it the rest of week when the networks stinck. I have followed CBS friday night programming for 5 years and I am one of the very angery viewers that tehy cut their numb3rs one show on friday nights. Numb3rs, I olnly watch teh other programs on friday night because I do nto see anything else on. I am hoping that they rethink their view. Reality tv is the worst kind of program. i am so tired of watching people go on tv an make total fools of their selfs for a few dollars.

    November 13, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  254. Dennis

    Networks and cable are obsessed with ratings. Rarely, there are 5 things I want to watch at one time so I watch nothing. Move things around so they can actually be watched. Good shows may be cancelled for various reasons but they would be watched if not for the competition.

    November 13, 2009 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  255. cheddarchip

    I blame MTV's The Real World for starting all of this reality tv crap..

    November 13, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  256. Christina

    I love Ghost Whisperer and Medium. So, I am glad to have something to watch on Friday night. Good family shows too. Why doesn't the writer mention these shows? Some of us unemployed with families look forward to quality TV on Friday night.

    November 13, 2009 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  257. 1319

    This is nothing new people .. Back in 2001 "Dark Angel' was moved to fridays and it never recovered either.. This is a long standing practice when shows are have contracts with creators that reflect overall ratings. The show can then be "let go" after the slide hits a certain point. Weather a show costs to much to produce. Or the network needs a way out. The only show and I mean ONLY show to ever pull off fridays was Battlestar Galactica and thats only due to it being on cable Syfy channel.

    November 13, 2009 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  258. Sue

    The only reason I pay for cable TV is to get local news programming that is not available in the satellite markets. Beyond that...I gave up on NBC, CBS, and ABC years ago when they started to turn toward the 'reality-based' junk.

    November 13, 2009 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  259. Snakeyz

    Problem is they need to stop cancelling good shows and get rid of crap like "Dancing with the Has Been stars" guess what Fox...nobody gives a $#@! about stars dancing!

    November 13, 2009 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  260. CHERYL

    If they would have kept more African American shows like The Game, which was aired on Friday nights maybe more people would be inclined to watch a little TV on Fridays, before going out. There is nothing on TV that reflects me as an African American woman, so I spend my time reading books now.

    November 13, 2009 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  261. matt stechel

    I think the article writer however unfairly implied Ghost Whisperer and Medium when he spoke about shows being on their last legs being on that night.

    While I am a big fan of Medium (it has always been a very solid show no matter what night and time it was airing in) how many more seasons do you think CBS will allow it to stay on? (my guess is 3)

    As for Ghost Whisperer– i'd say cbs'll prob keep it going for another year or two-(if not three as well) but content wise how much longer can the show keep going? its already kind of like the murder she wrote of the ghost world! (although if the formula works...and it does....why mess with it?)

    I'm saddened by the upcoming loss of Numbers-i really quite liked the interplay between the two brothers Epps...but it had a nice run (120+eps and it should live on in TNT reruns for the next couple of years at the least) I think I read that CBS might end up putting Flash Point in its timeslot come February (which makes sense as it aired before Numbers last spring)

    While this article is apt-it also misses the point that the networks have been programming Friday nights like this for the whole decade now (if not longer) Just about everything the nets tried on this night for one reason or another just didn't work-or if it did work–it didn't work for long-–

    ABC for one couldn't find a toehold on this night with the lone exception of '03 when it attempted a TGIF like block of shows with mixed results-which is why the network then abandoned that idea two years later.

    CBS had success with Jag and some success with shows such as Joan of Arcadia and Hack-only to see them both falter considerably in their 2nd season for whatever reason (either the show got too dark for its fanbase, or the show got pushed off to saturdays in hack's case–Why did CBS push hack off to saturdays again?!?!?)

    NBC has been trying to find a show to match SVU on Friday nights since moving it to shore up their Tuesday nights sixyears ago. (because saving their tuesdays was more important at the time) They had some short term success with shoving 3rd Watch there and then subsequently Las Vegas there-but now NBC doesn't even have shows from Monday nights to place there anymore. (they must be thanking god for the eternal law and order or at least appreciating more and more that Comcast saved Friday Night Lights giving them something to air there–)

    As for Fox–it became the place where good sitcoms went to die with Bernie Mac Show (and eventually Malcom In The Middle and now Til death) ending their repsective runs there. (why fox didn't just put Arrested Development there at the least to appease all its fans didn't make any sesne to me–they could've kept on the respirator just long enough to hit syndication if they really wanted to–two more seasons–they could've done it.)

