Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Breakdown: NBC Friday in 2017-18 (Blindspot, Dateline, Taken)

It's time for a journey through the NBC Friday schedule in 2017-18...


2016-17Caught on CameraDateline72
2017-18BlindspotDateline75 (+4%)
61 (+19%)82 (-1%)82 (-1%)

In its move to Friday for season three, Blindspot got thrown up against the weak year-ago Caught on Camera episodes and looked like a nice improvement by comparison. With a better lead-in, Dateline looked was easily at its best comparison-wise in the fall.


2016-17GrimmEmerald CityDateline64
2017-18BlindspotTakenDateline56 (-13%)
60 (-8%)42 (-28%)65 (-5%)

Sophomore Taken finally returned at 9/8c (after NBC pledged at the upfront it would premiere in the fall) and bombed badly. This two-hour drama block was a lot weaker than last year's Grimm / Emerald City pairing.


2016-17First DatesDateline67
2017-18BlindspotDateline58 (-13%)
49 (-16%)64 (-10%)62 (-12%)

It took 11 episodes, but Taken finally got pulled, and Dateline improved just a teeny bit after that happened. But it was still the show's worst period trend-wise, getting little help from Blindspot which fell well behind the year-ago filler reality First Dates.

Rating the Ratings

Dateline Fri*0.60.801.0-14%73solid(Fri)-3%detail

Blindspot: After a roller coaster in 2016-17, Blindspot was a lot more consistent this season, but it was consistently pretty weak. It dropped a good bit more than would be expected for a steady show in a Friday move. And as I said once before the upfront, it even ended up 10% below the worst Grimm season. It's probably a fine renewal if the WB deal is as good as has been reported, but on a network this solid, it's not that pretty ratings-wise even by Friday standards. Grade: C-.

Dateline Fri: It was a little weaker this year, but a little weaker vs. a historically strong Dateline season. Understandably, a lot of its worst points came with Taken lead-ins, but those don't drag the average down that much because they were only one hour telecasts. Grade: B-.

Taken: To be fair, the average above is hurt by five summer Saturday episodes (0.25 average), while it got a barely less embarrassing 0.44 average in this timeslot. It was clearly a bomb last year and I think it probably still underachieved even relative to that standard with a bunch of low fractionals in season two. Like with Quantico, I have trouble figuring out why these networks renew these clear bombs and then have a quick trigger finger when they bomb again the next year. Grade: F.

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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