The Future of the Night: ABC Friday

Welcome to a segment I call "The Future of the Night". The format is I take a look at a night on the network's schedule, see what could use improvement, and come up with scenarios which could potentially solve it. First, I present a short argument as to why it could work, then play Devil's Advocate with my reasoning, and then present the bottom line. Enjoy, and fee free to leave your opinions by leaving a comment!
As ABC watches many other nights start to crumble, Friday is a relatively bright spot on their schedule on the surface. The Last Man Standing/Dr Ken comedy block at 8pm is doing better than the block on Tuesday. Shark Tank is still a solid reality player even if it isn't what it once was (almost nothing is). And 20/20 is 20/20. However, contract negotiations may lag the Tim Allen-led Last Man Standing despite good-for-Friday ratings and a syndication deal, and Dr Ken's fate may be complementary to that of Last Man Standing's. Worst case scenario and we no longer have an 8pm comedy block and nothing clear to replace it. So, here are some options ABC has for Friday.

Option 1: Stay Steady
Why It Will Work: There's really nothing wrong with Friday. Even if 20th Century Fox has to lower the licensing fee for Last Man Standing even more, a renewal would mean more solid ratings on a Friday. And realistically what could replace it? Moving a weekday comedy to the night would only
leave a major hole in their schedule.

Why It Won't: Well, you can't stay steady if you don't have all your shows renewed, right?

Bottom Line: As long as Tim Allen cooperates, Fridays should be a no brainer for ABC next season.

Option 2: Dr Ken Squeaks Out a Renewal and Launches a New Comedy
Why It Will Work: In a world where ABC can't bring back Last Man Standing but also expects Dr Ken to be profitable without it (which is iffy), ABC can move Dr Ken to 8pm an have it launch a multi-cam at 8:30. It won't be the same as this year, but it'll be the next best thing.

Why It Won't: There's a reason ABC only has a couple multi-cam pilots this season. They'll develop them, but they don't seem heavily invested in the genre. It looks like the block could be all-or-nothing unless a pilot like The Fluffy Shop tests absolutely though the roof.

Bottom Line: If this option happens, ABC might see itself with a fractional comedy hour on Fridays. Last Man Standing is severely undervalued, and I don't think a multi-cam block should continue without it.

Option 3: All Reality
Why It Will Work: If there's no comedy block, there's really no drama that would be able to move to Friday. Example: SHIELD would be fractional for sure, and it would make no sense to air a Marvel show on a day where Marvel wants you to go out and see its latest movie in theaters. Air something like Beyond the Tank or What Would You Do? here, or time share them. If you bench one or two scripted shows, you won't need Beyond the Tank every time something flops.

Why It Won't: This option would more or less be ABC giving in on Fridays. Really, all reality? That would leave a network like NBC or FOX to majorly capitalize on less scripted competition, and may not be a lineup that looks particularly pleasing to advertisers.

Bottom Line: When all else fails, go to Plan C. This is it. This could be what a future without Tim Allen looks like for ABC.

What do you think? Are there any other somewhat-plausible options that I didn't cover? Let me know in the comments below!

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