Larry: ON FRIDAY NIGHT???!!!??? Bleeeeeeck!
The infamous Friday Night Death Slot is the television equivalent of ritual seppuku in North America. note Viewers, especially those in certain coveted demographics like 18-34 year-olds, just don't watch as much TV on Fridays as on other nights because they're doing other things: hitting the bars, going to a sporting event, going on dinner dates, seeing a movie (see below for why this is especially relevant), or hanging out with friends. Compounding this, the Friday prime-time slot is especially likely to get pre-empted by events like Big Games or Award Shows on local affiliates. Scheduling a show on a Friday - especially early in the evening, such as 8 PM Eastern - is the kiss of death. This goes double if the show isn't family friendly, as folks with kids are more likely to stay home on the weekend, or hasn't developed a loyal following.
Fridays are thus often reserved for relatively cheap-to-produce content that doesn't require a lot of continuity to understand. That used to mean lots of mid-level half-hour sitcoms (see: The WB's past Friday lineup as well as ABC's 90s TGIF block), reruns, movie airings, shows that the network is neglecting (see: Screwed by the Network), and in recent years a lot of Reality Shows. Sometimes a network will fill an especially moribund slot with a No-Hoper Repeat of a popular show from a different night.
The good news for shows on Friday is that expectations are low and shows can get away with ratings that would get them cancelled on any other weekday. The bad news is that Friday shows often struggle to meet even that lowered bar and have a high turnover rate. A show surviving in a Friday slot is greeted with surprise; when a show is moved to one, fans worry that the network has turned against it. When a show starts in a Friday slot, and not as a "sneak preview" or "special viewing event", it's pretty much assumed to be doomed.
However, there is a certain sweet spot timeframe on Friday where networks actually shoot for viewers- the time when they expect people to be bunkering in at home after a long day. Some shows that air during this desirable period (usually starting around 7:00PM with a lead-in set of programs, peaking at 8:00PM with riveting shows laced with comedic wit, getting into more serious, intense, and mature programs into the latter portion of nightfall, and then concluding at 11:00PM) are of the action or drama genres, which tend to be solid if they can hit all the right notes and can carry the night well when assembled into a block of action programming, especially if it falls under Crime Drama.
The opposite of this trope is a Thursday primetime slot, often awarded to the most coveted TV programming. Advertisers realize that American consumers do the majority of their shopping on the weekends, and often on Friday after work, likely because Friday is the typical payday at most workplaces. This means that advertisers are desperate to get their product on the airwaves on Thursday so that it's still on people's minds when they go to the stores on Friday. The better the advertising rates for a timeslot, the more effort goes into the content for that slot.
A relatively recent development is the vertical integration brought about by the mergers of the 90s and 00s; this means that the networks' parent MegaCorps now covet that Thursday night advertising for movies from their affiliated film studios that will be released...on Friday. Thus, the networks are forced to maintain a weak Friday lineup to ensure strong box office numbers. All six major American networks, with the exception of Fox (following the 2017 sale of the 20th Century Fox film studio to Disney) have studio relationships:
- ABC - Owned by Disney, which heavily promotes its Friday night Disney Channel programming for children and families, but revived its long-time TGIF brand with a lineup of family-oriented comedy in 2018.
- CBS - Controlled by National Amusements, which also controls Paramount Pictures, and now has their own studio in CBS Films. Since CBS spun off Viacom in 2006, however, they don't hew to the FNDS concept as closely as the other three networks.
- The CW - Gets it both ways; two owners, two different studios. CBS owns 50%, while Warner Bros. has the other half, but they've found good success with genre or niche programming such as The Originals, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Reign.
- NBC - The latest network to acquire a studio relationship after the network's 2004 purchase of Universal Pictures. Telemundo is also a NBC network, but the sheer audience loyalty to its primetime telenovelas keeps it competitive on Friday nights.
