Friday nights are a tough time for TV, often referred to as the “Friday night death slot.” Though some shows have been able to defy that stigma, others haven’t been quite as lucky. These 5 shows, including a mix of terrible reality shows and overly predictable sitcoms, definitely live up to the “death slot” name. Below, check out some of the worst series currently airing on Friday nights:
1. Truth Be Told
NBC has been having major problems launching a successful new comedy in recent years, and, unfortunately for the network, Truth Be Told isn’t doing much to change that. The sitcom, starring Mark Paul Gosselaar, Vanessa Lachey, Tone Bell, and Bresha Webb, follows the life of two best friends, a meek politically correct Caucasian ethics professor and an easy-going African American, and their families.
Since its debut in October, the show has earned terrible reviews, scoring a low 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Though pegged as a “provocative” sitcom, critics have called it anything but, lambasting the show for its obvious and uncomfortable gags. As The Hollywood Reporter put it, “Truth be told, this show is terrible.”
It’s not faring much better in viewership. Following two very low-rated airings (0.7 in adults 18-49 for the premiere, 0.6 for the second episode last week), NBC cut the sitcom’s order by three episodes, to a total of 10. Between the bad reviews and tanking ratings, expect to see this one on the chopping block sooner rather than later.
2. Dr. Ken
Dr. Ken is one of those shows that makes you wonder what the heck is going on in the world of TV. The ABC sitcom has been widely critically panned, earning a ridiculously pitiful 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes for its grating and unpleasant humor. “A family comedy has to have heart and humor, and Dr. Ken has neither,” the Los Angeles Times wrote of the series.
You’d think that — combined with the terrible-looking trailer — would be enough to turn people off, but the show has managed to perform shockingly strongly for the network. Several episodes into its first season, the show is averaging 6 million viewers and a 1.3 rating in the 18-49 demo. Thanks to these steady ratings, Dr. Ken became the first new comedy of the season to get a full season order earlier this month — meaning there could very well be a long-term future for the show (despite its awful, awful reviews).
3. America’s Next Top Model
There were days when Tyra Banks’s reality show, following contestants as they compete to be the next big supermodel, was original and entertaining. But a full 22 seasons (or what the show calls “cycles”) later and the premise is feeling more than a little tired. Even the most devoted fans are getting sick of watching Banks fake suspense as she announces the bottom two contestants of the week. Not to mention, the show has actually yet to produce a true top supermodel.
But after what seems like an eternity, the show is now set to officially come to an end. With the series facing decreasing ratings in recent seasons, the CW finally axed the show, with the 22nd and final season airing its finale in December.
4. Vanderpump Rules: After Show Pre-Show
The Real Housewives franchise is bad enough, but because Bravo is, well, Bravo, the network has also given former housewives, like Lisa Vanderpump, their own spin-offs. Vanderpump Rules airs on Mondays, but the network has now decided to extend the series even more, by adding a weekly preshow. That’s right: a half-hour preshow to a reality show spin-off to an already bad franchise. If that’s not the epitome of Bravo, I don’t know what is. The only thing worse than watching a Housewives reality show though? Watching people sit around and discuss that Housewives reality show. Talk about terrible.
5. Last Man Standing
The ABC sitcom stars Tim Allen as Mike Baxter, a married father of three who tries to maintain his manliness — especially at home with his wife and three daughters, one of whom is a single mother. The show is currently in its fifth season, and to be fair, it’s improved somewhat over the course of its on-air run. But that’s not necessarily saying much. Even now, it’s still a middling and largely predictable sitcom that only occasionally gets real laughs in a slew of mostly unsurprising, hostile jokes.