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Let the Ratings Decline Begin: Bellator to Begin Airing Events on Friday Nights

(Aaaaaaaannnnndddd it’s gone.)  The study of TV trends/viewership is an interesting and incredibly thorough one, but there is perhaps no television trend more notorious than the Friday Night Death Slot, which maintains that any program placed in the graveyard slot (approximately 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.) on a Friday night is ultimately destined for cancellation. Countless examples can be cited to back this theory: Malcolm in the Middle, Firefly, the criminally overlooked Happy Endings, and of course, Fridays. In fact, the dreaded time slot can even be held (at least partially) accountable for the abysmal ratings of TUF 15 and TUF 16. Of course, some scheisters out there will try to convince you that Friday night is primo advertising time, throwing all sorts of fancy facts and numerical data at you in the process, which probably explains why Bellator is voluntarily moving their events to Friday nights starting in the fall. Loretta Hunt was the first to pass along the news: To avoid the NFL crush, Bellator MMA will move from Thursday to Friday nights this fall, Spike TV president Kevin Kay exclusively told SI.com during a screening this week forFight Master, its original MMA reality series debuting on June 19. I don‘t want to see Bellator going head to head with the UFC,” said Kay. “I don‘t think that makes any sense for fans. No matter who would win in that scenario (Author’s note: The answer you’re looking for is the UFC), you don‘t want to not give the fans the choice to watch both. Kay goes on to cite TUF 16 as an *example* of a show doing well during the Friday slot, as well as the Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush, which averages 4 million viewers on Friday nights. Yes, a show that captures all the drama of sifting through sand reels in 4 million of us — week, after week, after mind-numbing week — before we switch over to the History Channel to watch people drive trucks across icy roads for the eighth year in a row. Meanwhile, Arrested Development was cancelled after 3 seasons. This is why we can’t have nice things, Nation. -J. Jones

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