Some networks and shows manage to find a surprising amount of success on Fridays. CBS's family-friendly Ghost Whisperer has done respectably. NBC's successfully moved Las Vegas from Monday nights to Fridays, as its large, dependable fanbase was willing to follow it and lots of celebrity guest appearances helped boost ratings. CBS has a history of major Friday successes, such as the lineup of The Incredible Hulk, The Dukes of Hazzard and Dallas in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They were also able to make Saturday nights work with a 1970s lineup that included All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. ABC's family comedy TGIF block in The '90s, with such shows as Family Matters, Boy Meets World, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, was perhaps the most spectacular subversion of the Death Slot, as Friday night was not only a moneymaker for the network but also one of its few success stories in what was otherwise a decade-long slump. And let it not be forgotten that The X-Files was born in this timeslot on Fox, and grew its legendary fanbase here for three years before moving.
Cable shows, which can cater to narrow niche audiences, have always had more luck on Friday than network TV. [adult swim]'s Friday lineup and USA Network's Monk and Psych Friday airings are both critical and audience successes. Sci-Fi Channel's Sci-fi Friday lineup is one of their best ratings blocks. Both the Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis TV series met with great success in this lineup, as did the imported Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica, and even the re-airing of Firefly (ironically, a victim of this trope during its original run) in 2005, the network's 2nd-highest rating in the November Sweeps despite its availability on DVD. More recently, Eureka and Merlin have both succeeded in the Friday night lineup.
Another potential aversion of the Friday night curse is the emergence of on-demand video services in the 2010s such as Netflix and Hulu, where TV shows can be watched at one's convenience. Back in the days of physical video rental, the busiest days for video stores were Fridays and Saturdays.
See Dump Months for the cinematic version of this trope.
- The US version of the Game Show Duel was originally a series of specials that ran on weekdays during prime time (similar to the initial run of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?) with a finale on a Sunday night. Its second season ran on Friday nights at 8:00 PM. The ratings numbers halved, and ABC canceled it.
- Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, after eight seasons, was moved to Fridays, and was canceled at its next season finale.
- Mike Judge's political correctness satire The Goode Family received this dubious honor.
- For one-and-a-half years, The Greatest American Hero built up a reasonably good audience and rating on Wednesday nights. For its third season, ABC threw it and another Steven J. Cannell show, The Quest, away via a Friday timeslot, not even airing the show's last four episodes.
- Happy Endings was moved to this slot in its third season. Within a week of the move becoming official, it was reported the producers have been shopping around for a new network to air the show in the event that ABC cancels it. However, the ratings, already unacceptable by just about any broadcast standard, dropped to such microscopic levels that when ABC did cancel it, no one would touch it (despite supposed interest from USA Network).
- Despite critical raves and an audience whose demographics would have today guaranteed its survival, ABC did everything they could to kill Max Headroom, the alleged reason being that the show's Biting-the-Hand Humor infuriated the network executives and advertisers. When putting it against Dallas and Miami Vice failed, they shuffled it into the Death Slot, which worked. The circumstances behind the show's cancellation are still seen as scandalous by science-fiction fans.
- The second season of The Mole played this straight and averted it. The show not only got the Friday Night Death Slot, it aired only two weeks after 9/11, a time when most people were decidedly not in the mood to watch a cutthroat reality show. Three episodes of bad ratings later, the show was put on hiatus by ABC, and didn't re-air until the following summer, where it competed in its time slot against the first season of American Idol. Only due to good word of mouth and a loyal fan base was the show not completely crushed.
- The Name's The Same, a Game Show that held a 7:30 Monday slot since it was Uncanceled in October 1954. It moved on June 28, 1955 (after its third host change in less than a year) to Tuesdays at 10:00, then on September 16 shifted to Fridays at 10:00. The series was canned on October 7, after just four episodes at that slot.
- Pushing Daisies was moved to Fridays after being Un-Canceled. It died another swift death shortly thereafter.
- Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place got this slot. However, unlike a lot of these examples, it wasn't moved to the spot because the network wanted to get rid of it. It was moved because it had proven to be quite popular in its Wednesday night slot and ABC thought the show's popularity would move with it and break the curse of the Friday night death slot. It didn't.
