Note: Click through the hyperlinks for trailers on YouTube for each new show.
Blue Bloods (CBS, 10:00) - Took until day five for a CBS show to appear in this spot but we now have the five major networks covered with a show each in this category (what that says about the quality of this crop of fall shows is up for discussion). Coming from Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green (two executive producers on The Sopranos), Blue Bloods examines three generations of cops in a New York Irish family. Boasting a winning cast that includes Tom Selleck, Bridget Moynahan, Donnie Wahlberg, Will Estes, and Len Cariou this is a show that seems like it could play very well on Friday nights and we admit that cop shows are our kryptonite so we’ll be watching this one.
The networks are actually programming Friday nights again – After years of being a dumping ground for reality shows and procedurals geared towards lonely women (your Ghost Whisperers and Mediums), it actually looks like the networks are trying to grab eyeballs on Friday nights. ABC has a new series starring Desperate Housewives fave Dana Delany (Body Of Proof), CBS has moved modest hit CSI: NY and paired it with the promising new Blue Bloods, FOX has an '80's-style throwback Friday night with Human Target and The Good Guys, and The CW has reunited its former Thursday tag team of Smallville and Supernatural. Call it a product of the economy with more people staying home or that the networks themselves can’t afford to just throw away a night anymore (that’s what Saturdays are for) but without a doubt, this is the most action Friday night has seen on screen in a long, long time.
Hour By Hour
8:00 – Total grab bag hour as NBC has something called Who Do You Think You Are? and ABC counters with a Secret Millionaire. Honestly, I could give a shit about either of those so we’re just gonna skip right past them. CBS shifts Medium an hour earlier and, really, if you haven’t started watching Medium by now you’re probably not going to (which is probably for the best). FOX moves Human Target from its Wednesday slot to Friday nights and this is the type of show that could play well with lowered expectations on Fridays. It’s a throwback to Friday shows of the past – light, fun hours to cap off a rough week. And, after its tenth season wraps on The CW, Smallville will (finally) call it a day.
9:00 – We’re gonna start out with The CW in this hour because it’s of the most relevance to us. After programming Supernatural in one of TV’s toughest timeslots (Thursdays at 9:00) for the past four and a half years, The CW has relegated the show to Friday nights. As huge fans of the show, we’d love to get pissed about this and say that the network is trying to kill the show but the thing is… pragmatically, we can’t. Its ratings dropped, albeit slightly, this past season and with The Vampire Diaries breaking out and becoming The CW’s most talked about show, the network owed it to themselves to try to create another hit by giving a new show a chance in that slot because much of their slate (Smallville, Supernatural, One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl) is aging. That said, Supernatural is yet another show that will play well on Friday nights and its audience is super-loyal. CBS moves CSI: NY to this slot where most of its audience will likely follow. NBC has Dateline NBC. Body Of Proof has already been dubbed “China Bones” by at least one critic as Dana Delany (China Beach) plays a neurosurgeon who, after a car accident, is unable to practice and turns to work as a crime solving medical examiner. We generally like Delany but this isn’t for us although worse shows have been added to networks’ schedules this fall. Finally, Fox has The Good Guys, yet another throwback actioner about two mismatched cops in Dallas that’s already aired its pilot to less than stellar ratings. Fox has scheduled the first half of its season to run this summer so, if its ratings woes continue, we’re betting that it doesn’t even make it to the fall.
10:00 – We’d love to see Blue Bloods break out here because its pedigree (The Sopranos) and its cast both suggest that this could grow into a quality series. Luckily, it’s got a chance because its competition is nothing special. ABC has 20/20 and while people watch it, it’s not like there are hardcore 20/20 fans. And NBC? Get the irony of this: they actually pick up a show from Conan O’Brien’s production company, Conaco, and they stick it in the Friday at 10 dungeon. Granted the show, Outlaw starring Jimmy Smits, looks like House with lawyers, but it’s still a very telling sign of NBC’s expectations for this show. We’d be shocked if Blue Bloods doesn’t win this slot going away.
What We're Watching/TiVoing
The Good Guys