8 p.m. Fridays
What’s at stake?: What happened to counter-programming? After NBC chose its best and most unique new drama (which happens to feature a young leading lady) to kick off Friday night, CBS went and did the same.While this skedding is no doubt frustrating for viewers, it does make for one of the most intriguing battles of the fall. Both are looking for the audience that made NBC’s “Providence” a hit here. CBS perspective: Net has struggled on Friday and is using “Joan” to anchor a totally revamped night. This spiritually tinged drama should draw a broad audience, faring best among femmes 25-54 but also grabbing younger viewers and some men. NBC perspective: Alicia Silverstone starrer “Miss Match” will get a big promo push on NBC’s Thursday lineup, as the net looks to bring women 18-49 to this drama from the creator of “Sex and the City.” The show, whose pilot was light and fun but a little short on energy, could certainly benefit from a late opening-hour plot turn that has Silverstone’s matchmaker character looking for love herself. It seems perfectly fitted for Friday at 8. Bottom line: Two promising dramas must not only contend with each other, but with solid comedies on ABC, Fox and the WB. Something’s gotta give, and it could mean a new night for one of them.
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