[09/27/12 - 04:24 PM]
The 10 Things You Need to Know About the New Season, Part 4: Friday Night Is Indeed the "Death Slot"
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

1) Only 32% of broadcast network shows make it to a second season.
2) Shows that premiere in September have the best chance of survival.
3) Scripted and unscripted shows fail at the same rate.
4) Friday night is indeed the "death slot."
5) 10 o'clock is just as successful as any other time period.
6) 5% of shows that are announced don't even air.
7) 4% of broadcast series have changed networks.
8) New shows on average lose 14% of their audience by episode two.
9) Cable dramas are almost twice as likely to return as broadcast ones.
10) History is on the side of the majority of this fall's new shows.

Please note: As a courtesy, please do not reproduce these comments to newsgroups, forums or other online places. Links only please.

Welcome once again to "The 10 Things You Need to Know About the New Season," our recurring 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. It's been a few years so we'll revisit some of our previous research as well as dig into some new areas we haven't touched on before.

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...

4. Friday night is indeed the "death slot."

It's an internet meme for good reason: new shows that are scheduled on Fridays have the longest odds of survival of any night of the week, just 19%. FOX for instance has renewed just one show launched on Fridays in the past 13 years ("Dollhouse") despite 23 tries. Meanwhile, Sundays have the best track record with 42% of new shows returning for a sophomore run. Said night has been golden for NBC the past 13 seasons (that's 1999-2000 through 2011-2012) with 69% of its shows returning.

By that same token, Mondays are likewise a boon for 40% of new shows - eight points ahead of the general 32% survival rate - with CBS bringing back 58% of its launches on the night. Conversely Saturdays (24%) are rarely programmed for good reason while Wednesdays (29%) are the only other night below the industry average. Take a look:

mon.9/29 (31%)14/24 (58%)8/33 (24%)18/44 (41%)6/8 (75%)1/4 (25%)2/4 (50%)58/146 (40%)
tue.14/51 (27%)9/18 (50%)12/26 (46%)13/45 (29%)3/22 (14%)5/8 (63%)4/10 (40%)60/180 (33%)
wed.22/65 (34%)8/23 (35%)14/40 (35%)7/34 (21%)2/11 (18%)3/11 (27%)1/13 (8%)57/197 (29%)
thu.9/34 (26%)4/16 (25%)7/17 (41%)11/35 (31%)1/2 (50%)5/14 (36%)2/3 (67%)39/121 (32%)
fri.4/23 (17%)7/24 (29%)1/23 (4%)4/20 (20%)0/5 (0%)5/16 (31%)0/0 (0%)21/111 (19%)
sat.1/2 (50%)3/9 (33%)0/1 (0%)0/5 (0%)0/0 (0%)0/0 (0%)0/0 (0%)4/17 (24%)
sun.10/20 (50%)3/12 (25%)7/21 (33%)11/16 (69%)0/0 (0%)5/13 (38%)1/7 (14%)37/89 (42%)
various*2/7 (29%)3/4 (75%)5/11 (45%)2/8 (25%)0/0 (0%)0/1 (0%)0/0 (0%)12/31 (39%)
total71/231 (31%)51/130 (39%)54/172 (31%)66/207 (32%)12/48 (25%)24/67 (36%)10/37 (27%)288/892 (32%)

* shows which aired in multiple time periods each week

What else do these numbers tell us? Wednesdays have been home to the most newcomers in the past 13 years (197 series) and yet it's among the least successful (29%) at producing second seasons. Other interesting trends: CBS is better at launching shows on Fridays (29%) than the traditionally bullish Sunday nights (25%) while FOX has had a rough go at it on Mondays (24%) despite being among Wednesday's (35%) top starters.

Overall, Tuesdays and Thursdays conform closest to standard 32% survival rate with Sundays and Mondays providing better odds and Wednesdays and Saturdays falling below the norm. Fridays, well... I hate to say it but: it's the death slot.

PREVIOUSLY: Scripted and unscripted shows fail at the same rate.

