Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Breakdown: NBC Friday in 2016-17 (Caught on Camera, Grimm, Dateline and more!)

It's time for a journey through the NBC Friday schedule in 2016-17...


2015-16UndateableTruth Be ToldGrimmDateline Fri59
2016-17Caught on CameraDateline Fri72 (+22%)
51 (+10%)82 (+28%)82 (+24%)

NBC's decision to put Caught on Camera at 8/7c was surprisingly complacent. It was still a better option than last year's low-rated comedy attempt, but below the network's historical average. Meanwhile, two hours of Dateline proved to be better than a drama and one Dateline hour.


2015-16Caught on CameraGrimmDateline Fri64
2016-17GrimmEmerald CityDateline Fri64 (0%)
64 (+20%)59 (-5%)69 (-11%)

The only time that NBC didn't look great on a historical basis was the winter, which also happened to be the period when Dateline was only an hour. Emerald City was a front-loaded disappointment, lifted average-wise by its two-hour 1.0 premiere. However, the final season of Grimm was a reasonably bright spot in this period.


2015-16Caught on CameraGrimmDateline Fri57
2016-17First DatesDateline Fri67 (+18%)
58 (+27%)71 (+18%)71 (+11%)

NBC returned to reality/Dateline/Dateline for the spring and also returned to significant year-to-year gains. First Dates was notably a pretty long way ahead of the year-ago Caught on Camera, and also beat out ABC's competing reality The Toy Box.

Rating the Ratings

Caught on Camera0.50.630.8-11%51flop+6%detail
First Dates0.70.710.858flopdetail
Dateline Fri0.70.931.2-8%76hit(Fri)+9%detail
Emerald City0.60.721.059flopdetail

Caught on Camera: It aired in fall this year vs. winter into late spring last year, so it is not nearly as impressive as the raw trend suggests. And the fact that First Dates did a lot better in the spring diminishes it a bit more. Grade: C.

Grimm: With 13 episodes in the winter, the final season of Grimm was set up to succeed, and it did. It avoided April and May altogether, and "leading off" is not as hard if you get to avoid those months, so True Plus actually said it ticked down a notch from last season. But it did fine, and so ends this great Friday night underdog story. Grade: B.

First Dates: This was pretty decent filler late in the season, much better than the spring editions of Caught on Camera. NBC may have so many options that they don't need it, but it would've been fine to bring back. Grade: B.

Dateline Fri: It had a strong season, thanks perhaps in part to a lot more two-hour episodes this season. NBC probably can't do much better ratings-wise than two hours of Dateline, but the newsmagazines always fare poorly in ad rates so I assume that has something to do with the decision to put Taken in the 9:00 hour (a decision that has since been reversed). Grade: B+.

Emerald City: It started disappointingly and was still rejected a lot in the next few weeks. At least it never got any worse than the 0.6. Grade: D.

The names in this last table link to the shows' War of 18-49 pages. Links with an asterisk(*) have been updated with the new info. Updates to younger shows will come later in the summer.

Here's the now updated Schedules Plus for NBC Friday.

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