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October 8, 2015

Can Life get a life on Friday night?

by Richard Keller, posted Apr 3rd 2008 10:22AM

Moving Life to 10 pm on Friday nights? What the hell is NBC thinking?So, NBC introduced their earth-shattering year-round schedule this week to a lot of 'ho-hums' from critics and advertisers alike. Nothing really changed from the way they were programming the network for the last few years -- shows like 30 Rock, The Office and Heroes will air in September while others, like the coveted Office spin-off, will begin airing mid-season. Also, many shows will remain in the same time slots as they did in previous years.

Oh, there will be some changes. Lipstick Jungle, which most recently aired in ER's slot, will be moved to Wednesdays. In addition, Life, the surprise fan favorite of the first half of the season, will be moving out of its coveted 10:00 pm slot on Wednesdays to Friday night at the same time. The relocation of Life to the end of the week begs one question that needs to be asked to the programmers over at NBC....

What the FRAK are you thinking?

As fans of this criminal procedural know Life is more than a criminal procedural. It's a show about one man's struggle to return to a normal life after spending over a decade in prison for a crime he did not commit. It's a show about broken people trying to mend themselves. It's a show that delves into some of the philosophical questions that come up during criminal investigations. It's a serialized show that features a sub-plot concerning the lead character, Charlie Crews, trying to find out who framed him for the murder that put him in prison.

In other words, Life is a show that makes you think. And, on Friday nights, you don't want to do too much thinking. Or, to put it more succinctly: Life isn't Las Vegas.

That's why the move from Wednesdays to Fridays could mean the death of this show. Since it is a show that you need to sit and think about, there's a chance that it won't gain the increased fan base that it needs. Sure, it will probably still retain many of the fans it garnered from its pre-strike run, but how many of them will stay on when there is other original programming on during Friday nights that doesn't involve as much synaptic activity.

This actually brings up another point. With the move of Life to Friday nights the network is almost programming against itself...well, against its cable siblings at least. We're talking about the shows that air Friday nights on sister networks USA and Sci Fi; programming that actually brings in some very decent numbers. During the fall Life could be up against Psych on USA and Stargate Atlantis on Sci Fi. Come the winter it could be Psych and Battlestar Galactica that vie for the ratings numbers. And, with this being the last season for BSG, there's a pretty good chance that more people will be turning into that science fiction program then they do for a real-life action series.

Despite being one of those rare shows that didn't merit much negative coverage, Life seems to be getting the raw end of the deal here with this move. If the story of who framed Charlie was resolved at the end of the first season or it had time to establish itself as a solid ratings gatherer, I may have been okay with the schedule shift. But, since there is so much more story to tell for Crews and his partner ,it should remain on Wednesdays to give us viewers some stability and time to digest the situation. Now that it will be airing during the last primetime hour of the work week there's a very good chance that we won't get to see our friend Charlie for much longer.

Now that I've said my peace what do you think?

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April 29 2008 at 9:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We can only hope the few select nielsen families decide to watch Life. They sadly are the only voices that count in this shitty, fraudulent, and totally fucked-up ratings system that we are stuck with. You would think with all the technology we have today they would improve a 50 year old system! They should be hooked up to all cable and sat. receivers and dvrs. Everyone should have a voice in the ratings! Could you imagine what shows are really the most watched? I bet only 7 or 8 of the usual top 20 would stay there! There also would be more fluctuation week to week. Then they would keep shows longer if they saw they were top 20 every few weeks.

April 03 2008 at 11:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Argh. I really, really hope Life survives this move because I've become hopelessly invested in this show. NBC, why do you do this???

Is there anyway we, as fans, can drum up publicity for this show so it can get more viewers?

April 03 2008 at 9:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

NBC needs to fire the adults in charge and hire a 5th grader.

April 03 2008 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Riley Freeman

one more comment if ur going to cut a show the station should be forced to let them close the show off properly. 2 or 3 episodes so we can know what would have happened

April 03 2008 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Riley Freeman

i really am starting to hate all tv networks drive was a show i was curious about - CUT, traveller - CUT justice (tv show) - CUT. I could go on and on but theres 2 things i dont get with networks. when u want to start a new show u dont put it on 2 nights Monday and friday.

Friday is the death slot

Monday is theres too many other things on tv so it could have survived but u ruined it.

monday is heroes, football, 2 and a half men, wrestling, prison break, how i met your mother, big bang theory (which i am suprised survived but i am happy it did). and countless other shows that are on monday and not to mention sports or other things that may come up.

man im frustrated

April 03 2008 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

F**K NBC. A two year old can run a corporation better than these bozos? Knight Rider gets a prime time wednesday slot yet they push Life to the deathslot? Why Why Why? Every show i like is getting the death treatment. First Cane, then Jericho then Life. Yet i am sure NBC will air my dad is a bigger asshole than your dad on mondays at 9PM.

April 03 2008 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Viv's comment


Since I'm either watching some other shows or resting my eyes ;) during this time I'm gonna have to set the dvr for this and hope that I don't get a black screen.

Whoever thought this was a good idea over at NBC are idiots. If they didn't want this show to compete with Lost then they should've moved it to 9pm on Thursday or hell even 8pm is doable but 10pm on Friday.... NO!

April 26 2008 at 1:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
AJ MacReady

I was very happy to hear that Life had been renewed. It amazed me that both it and Journeyman ended up being my favorite new shows last year. But then - NBC being what it is - the bottom fell out.

Journeyman, a phenomenal show with wit and heart and thrills, is canceled. Life is placed in a slot where it will almost CERTAINLY be canceled. I wonder if they brought it back only because some NBC exec lost a bet, was forced to renew it, and this is how they can still kill it while honoring the bet's terms.

Meanwhile, Knight Rider gets picked up as a series. And I further lose my faith in network TV's ability to create, program, and nurture quality shows.

April 03 2008 at 1:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Am I the only one who doesn't care what night shows are on? I DVR everything, watch mindless shows on Fridays, if I'm home, & save criminal procedures, etc. for when I feel like putting a little more thought into it. Many of the cable shows mentioned, like Psych & Battlestar Gallactica, are re-aired several times anyway. In other words, I do my own "scheduling."

April 03 2008 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sharynkopf's comment

I do exactly the same thing and have everything pre-scheduled to record to the point that I really don't even remember what night most of my favorite shows actually air.

That being said, the current, inaccurate and antiquated method of gathering ratings will be detrimental to this show since it seems most Nielsen families go out on the weekends. I guess ya gotta be an alcoholic to get in with Nielsen! :-)

April 03 2008 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Arrrrghh! Certain death for yet another show I dig! I hope the show retains the fans it's already accrued.

I've actually been re-watching the show over at Hulu.com and it's just such a delight...

April 03 2008 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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