- Tuesday nights have now become ABC's second Friday Night Death Slot due to fierce competition from rival networks dominating the night. For the past few seasons nearly every show scheduled on the night has either been canceled after one or two seasons at the most (Selfie, Manhattan Love Story, The Muppets) or moved to another night in hopes of salvaging it (Last Man Standingnote and The Goldbergs). The only real exception was Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and it mostly done low to fairly okay in the ratings before it got moved to Friday night for its fifth season.
- The end of the 2016-17 season saw the cancellation of Dr. Ken, and more prominently, ABC dropping Last Man Standing due to production costs. For the following season, ABC experimented with scheduling dramas on Friday instead, with a Post-Script Season of Once Upon a Time, while 9:00 p.m. would be the Marvel hour, with the new series Inhumans, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. moving in for midseason. Inhumans was a critical failure and got cancelled. ABC revived the TGIF brand the following year, with Fresh Off the Boat and Speechless moving in alongside the game show Child Support.
- From the cancelation of MacGyver (1985) after the 1991-92 season until it moved to ESPN starting with the 2006 National Football League season; ABC had a death slot in the Monday 8:00 p.m. Eastern time slot preceding Monday Night Football; with shows such as Young Indiana Jonesnote ; newsmagazine "Day One"note ; "Blue Skies"note and "Dangerous Minds"note . Then following MNF being moved to 8:00 for just the 1998 season; the remaining years of the game on ABC saw the slot occupied by newsmagazine "20/20 Downtown"; an overexposed "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"; aging one-time hits such as "The Drew Carey Show" and for its final two seasons on the network, reality shows such as "The Benefactor" and "Wife Swap".
- Joan of Arcadia, despite surviving longer than Wonderfalls, got the boot not long after, failing to be renewed for a third season even though it was relatively popular and critically-acclaimed. Aired at 8 PM Fridays on CBS.
- Made In Jersey was cancelled after its second episode, after flopping in a New York-themed Friday programming block with Blue Bloods and CSI: New York on CBS.
- Moonlight is an especially weird case, as it was getting a good 8 million viewers on its Friday slot when CBS cancelled it. And it was cancelled just before a certain novel by Stephenie Meyer triggered the massive vampire fad. CBS must still be kicking themselves.
- In 1999, a very well-acted, well-produced modern update of The Six Million Dollar Man debuted on CBS. The show was titled Now and Again, and featured an intricate and tightly-woven running premise, stellar acting by Eric Close and Dennis Haysbert, Kim Chan as one of the most surreal sociopaths in TV history, and cameos by the likes of John Goodman and Mick Foley. It was an intelligent, thought-provoking show, which downplayed the premise's gimmick in favor of more real, dramatic interactions between the major characters. ...but its timeslot was 9pm on Friday, with absolutely no lead-in to speak of, and the network cut back on promoting it in the second half of the season (to the point where some viewers had no idea new episodes were airing). It faded away with little fanfare after one season and would only surface years later in repeats on Sci Fi Channel.
- Ironically, The Six Million Dollar Man itself debuted in a 9pm Friday timeslot, and was a hit.
- Get Smart wound up being Uncanceled after four seasons on NBC as a Saturday night entry. Then CBS aired it on Fridays at 7:30...
The disproportionate number of shows moved to the Friday timeslot and being cancelled by the network is even referenced in the opening speech from Family Guy's first episode after being Un-Canceled. Peter Griffin calls out a large number of shows that were canned, many of which aired on Fridays.
- The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. creator Carlton Cuse (Executive Producer of Lost) specifically blames this for the show's demise. However, this is a strange example - the pilot movie was so popular, the network actually ordered additional episodes. Cuse blamed the flawed rating system for incorrectly counting the show's fans, and unfortunately, since it aired in the era before DVD releases gave a better gauge of popularity, it couldn't be revived. (Amusingly, the show Fox scheduled trying to get residual audience from Brisco County Jr. is listed in the "Aversions" folder.)