    CW did the same thing with Everybody Hates Chris (killed way too young) and Girlfriends-they must be thanking god for Smallville right now (their equivalent to law and order at this point)

    All of this just goes to show you that the networks have pretty much been programming Friday nights the exact same way for this entire decade now. This isn't new-but it is odd how with the exception of CBS nobody can figure out how to get even a toehold on the night. I do know that there's definitely not as easy a solution as it sounds like there should be-thanks to USA and its shows doing pretty darn well there it seems like there should be a better solution–but if those shows aired on one of the nets–they would be also be seen as cannon fodder-the nets can't really win any arguments here–because no matter what they do–they'll always be people arguing that their not doing the job they should be doing.

    November 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  262. Stephen - NYC

    As some have said, hey, it's Friday night. We've got other things to do. As someone who has aged out of the prized demographic, I realize that not every show that's on is going to be my cup of tea. But I am not surprised that others haven't watched them either. Dollhouse didn't seem like such a bright idea to begin with. The Medium and the ghost just seemed too wacky to even invest any time in, regardless of their respective lead actresses (and I remember JLH from "The Byrds of Paradise").
    That being said, networks need to have more respect for us viewers.
    Some suggestions:
    1. Keep the show on for the same schedule. You've made the episodes, show 'em
    2. Knock it off with the shows that run 59, 61, or 62 minutes. Keep 'em at 60 (or 30 if it's a half-hour). We know we're not getting an 'extra' minute or two of actual viewable content, but rather we're getting more commercials.
    3. Knock it off with all the commercials. 20+ minutes of commercials/promos in a 60-minute show is insane. And you wonder why we record them!! Yeah, for those that are out when it broadcasts, they'll record it. But if I want to watch something when it's being shown, I am NOT GOING TO WASTE 20 MINUTES watching the commercials and promos. Bring the total non-show stuff down to 10 minutes and I'll watch it live.
    4. GET RID OF THE ON-SCREEN TEXT. I don't need to see when the next episode of WHATEVER is going to be shown. I DO NOT NEED TO SEE THAT I AM WATCHING whatever. It's bad enough the channel logos plaster the screen. Telling me that there's a new episode of Man v Food next Wednesday just annoys me no end (to the point I no longer watch any channel's shows that do it – I'm talking to you Discovery (a new member of that club), BBCA, Travel, TVLAND, FX, TNT, TBS, and others I am forgetting right now).

    November 13, 2009 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  263. Dennis

    The only quality programming I watch on Friday's is on CBS-Ghost Whisperer and SyFy-Stargate and Sancturary. If I can't catch it live I just go on the internet and watch the episosodes on another day. Other than those 3 shows there are no shows worth the time to sit down and watch. The networks should kill off the reality shows and put back quality family programming.

    November 13, 2009 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  264. Kevin T. Baldwin

    Ah, yes. I miss those Friday nights of yore watching Wonder Woman, Dukes of Hazard and Dallas. Today's Friday night original series television programming needs to be different, and right now the Leno show seems to be the only one providing that difference. This would probably be a good time for the networks to invest in some original nighttime game shows until they can come up with something better.

    November 13, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  265. Chris

    If some original programming took place with some quality, I suspect that the networks could actually lure back some vewiers. Some of the cable channels have come up with some great programming on Friday evenings. SyFy currently has Stargate U and Sanctuary and over the summer they had Eurika. USA Network has Monk and White Collar along with Psych. All of these are great programs and make Friday worth watching.
    If any of the Big Four networks were to spend some time and money on good programming they would probably get back some viewers.

    November 13, 2009 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  266. Frank from Houston

    Josh needs to stay away from Fox

    November 13, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  267. Brooke

    For that matter? Even if they're not going out, maybe they're entertaining at home, or just going to a friend's house to do things other than watch tv.

    There really are a lot of factors included, and going back to the 90's....things like TGIF on ABC and stuff was directed more at a younger demographic, people with families who had younger kids, people who were more apt to stay in on Friday nights rather than go out. Things like Dollhouse and Southland are NOT things that the same demographic would watch, so...*shrug*

    I just think that network execs are looking at things in exactly the wrong way right now.

    November 13, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  268. David in Frisco, Texas

    "Medium" is my favorite show and it is on Friday night. So is "Ghost Whisperer", which is great. I'm not sure why those shows aren't mentioned in the article.

