[09/29/09 - 12:11 AM]
The 10 Things You Need to Know About the New Season: #2 - Friday Night Is "The Death Slot"
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

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Welcome once again to "The 10 Things You Need to Know About the New Season," our annual feature about, well... the 10 things you need to know about the new season. The goal of this venture is to address not only common questions people have about television but to also demystify (or potentially reaffirm) stigmas out there about certain networks, time periods, genres and so forth. So with that in mind let us put on our journalistic caps and give you the cold hard truth about what's potentially ahead for some of your favorite new and returning shows...

2. Yup, it's true - Friday night is "the death slot."

No, it's not an urban legend - shows that air on Friday nights are less likely to be renewed than on any other night. Of the 100 shows that have launched on Friday night since the fall of 1999, only 15 - or just 15% - have made it to second seasons. Conversely, of the 69 shows that have bowed on Sunday nights during the same period - a whopping 28 (or 41%) made it to second seasons. Take a look at the numbers:

mondays6/22 (27%)11/19 (58%)8/28 (29%)14/32 (44%)6/8 (75%)1/4 (25%)0/2 (0%)46/115 (40%)
tuesdays10/36 (28%)6/16 (38%)9/19 (47%)10/38 (26%)3/22 (14%)5/8 (63%)3/4 (75%)46/143 (32%)
wednesdays16/49 (33%)7/19 (37%)10/34 (29%)4/23 (17%)2/11 (18%)3/11 (27%)1/6 (17%)43/153 (28%)
thursdays6/23 (26%)3/10 (30%)4/12 (33%)8/23 (35%)1/2 (50%)5/14 (36%)27/84 (32%)
fridays2/21 (10%)6/20 (30%)1/23 (4%)1/15 (7%)0/5 (0%)5/16 (31%)15/100 (15%)
saturdays1/2 (50%)3/8 (38%)0/4 (0%)4/14 (29%)
sundays8/13 (62%)1/6 (17%)5/15 (33%)8/14 (57%)5/13 (38%)1/8 (13%)28/69 (41%)
various*1/7 (14%)4/6 (67%)3/10 (30%)1/5 (20%)0/1 (0%)9/29 (31%)
total50/173 (29%)41/104 (39%)40/141 (28%)46/154 (30%)12/48 (25%)24/67 (36%)5/20 (25%)218/707 (31%)

With that in mind, the order from best to worst night to launch a show is Sunday (41%), Monday (40%), Thursday (32%), Tuesday (32%), Saturday (29%), Wednesday (28%) and Friday (15%).

Plus, as usual, said info reveals several interesting trends such as the fact "Dollhouse" is FOX's first Friday newcomer to be renewed for a second season in 10 years while CBS has the standard 30% success rate on the night. Conversely, Sundays have been a trouble spot for CBS (17%) while FOX averages nearly double that (33%) on the night. The night and network with the best track record: Sundays on ABC (62%) and Tuesdays on The WB (63%) and The CW (75%).

TOMORROW: Which time slot is the toughest to launch a new show?

* denotes the series in question either aired as a multi-night stunt or regulared aired in more than one time period

  [september 2009]  

(series past and present)
(series in development)
(tv movies and mini-series)

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