- Alien Nation got through a single season before it was canceled by FOX, though it wasn't caused by their Friday timeslot so much as it was the network's lack of funds from advertising revenue, causing them to axe all of their dramatic shows.
- Boston Public was moved to a Friday timeslot for its fourth season, and was quickly canceled mid-season, leaving two unaired episodes left to debut in reruns on cable.
- Dark Angel gave Jessica Alba a career boost (as well as a smaller one to Jensen Ackles) and had good ratings. Then Fox moved it to Fridays. When they canned it, they replaced it with (ironically enough) Firefly. Fans were not pleased, to say the least. Of course, the show's Second Season Downfall didn't help matters either.
- Eliza Dushku had a contract with Fox, and so she brought Joss Whedon back to Fox (after the latter claimed he wouldn't produce anything for the network again) for Dollhouse, which aired 2009-2010 on Fridays. Despite poor ratings, Fox renewed it for a second season (still on Fridays), although it was canceled fairly early in its second run due to the already low ratings declining further.
- Despite having a large number of well-known character and a fast-paced narrative, the action/drama series Fastlane was canceled midway through its Friday run due to skyrocketing costs for each episode (more than $2.6 million per episode)., and ended on a cliffhanger.
- Though a number of factors combined to kill it in just 14 episodes (only 11 of which were ever actually aired, in the wrong order), part of the reason Firefly got canceled by Fox was because it was in the 8 PM (Eastern) Friday slot, failing to attract the more adult audience at which it was aimed and being constantly preempted by sports broadcasts to boot. Its success in the 7 PM Friday slot on cable years later is usually considered ironic. Creator Joss Whedon now reportedly refuses to work with the network ever again precisely because of how badly they burned him with Firefly. Of course, producer Tim Minear didn't even allegedly vow such a thing, but in light of other shows of his that have aired on the network including the next listing, probably should have.
- FreakyLinks was a paranormal drama where a man ran his own website, which chronicled strange urban legends and the circumstances behind his brother's death. The show began airing on Fridays and was canceled midway through the season due to low ratings.
- Fringe is one of the few series that survived the move to the Death Slot. Moved there in the middle of its third season from a prime Thursday night slot, the show continued to retain a core set of dedicated viewers passionate about the show. As the show was written with a definitive end, the vigor of the fans and that of FOX's Kevin Reilly (vice president at programming at the time) helped to ensure the show completed its story even with a shortened 5th season, reaching the magic number of 100 episodes for syndication rights.
- Glee was moved to Fridays at 9pm for its sixth and final season, which also got cut to 13 episodes.
- After trope aversion The X-Files got moved to a more prominent timeslot, the Friday slot of death got taken by its spin-off The Lone Gunmen... who got the usual treatment from FOX.
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: 2007-8 season: on Monday nights. 2008-9 season: moved to Friday nights. 2009-10 season: Terminated.
- After being renewed for a second season, Touch was moved to a Friday night slot and intended to air its season premiere in October 2012. The premiere was then pushed to February of the next year, and coupled with the weak timeslot and next-to-no advertising, the show died a quick death.
- Wonderfalls. Three of its first (and only) four weeks on FOX, it was slotted in the 8 PM Friday slot. It wasn't as family-friendly as its competitor, Joan of Arcadia, was and died fast. However, it did well on cable as well, when LGBT-friendly Logo aired it.
- Also canceled via an 8 PM Friday slot, despite initially high ratings due to (undue) controversy about it: The Book Of Daniel, a series about an Episcopalian priest whose family is having troubles and who apparently has hallucinations (we think) of speaking to a laid-back Jesus. Oh, and an addiction to painkillers. Yeah, that went over real well with the church-going audience. Some of the network's local affiliates (most notably WSMV in Nashville, Tennessee and KARK in Little Rock, Arkansas) refused to even air the series and only about four of its eight episodes were aired on TV at all, and three others were dumped onto NBC.com to languish in obscurity before everyone forgot it even existed.
