DVR Gridlock 2014-15: Friday Nights

[As is my recent tradition, over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. It also assumes that you/I only have a dual tuner DVR (plus occasional access to a Slingbox on ET. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments and the DVR Gridlock segments for 2012.]


8:00 p.m.
ABC: “Last Man Standing,” “Cristela”
CBS: “The Amazing Race”
The CW: “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”
FOX: “MasterChef Junior”
NBC: “Dateline”

9:00 p.m. 
ABC: “Shark Tank”
CBS: “Hawaii Five-0”
The CW: “America's Next Top Model”
FOX: “Utopia”
NBC: “Grimm”

10:00 p.m. 
ABC: “20/20”
CBS: “Blue Bloods”
NBC: “Constantine”

What's Changed: The biggest change, at least for me, is the shift of “Amazing Race” to Fridays, which gives me a Friday recapping responsibility for the first time in forever. ABC's latest attempt to find a proper “Last Man Standing” companion is “Cristela.” NBC's latest attempt to find a 10 p.m. companion for “Grimm” is “Constantine,” based on the DC Comics property. And FOX is airing “Utopia” where once it aired a couple high-quality, low-rated comedies.

How the Ratings Race Is Impacted: CBS will still win Friday night overall. That's easy. I get that CBS thinks “Amazing Race” has a dedicated fanbase and that that audience will be happy not to have to wonder what football overrun will do to start-times on Sunday. However, I don't see how “The Amazing Race” provides much improvement, if any, over “Undercover Boss” at 8 p.m. So while CBS is likely to still win every Friday by several million overall viewers, it'll probably continue to fall short in the 18-49 demo. ABC will probably continue to win the 18-49 demo and with proper marketing and outreach to the Hispanic market, “Cristela” seems like it might be capable of offering improvement over “The Neighbors” and “Malibu Country” post-“LMS.” The night's big X Factor is, of course, “Constantine.” With “Dateline” and “Grimm,” NBC has the pieces to be right in the middle of the 18-49 competition for the night and if “Constantine” improves on the normal “Grimm” performance — Say a 1.6 or a 1.7 in the key demo? — NBC could make ABC sweat. Unless NBC really bungles “Constantine,” it'll almost certainly do better than “Hannibal” or “Dracula.” FOX will get OK numbers for “MasterChef Junior,” but unless “Utopia” starts building heat that I'm not feeling, I'm skeptical that it's going too be a hit, which will leave that 9 p.m. hour in flux. And The CW seems satisfied with the spring Friday improvement courtesy of “Whose Line,” satisfied enough not to do anything interesting or aggressive in the 9 p.m. hour. Oh well.          

My Predicted DVR: I'll probably be watching and recapping “The Amazing Race” on East Coast time, which means my 8 p.m. DVR will be free for… “MasterChef Junior”? I liked the first season well enough. It's a thing that exists. Unless “Utopia” proves to be compulsively watchable, the 9 p.m. hour will be silent for me, unless I'm visiting family, in which case I'll be doing “Shark Tank.” And I'll watch a few episodes of “Constantine.” Quality will determine if I still around. That's not much, is it? And I watched a lot of TV on Fridays this season, including “Enlisted,” “Raising Hope,” “Hannibal” and “Hart of Dixie.”

How have the new schedules impacted your Fridays?

DVR Gridlock 2014-15: Sunday Nights
DVR Gridlock 2014-15: Monday Nights
DVR Gridlock 2014-15: Tuesday Nights
DVR Gridlock 2014-15: Wednesday Nights
DVR Gridlock 2014-15: Thursday Nights