DVR Gridlock 2013-14: Friday Nights
Increasingly busy night adds 'Bones,' 'Dracula' and 'Hawaii Five-0'
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[Over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments.]
ABC: "Last Man Standing," "The Neighbors"
CBS: "Undercover Boss"
The CW: "The Carrie Diaries"
FOX: "Junior Masterchef," "Bones"
ABC: "Shark Tank"
CBS: "Hawaii Five-0"
The CW: "America's Next Top Model"
FOX: "Sleepy Hollow" encores and "Raising Hope," "Enlisted"
CBS: "Blue Bloods"
What's Changed: Credit the networks for trying to do new things on Friday night and for continuing to try to buck the conventional wisdom that Friday airings mean death. "Grimm" will be starting its third season on Fridays. "Last Man Standing" will be in its second Friday season. And that's saying nothing of established successes like "Blue Bloods" on CBS and ABC's "Shark Tank." Friday Night Lives! And this fall, FOX will bring still-fairly-robust success "Bones" to Friday, while CBS is doing the same with the slightly-less-robust "Hawaii Five-0." And then you have a few flashy new shows. NBC will try semi-literary, star-driven drama in the 10 p.m. hour with "Dracula" and then "Crossbones." [Did this work last time NBC tried it with a little show called "Crusoe"? Well, no. But you've forgotten "Crusoe" even existed and I apologize for the reminder.] FOX, meanwhile, is planning an isolated comedy block starting mid-fall, if you assume that "Raising Hope" and "Enlisted" will ever actually air on Fridays. And then there's The CW's "Carrie Diaries," which failed on Mondays, so surely it'll succeed on Friday, right? There's a lot of stuff happening on Friday.
How the Ratings Race Is Impacted: CBS is still likely to dominate Friday overall, but you've gotta credit the network with trying to narrow the gap. "Hawaii Five-0," which only remains on the air due to its international viability, won't come close to equalling the 9-ish million viewers "CSI: NY" was drawing here, though it may keep up with "CSI: NY" in the key demographic. Assuming that "Shark Tank" has another solid summer of repeat sampling, it may be strong enough to help ABC win the night among adults 18-49 all on its own. There are several plausible x-factors. FOX has teased a "Bones" move to Friday several times in the past. Is this just another bluff? If "Sleepy Hollow" fails fast and hard, for example, why wouldn't FOX just keep "Bones" on Monday and shift "Almost Human" to 9 p.m.? Similarly, if "Dads" fails fast and hard, why wouldn't FOX shift established cult favorite "Raising Hope" to a Tuesday 8 p.m. slot it has occupied in the past? And if that happens, what would becoming of that Friday comedy block? I'm not sure both of those failures/shifts are likely, but one of them? I'd almost guarantee it. If "Bones" somehow remains on Fridays, though, it could/should give FOX its best numbers on the night in several years and could make the network competitive in the key demo. Similarly, what if somehow "Dracula" capitalizes on its brand name and maybe star Jonathan Rhys Meyers? Maybe that's enough to combine with the already-respectable "Grimm" to help NBC take the key demo. It'll also be worth watching to see how low numbers for "Carrie Diaries" are and if The CW suddenly finds itself thinking a six-episode final season for "Nikita" isn't quite long enough. It's actually surprising how many strange things could be afoot on Fridays this fall.
My Predicted DVR: During the spring with "Nikita" and "Happy Endings" and "Vegas" and something I'm forgetting -- I don't want to admit how many episodes of "Cult" I watched -- my DVR was recording steadily on Friday nights. That could continue to be the case this year. I'll stick with "Carrie Diaries" and "Bones" at 8 p.m. and "Raising Hope" (and occasionally "Shark Tank") in the 9 p.m. hour. And I'll definitely give "Dracula" an extended shot in the otherwise-vacant 10 p.m. hour. That's a lot of Friday TV viewing and doesn't include the occasional Starz drama or whatnot.
How have the new schedules impacted your Fridays?
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
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