- Chuck, a fan-favorite which constantly wavered back and forth on the edge of cancellation each year since the '07-'08 Writer's Strike, received this treatment for its final (2011-12) season, along with a 13-episode order. However, it was justified by executives as being done only because the fan campaign that saved it (during its third season) didn't translate into viewers.
- The Jim Henson Hour, Jim Henson's take on Walt Disney Presents, spent its first four weeks on Friday nights at 8:00pm in the Spring of 1989. This, along with Executive Meddling that resulted in a confusing show structure, led to extremely low ratings. NBC attempted to move the show to Sunday nights as a replacement for the series Spoony Spoon. The ratings for Henson Hour proved to be even lower for its fifth episode, and was quickly cancelled. NBC agreed to burn off the remaining episode over the Summer, but only aired four of the remaining seven episodes. An earlier attempt at promoting the series via a crossover with The Cosby Show proved to be pointless, as the Cosby appearance didn't air until a year after the cancellation of Henson Hour.
- Raines, a surprisingly good, somewhat subversive, more than a little weird Police Procedural about a homicide detective who may or may not be seeing the ghosts of his latest assignments. The show was bumped from a prime Thursday night slot to Fridays at 9:00 Eastern after just two episodes. It quickly dropped from the #23 highest-ranked show to #63 and only five more episodes were aired before it was quietly cancelled. Despite being put next to Las Vegas in the lineup. Of course, it was also a midseason replacement, which never really bodes well for a series' longevity.
- The return of Smash quickly circled the ratings drain in Season 2, so NBC announced in March 2013 that the remaining episodes would air on Saturdays rather than Tuesdays starting in April. The Onion's A.V. Club joked that the announcement not admitting that the show would be cancelled - and it was, come that May - was the television equivalent of parents claiming their kid's dog is being sent off to a farm to live out its days when it's actually being put to sleep.
- Star Trek: The Original Series survived being moved to an 8:30 Friday night timeslot for its second season thanks to a letter-writing campaign (following a short-lived sitcom Accidental Marriage, then a primetime edition of The Hollywood Squares), but could not survive being moved to 10:00 on Fridays for its third season, where its slashed budget (due to lower ad rates and higher salaries for the stars) prompted the departures of most of the series' writers. Gene Roddenberry resigned as line producer, since he could see the writing on the wall. Its success in syndication would leave NBC regretting losing such a Cash Cow Franchise, which due to mergers and acquisitions is now owned by rival CBS (with Paramount Pictures retaining film rights).
- Poor Emerald City. It didn't help that it went through Development Hell and was cancelled in production before it came back, but it was saddled with the infamous slot, causing its ratings to be crappy. The result? Cancellation after ten episodes. The ever-growing fanbase are calling for the show to be moved to Netflix or another streaming service, and some are even calling for a second season to be made as the show was cancelled on a cliffhanger. Even Ana Ularu, one of the actors of the show, would be happy for a second season. Sadly, we may never know of the show's fate, but it might as well be dead for good. Shame.
- British channel E4 trumpets Thursday nights as its strongest night of the week, using it for premieres and first showings of imported American sitcoms such as The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and New Girl. Coincidentally, the ad breaks are chocka with movie trailers. Fridays, by comparison, are a bit weak.
- In early 2015, Challenge (The UK equivalent of GSN) started airing the Australian game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Hot Seat in a 9PM time slot every weeknight. After nearly a month of airing, the time was silently changed to 10PM (Challenge sited poor ratings as the reason behind the move), and soon after that it vanished outright. Considering that the original UK version of the show is one of their most popular programs, to the point where it's on almost every day, it's mystifying to see how Hot Seat failed.