    November 13, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  269. Brooke

    Look, here's the thing.

    It's Friday night.

    It's the end of a work week.

    With the advent of DVRs, how many people are actually going to head home to watch TV instead of relying on their DVRs to record their favorite shows, while they go out for happy hour, the latest movies released in theatres, dinner with friends, or a jaunt out of town? Out of most of the people I know, hardly anyone is ever at home until really, really late on Friday nights, far past prime-time.

    Network TV needs to start seriously looking at DVR ratings, ratings on their websites, and on Hulu, before they start cancelling programming left and right. We're living in a very different world when it comes to program viewership, and network execs don't seem to have realized that – either that, or they don't want to accept it.

    November 13, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  270. Jason V

    For me, I am rarely at home watching TV on Friday. For the few nights that I am, I lose interest in Friday night programming because I am so far behind in the series to enjoy the programming.

    The sad thing about the show Dollhouse is that the DVRed episodes that I have seen have been very entertaining. The show is just not entertaining enough to stay at home to watch on a Friday night.

    My Friday Fave: Sliders (I now own the box set)

    November 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  271. kc

    What I think is this, try not moving the shows that are interesting around to other times (like lost), dont cancil very new tv programs until about a month and a half has gone by, because it takes time for new shows to become popular.

    November 13, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  272. Paul

    Since the Networks discovered that the public will watch anything, quality programming is an oxymoron. Leno during prime time? His success is measure not by how good he does, but by how bad he doesn't do.

    Keep watching for more mindless cheap shows!

    Thank goodness for the Internet. Who needs TV Networks anymore?

    November 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  273. Chris

    ABC could rule for a 5 Day stretch if they played their cards right. With Proper programming they could take.
    Tuesday with V and other good shows
    Wednesday with the shows they have now
    Thursday with the shows they have now
    Friday with family programming, because sometimes that's the only time parents can spend with their kids
    Saturday with College Football Games
    Sunday with the good shows they have on now.

    ABC Hardly has any reality shows and the ones they have are ones people watch. "Dancing with the Has Been stars" and "Im a dork and cant get my own date Bachlorette/ Bachlor show"

    So far they are the most solid of all the Networks

    November 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  274. Ed Tallahassee

    Who stays at home on Friday nights? I know I don't, but if I do I usually do something more then watch TV.

    They should take all these high budget shows and move them to Tuesday, when nothing is on.

    November 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  275. Chris

    I think Networks need to understand that Friday Nights is not the DEAD ZONE they think it is. Networks need to understand that people have DVR's ,TiVO, Hulu and other ways to watch shows they either missed or can't watch because they watch other shows. Let the shows run the course, dont kill them after 3 showings, also quit moving them around different days.

    ABC and NBC had the best setup for Fridays. ABC would show family shows that then led up to the 10 o'clock slot of 20/20. And NBC would put edgier shows on at 9 and 10. To me reality TV is killing TV so is taking away the 10 o'clock time slot on NBC please just kill Leno off.

    Come up with good shows and I gurantee you people will watch them no matter what day or time. FX has done a great job with creating great TV shows like Sons, nip/Tuck, The Shield, Rescue Me, Sunny, Damages. And why do these show's work? Because they are original and have great stories. Even the ones that didnt last on FX were good. Remeber Staved and Over There, Courtney Cox was great on Dirt before Cougar Town.

    Network guys want instant gratification and it doesnt work that way.

    November 13, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  276. Jenn

    Can network television on Friday night be saved? No.
    The only reason I've been watching "Dollhouse" is because of my DVR (praise be!) – I record it and watch it another night. The only reason I started watching the "X-Files" is because my husband was working a Friday night shift during its premiere season and I became hooked. For myself and my friends and acquaintances, Friday night is the end of the working week: a time to get out and eat out and see a movie or go out with friends. Staying home to watch television on a Friday night is just depressing. Local sporting events, especially prep sports, are often scheduled on Friday nights. People are just not home to watch. Many may have started "TiVoing" shows on Friday nights, but for the most part, my guess is not the quality of the programming, but the simple fact that no one is watching.
    I love Joss Whedon and everything he does, but he should give Fox the cold shoulder and work with a broadcasting company that will promote his unique talent and supply his probable demographic with his quality products at times when they will watch them.

    November 13, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |

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