TOMORROW: Do shows at 10:00/9:00c have a tougher chance at survival?

  [september 2012]  

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

[10/09/15 - 12:51 PM]
Disney XD Orders Second Season of Animated Series "Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy"
"Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy" season two is currently in production and slated to premiere in 2017.

[10/09/15 - 09:20 AM]
ABC Family Announces January 2016 Premiere Date for Its Returning Hit Series "Pretty Little Liars"
In advance of the celebrated return of the fan favorite, the network will also air "Pretty Little Liars: 5 Years Forward," a one-hour behind-the-scenes glimpse at the highly anticipated series time jump on Tuesday, November 24.

[10/09/15 - 09:06 AM]
Disney's "The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar" Primetime Television Movie Event to Air on Disney Channel
"The Lion Guard" television series will premiere in early 2016.

[10/09/15 - 08:51 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: NFL Extends CBS Win Streak on Thursdays
The Eye leads the night for the fourth consecutive week.

[10/09/15 - 08:43 AM]
The Table Is Set for a Second Serving of "Dinner at Tiffani's" on Cooking Channel
From birthday bashes, to farmer's market-inspired meals, to surf and turf dinners, throughout the new season's 16 half-hour long episodes, Tiffani showcases her culinary talents and entertaining skills for throwing effortless get-togethers.

[10/09/15 - 07:25 AM]
Emmy(R)-Winning Series "Banshee" to Return for Fourth and Final Season Jan. 29, 2016, Exclusively on Cinemax
Alan Ball, Greg Yaitanes, Jonathan Tropper, Peter Macdissi, Adam Targum and Ole Christian Madsen will executive produce.

[10/08/15 - 01:33 PM]
truTV's "Impractical Jokers" to Keep the Laughs Coming with Season 5 Renewal Order
The 26 episode order comes in the wake of the series' biggest episode ever, a live highwire walk at South Street Seaport to celebrate their 100th episode.

[10/08/15 - 11:05 AM]
"David Tutera's CELEBrations" Season Three Premieres Friday, October 30 at 10PM ET/PT on WE tv
Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Kim Coles, Ian Ziering, Cynthia Bailey, Big Ang Raiola and Reza Farahan are among those featured in the new season.

[10/08/15 - 11:00 AM]
"Tyrant" Returning For Third Season on FX
The 10-episode third season will air in 2016.

[10/08/15 - 11:00 AM]
AMC Renews "Halt and Catch Fire" for Third Season
Co-creators and writers Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers have been upped to showrunners for the 10-episode third season, which will return to AMC next summer.

[10/08/15 - 10:37 AM]
Jimmy Fallon Generates His Biggest Margin to Date vs. Colbert, Taking the Week of Sept. 28-Oct. 2 in 18-49 by a 41% Advantage
NBC spins the late-night numbers for the week of September 28-October 2.

[10/08/15 - 09:48 AM]
"The Operatives" Is Back Saving the World's Most Precious Wildlife and Eco-Systems in an All-New Season Premiering on Pivot on October 18 at 10 P.M.
With 10, all new, hour-long episodes, Pete Bethune and his hand-picked team of military elite travel to the furthest parts of the world to expose those suspected of endangering our wildlife and environment in an effort to bring them to justice.

[10/08/15 - 09:43 AM]
HBO NOW Arrives Today on the Roku Platform
Roku customers can purchase a subscription directly within the HBO NOW channel on their Roku device, which will also enable them to access the service at HBONOW.com and on other HBO NOW enabled devices.

[10/08/15 - 09:32 AM]
Syfy Launches All-New Virtual Reality Experience for Award-Winning "The Expanse" VR App
The app immerses viewers into the vast world of "The Expanse," giving them the opportunity to enter into locations from the show and experience them in virtual reality.

[10/08/15 - 09:32 AM]
Game 1 of 2015 WNBA Finals Sees Viewership Increase from 2014
ESPN spins the numbers for Sunday, October 4.