- In September 2015, Challenge began airing Hot Seat again... but this time at a 2AM timeslot. It returned once again with new episodes at a 4PM time slot around April/May, but quickly vanished after about a month
- Around April 2016, Challenge started to air The Chase Australia, promoting it heavily as it featured Anne Hegerty, one of the Chasers from the British version (Whilst advertising it and making it look like she was the ONLY Chaser). Like Hot Seat, it started at a 9PM time slot, then after a few weeks it moved down to a 7PM time slot. A couple of weeks after that, it was pushed to a 2AM time slot, with the daytime repeats cancelled. To add insult to injury, the remaining episodes that aired in the 2AM time slot still had the 'New to' wordmark above the Challenge logo. By comparison, the British series is repeated quite frequently, and the US series usually airs after the UK series has run its current selection of episodes. As of mid-June 2016, it's been replaced with repeats of the British version (Whilst still using the 'New to' wording)
- From the mid-80's to the late 90's, some syndicated children's programs (either which networks thought wouldn't be successful, or were aimed at young audiences) would air during the dead hours of 5AM to 7AM. Some shows that got this timeslot included the original syndicated run of Pokémon, The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin, Sailor Moon, Adventures in Odyssey, The All-New Captain Kangaroo, the American Public Television run of Magic Adventures of Mumfie, PBS' runs of The Adventures of Dudley The Dragon, the Animated Adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, Make Way For Noddy and Elliot Moose, the first airings of The Wiggles and Bananas in Pajamas, the "Club Mario" incarnation of The Super Mario Bros Super Show! and the two-week syndicated run of The Adventures of Timmy the Tooth.
- Although it wasn't a syndicated show, Cartoon Network's first preschool block in the 90's (which consisted of Small World and Big Bag) was aired during these hours, which were as late as 6:30AM for the east coast and as early as midnight for people living in Hawaii.
- In 2011, former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi premiered a new Bravo reality/competition series for aspiring songwriters on Monday nights, called Platinum Hit. Midway through the series, amid low ratings and with little advance warning, Bravo threw in the towel — and moved the series to 8pm Fridays, where it quietly finished its run.
- Star Trek: Enterprise caught a double whammy: moved to the Death Slot during its and its network's final season. It was very well-known among a subset of Trek fans that the only reason it had gained a fourth season in the first place was to get enough episodes for syndication. Then, the show started to drastically improve in quality, bringing some fans some hope that there might be a Season 5. Those hopes were dashed when the Death Slot took away any improved ratings it might have garnered from the improved quality.
- Odyssey 5 was moved from Sundays (where it pulled in the best ratings in the network's history up to that point) to Fridays, where ratings dropped immediately and the show was canceled with six episodes left (the last episodes were burned off two years later).
- FamilyNet put airings of The Color Honeymooners as the lead-in to their Friday-night line-up (airing at 5 PM Eastern/4 PM Central, as FamilyNet considers that time slot as the start of prime time for them) starting in March 2010. They dropped it in August in favor of Landmarks and The Greats, two really obscure documentary shows that were about to be taken out of the channel altogether. This duo was replaced in September with additional showings of The New Flipper. That show, in turn, was dropped in October for Chuck Norris' World Combat League.
- Spider-Man: The New Animated Series was aired on MTV's Friday night slot. This seriously limited the audience, since younger kids were more likely to be watching the programming on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, and older teens were usually out doing stuff on Friday nights. The show only had one season despite the massive popularity of the movies, and even worse, ended on a cliffhanger.
- Nickelodeon's The Legend of Korra suffered from this during its second season. The show lost nearly half its audience when it shifted from Saturday mornings to Friday nights, something that can be attributed to the show's large periphery demographic of young adults. While The Legend of Korra would go on to have two more seasons after this, the ratings never again reached its previous highs and the show was removed from television during season three, finishing its run on Nickelodeon's website.
- Sheep in the Big City, an obscure cartoon that aired on Cartoon Network from 2000 to 2002, suffered this quite a lot throughout its run. The first nine episodes aired at a decent time on the "Cartoon Cartoon Friday's" block. However, the last four episodes of the first season were delayed several months to Sunday evenings for no given reason. The show was initially cancelled after its first season because of low ratings. However, it was at the last minute greenlit for a second season, which began airing with the same time slot. Inevitably, the ratings became even worse, and after the second season, the show was gone.
