Every night of the week you can usually find some good shows on TV. Well... most every night. Friday night is the Wasteland of TV programming. It's because networks can't ever find a show that works.
You see, there are four different types of programming: scripted shows, reality shows, sporting events, news magazines. But none of these really work well on Friday nights because viewers are not always home on Friday nights. At least one or two times a month people will usually find other things to do than sit in front of the television. Which makes it really hard for networks to schedule shows. Some have tried niche' (or specialized) programming: CBS had a two hour block of the supernatural last season with "Ghost Whisperer" and "Medium." It has since canceled "Ghost Whisperer." This fall they are pairing "Medium" with "CSI:NY," which makes me wonder if they're trying to kill "CSI:NY."
That's the other thing about Friday nights: it's a theory that networks put shows on Friday night as a death sentence, the official pink slip for a show. It's like a network isn't sure what else to do with a failing show, so they put it on Friday nights. Last year ABC put "Ugly Betty" on Friday nights after a drop in the ratings. But then "Ugly Betty" started doing well; it had found an audience! And what did ABC do? Moved it back to better real-estate, Wednesdays at 10p.m. Where the ratings dropped again and the show was eventually canceled. Why not just leave it on Friday night? Because Friday night is a wasteland...
So tonight your viewing options are:
FOX: Past Life (new); House (repeat)
NBC: Friday Night Lights (new); Dateline (new)
CBS: Medium (repeat); Flashpoint (new)
ABC: National Spelling Bee (my choice)
other: Whale Wars (Animal Planet, 9/8c)