The Friday Dilemma: Ratings Continue to Soften But the Broadcast Nets Not Ready to Abandon the Night

Apr 6, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Ah, what do do with a problem like Fiday nights?

According to our friend Marc Berman at Mediaweek, "NBC has seen a spike in the ratings on Friday this season thanks to its recent coverage of the Winter Olympics, but ABC, CBS and Fox are all down year to year. CBS’ deteriorating combination of scripted dramas Ghost Whisperer, Medium and Numb3rs have dipped by an average of 19 percent in total viewers (from 9.7 million to 7.8 million) and 21 percent among adults 18-49 (from a 2.4 to a 1.9) based on live-plus-7-day ratings from Nielsen Media Research through March 22. ABC’s erosion—down 5 percent in total viewers to 5.4 million and 11 percent among adults 18-49 to a 1.6—is less severe, but Friday remains the second-lowest-rated night of the week (behind Saturday) for both networks. Friday, meanwhile, is the weakest link for Fox, with a 21 percent drop in total viewers to 4.4 million and a 12 percent dip among adults 18-49 to a 1.5."

As Preston Beckman, Fox’s evp, strategic program planning, told Berman, "“Friday is a definite challenge for many reasons. But until we stick with a specific strategy that the audience can become accustomed to, no one will benefit. Only CBS has managed to offer a consistent lineup of scripted dramas, but who knows how profitable they are at this point?”

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