- Children's cable networks such as Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, or Cartoon Network have traditionally thrived on Friday nights. This is, of course, due to their target demographic of kids under the age of 14. This audience rarely has anywhere to be on a Friday night, in sharp contrast to even older teenagers. Fridays also have the minor bonus of kids not having classes the next day, so networks can potentially air premieres late into prime-time without worrying about sudden rating drops due to their target audience being shoved off to bed by parents. Because of this, these networks don't have a "Friday Night Death Slot" per se, with every night of the week being good for premieres as long as kids are awake to watch them.note Instead, shows marked for death are shifted to slots where the target audience is less likely to be awake, such as late at night (usually around 11pm or midnight) or early in the morning (between 5am and 7am).
- Disney Channel and Disney XD use the late-night approach.
- Cartoon Network, sharing channel space with [adult swim], does the early morning approach.
- Nickelodeon also does early morning, but is just as likely to completely shift a show to one of its secondary networks.
- Fox's American Idol, at the height of its run, produced a variation on this trope. Executives at other networks referred to it as the "Death Star", as its dominance of its timeslot was so massive that it crushed all competition. It was well understood among TV critics that scheduling any show opposite Idol was the equivalent of airing it on Friday night, i.e. that the network had little faith in the show and was just burning off episodes before its inevitable cancellation. This only ended in the 2010s when its ratings started to decline, with other networks using shows like Modern Family and Survivor to attack and, by 2016, eventually bring down television's Death Star.
- The Tom Bergeron-era episodes of America's Funniest Home Videos initially aired on Friday nights on ABC, but apparently did well enough for the show to be moved back to its old Sundays at 7 p.m. timeslot. It's thrived there ever since. Given that the show was effectively treated as cheap filler by the network after Bob Saget left, the fact that its comeback came in a death slot is extremely impressive!
- Tom did poke some fun at its timeslot on one Valentine's Day Episode, noting that if you were at home watching TV on a Friday night, then your romantic plans must have fallen through.
- Beauty and the Beast was an aversion for the first two seasons, and was only cut short by Executive Meddling and Linda Hamilton getting written out.
- Blue Bloods has averted this since its premiere, barely cracking the top ten for its sixth season.
- The Brady Bunch lasted its whole five-season run on Friday night and did decently ratings-wise. It only got the boot in 1974 against Sanford and Son.
- After being renewed for a fourth season of only 13 episodes, Community was moved to 8:30 on Fridays in what was presumed to be its final season. Along with the studio-mandated ouster of series creator/showrunner Dan Harmon and several other prominent staff quitting, the resulting fan backlash may have been what motivated NBC to push Community's premiere into 2013 with a more favorable Thursday night slot and eventually renew it for a 5th season (along with the return of Harmon).
- Degrassi. In seasons 10 and 12 in the U.S., it came on on Fridays at 10 PM and did reasonably well.
- Friday Night Lights, which from the beginning had fans saying that given the title, airing on Fridays seemed completely natural for it rather than its original Wednesday slot. Starting in the second season it did run on Fridays, which was met with widespread approval (plus a wonderful Narm-y tagline: "''Friday Night Lights'', finally on Fridays! This Friday on NBC.") Despite low ratings for its entire run, the show ran five seasons.
- The move to Fridays created a unique problem for NBC. Given that the subject matter was High School football, the episodes had to be timed so that they would not conflict with the actual football season. Meanwhile, Direc TV aired the episodes early, during football season, causing a Short Run in Peru within the same market.
- Ghost Whisperer aired on Fridays for its entire successful five-season run all on CBS.
- Grimm on NBC, which started in the Death Slot but moved to Mondays for its second season, then back to Fridays, again. It still did moderately well for an NBC show, even with the timeslot, and was renewed for its sixth and final 13-episode season in 2016-17.
- Hawaii Five-0 was moved to Friday for its fourth season after previously airing on Mondays. The ratings were actually an improvement from its previous season, and the show has remained part of CBS' Friday night schedule to this day, with the upcoming 201819 season being its ninth.
