Friday night is a notorious dead zone in terms of television programming, so much so that the time slot is known in television as the “Friday night death slot,” where shows that are destined for cancellation are placed as an afterthought. It is believed that most young Americans that advertisers want to target are not typically at home watching television on a Friday night, and so networks aren’t about to waste their time scheduling their prime programming on a night that no one is going to be watching and so they won’t get paid for it by companies airing commercials. Thus it can be a bit of a struggle to find anything to watch on Friday night if you’re feeling like a night in after a rough or busy week. Here’s a look at five good shows that air on Friday.
1. Blue Bloods
This CBS cop show follows an entire family of police officers in the NYPD. Tom Selleck plays a Vietnam Vet and 9/11 First Responder who works as the Police Commissioner, a position that his own father once held. His three children Danny, Erin, and Jamie all do police work in various ways as well. Danny is a Marine veteran and a top NYPD detective. Erin is an assistant district attorney in Manhattan. Jamie has a law degree from Harvard but has decided to stop practicing law and join the police force. The show is currently in its fifth season and has consistently gotten good reviews, though it has never been very popular or much buzzed-about, just a solid cop family drama. The series has a 70 rating on Metacritic and has been picked up for a sixth season already, so fans who feared the under-the-radar show’s cancellation don’t have to worry for another season. The show airs at 10 p.m. EST.
NBC’s procedural fantasy drama, inspired by the dark Grimm Fairy Tales, will soon return for its fifth season. The show amped up the thrills in season four, with homicide investigator Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) and the rest of the gang facing darker dangers than ever before. The series will continue to step up its game in season five, with producers and cast promising new monsters – including the Loch Ness Monster. Grimm‘s next season will air on Fridays at 9 p.m. ET, starting on October 30.
This gonzo journalism style news show based on the magazine of the same title has been praised for its brave filmmaking style and its unabashed look at topics that typical news outlets don’t cover. Bill Mahr is a producer and the series has won an Emmy. Vice journalists go around the world to perform in-depth coverage of topics like political assassinations, suicide bombers, weapons manufacturers, and the stories of North Korean defectors. If you like the Vice empire, then you’ll definitely like this show and probably already watch it. While Vice’s journalists refer to themselves as doing things gonzo-style and name-drop Hunter S. Thompson in interviews with Rolling Stone, some have criticized the series for its blasé tone. Critics say the journalists from Vice seem more concerned with looking cool (they’re accused of wearing sunglasses inside and posing for photos with ‘dangerous’ stuff to put on their Instagram accounts) than performing actual, groundbreaking well-researched journalism. The show airs on HBO on Fridays at 11 p.m. ET.
4. The Tonight Show
When you’re having a hard time finding programming on a weeknight, you can always turn to The Tonight Show with the loveable Jimmy Fallon. For some, Friday might be the only night of the week where it’s acceptable to stay up through The Tonight Show. Fallon always has a lineup of interesting guests as well as funny games to keep the conversation going, like “Box of Lies,” in which guests have to look at Jimmy through a small window and tell him what’s in a secret box, choosing to either tell the truth or lie, or “The Whisper Challenge,” in which guests attempt to lip read. Watching The Tonight Show will help keep you caught up with the latest in pop culture, so if it’s on too late for you to watch during the week then Friday night is your chance to catch it. The shows airs on NBC at 11:35 p.m. ET.
5. Dog With a Blog
This funny Disney Channel offering is a great Friday night option for families. It’s a sitcom told from the perspective of a cute puppy named Stan who, unbeknownst to his owners, can actually talk and writes a successful blog. The new step-siblings Tyler and Avery would rather not communicate with each other and aren’t too enthused about their recently merged family in the wake of their parents’s marriage. But when they discover Stan’s secret they realize they have to do whatever they to keep it under wraps from their parents, especially since their younger sister Chloe sees nothing strange about a talking dog. Stan constantly gets him, Tyler, and Avery into ridiculous situations that show the kids how important it is that family stick together. The show airs on Disney at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Additional Reporting by Michelle Regalado