After gaining on CBS for the past few weeks, ABC topped the eye network last night for its first Friday win among adults 18-49 this season. Kudos to ABC for assembling a solid Friday lineup of Supernanny, Primetime: What Would You Do and 20/20. But, after ABC and NBC abandoned scripted programming on Friday this fall, it was comforting to see CBS’ all-original scripted lineup winning the night week after week, proving that it was still worthwhile for the networks to try to program Friday night with scripted series. Will the change of the guard on the night further undermine Friday as a viable scripted night? NBC already announced its midseason schedule, which features only reality/newsmagazines on Friday. Fox, which also just unveiled its midseason plans, is going down from 2 to 1 hour of scripted programming on the night – banished sci-fi drama Fringe. With ABC’s unscripted lineup doing so well, I doubt the network will mess with it. So all eyes will be on CBS, which still packs large audiences on Friday, and whether the network will stay all-scripted on the night following the departure of Medium in January.
For a second consecutive week, an ABC program was the highest-rated on Friday night. Last week, it was Primetime, this time it was 20/20 (2.0/6, 6.8 million), which posted its highest demo rating in 10 months with a Cher interview. Primetime (1.6/5, 5 million) was tied for second place in 18-49 with CBS dramas CSI: NY (1.6/5, 10.2 million) and Blue Bloods (1.6/5, 11.3 million). Overall, ABC, whose lineup also included Supernanny (1.0/4, 4.2 million) at 8 PM, hit a season high for the night with an average of a 1.6/5. CBS (1.5/5) was second while dominating in total viewers (9.6 million). The network’s 8 PM drama Medium (1.4/5, 7.3 million) didn’t get a boost from the official announcement this week that the show will end its run in January, finishing flat with last week. The rest of Friday was mostly status quo: NBC’s School Pride stayed at 0.6, and Fox’s Good Guys at 0.7 demo rating, respectively, to rank as the lowest-rated programs on any network, including CW.