- Season 2 of the Tim Allen sitcom Last Man Standing was moved to Fridays from the original Tuesday slot, but the ratings improved from the tail end of Season 1 and stayed stable. ABC ordered five more episodes for Season 2 (bringing the total to 18) and renewed it for another season. The show managed to last for four more seasons on ABC, seeing peak ratings during the fourth and fifth seasons, before the network cancelled it. The next year Fox picked it up due to its strong ratings and scheduled it to continue in its 8pm Friday time-slot. Having a lead that appeals to families (an audience ABC has thrived with on Fridays) helped.
- The Australian version of The Late Show (think Saturday Night Live WITH NO BUDGET) - it was put on at 9.00 on a Saturday, where most of its intended audience would have gone out. However, it became very popular with parents who had to stay home to look after their children, and so lasted three years.
- Carlton Cuse averted the Friday night curse with Nash Bridges. It was a hit on Friday nights and lasted for five seasons.
- Nikita (from The CW) held this slot from its second season onward. However, it did well enough to last through four seasons before ending.
- NUMB3RS managed to last six whole seasons on Friday nights before CBS ended it.
- The Sci-Fi Channel (before it changed to Syfy) averted this for many years, via Friday night blocks of strong original programming that provided some of the network's best ratings all week. Targeting a niche market known more for cultlike devotion than active social lives—i.e., nerds—may have helped the network develop an audience willing to put its favorite shows ahead of other potential Friday night activities.
- Stargate SG-1 held the Friday at 8 PM slot for most of its run, and the Friday night shows (SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Battlestar Galactica (2003)) came to be known as the Power Block. In fact, when both Atlantis and Galactica were moved from their Friday timeslots, fans complained that they wouldn't get as many viewers.
- The block went through a slump when the network separated SG-1 and Galactica, canceled the former, moved the latter to Sundays, gave Doctor Who away to BBC America, and built as much fan animosity as when they canceled Farscape. Sci-Fi Friday has since recovered with the highly-rated Eureka and Un-Cancellation of Merlin.
- WWE Friday Night Smackdown was a very successful aversion, to such a point where episodes had bumpers bragging about how viewed their show is, and an advertising campaign talking about how they're "changing Friday nights". After failing to hit the same numbers on MyNetworkTV, it averted this once more when it moved to Syfy and became one of its most popular shows.
- In one of the biggest aversions of this trope (and therefore a pretty biting case of irony), The X-Files (the "little" show that debuted in the 9 PM timeslot after Brisco County Jr.) went on to enjoy massive success. During the three seasons it aired on Friday night, the pre-X-Files timeslot became an elephants' graveyard of failed speculative fiction shows, such as Brisco County, VR 5, Strange Luck, M.A.N.T.I.S., and Sliders (only Sliders made it to a second season), baffling FOX execs and no doubt informing their future decisions on Friday night sci-fi shows.
- [adult swim]'s live-action comedies air on Friday, including new episodes. They used to reside on Thursdays until the end of 2014. This is also a unique example as it is not necessarily tied to the shows themselves, but rather, how ratings for [as]' normal programming may be higher when they are airing a consecutive run of four days, rather than being broken up by Thursday.
- On the heels of the "rural purge", CBS scheduled its rural drama The Waltons on Thursdays against the popular programs The Mod Squad and The Flip Wilson Show, all but asking for it to flop. Instead, The Waltons became the show to beat, lasting nine seasons.
- Supernatural managed to survive the death slot not once, but twice at 9:00 pm. This was during Seasons 6 and 7, and afterward moved to Wednesdays or Tuesdays. (Considering the show's liberal use of Back from the Dead, this seems appropriate.)
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, survived its move from Mondays to Fridays in its second season, even getting renewed for a third in spite of the shift.
- Our Miss Brooks was an early aversion, a hit show airing on Fridays at 9:30 pm. It helped that it was The '50s, and also that Our Miss Brooks had been a hit on CBS Radio's Sunday Night lineup for at least four years prior to the show also airing on television.