ABC Gives Marvel's 'Inhumans' a Friday Night Time Slot

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 - 8:18PM
Marvel
Inhumans
Tuesday, 16 May 2017 - 8:18PM
ABC Gives Marvel's 'Inhumans' a Friday Night Time Slot
Marvel/ABC
ABC has unveiled its new fall schedule, and with it, the network has unveiled when we'll be able to watch Marvel's Inhumans. Unfortunately, it almost seems as if the network is trying to kill the show before it even premieres.

The series will air at 9 p.m. on Friday nights, a time when virtually no one is watching television. It will also have a tremendously weak lead-in in Once Upon a Time, which is starting its seventh season amid a mass exodus of cast members. Fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. should be worried too, as that series will take over the Inhumans' time slot after the latter completes its eight episode run. That switch, by the way, might not even take place until midseason.



ABC is claiming the scheduling was to make Friday a fantasy and sci-fi destination, but this sort of thing has happened before, and it's often because the the network has little confidence that the shows could perform at a more competitive time. This phenomenon even has a name: the "Friday night death slot," a place between 8 and 11 p.m. on Fridays were shows with bad ratings go to die.

It's especially bizarre since Inhumans is getting a special treatment with its premiere, as the first two episodes will be shown in IMAX theaters before coming to TV. So if Marvel and Disney have faith that people would spend IMAX ticket money to see it, you'd think the Disney-owned ABC would have faith that people will watch it on network television.

The silver lining here is that time slots are no longer the end-all and be-all of a series' success. Many people, present company included, don't often watch TV live, and instead opt to stream it later on their own time - with Inhumans marketing itself as a limited television event, it seems likely that ABC is expecting people to do just that. In other words, people are going to watch it eventually, so there's no point in having it take up valuable real estate in their schedule that could go to shows people are more likely to watch live and less likely to stream.

Regardless of when ABC wants to air Inhumans - or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for that matter - we'll have our DVRs set and ready. We recommend you do the same if you want to keep seeing Marvel programming on the alphabet network.

Marvel's Inhumans premieres in IMAX theaters on September 1, 2017, before moving to ABC.
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