Survivor vs. Friends...any winners at all here?

I watch Friends and happen to like it. I enjoyed the first Survivor immensely even though I didn’t start watching until seventh episode and find the second one just as riveting. And it just so happens that my family has two VCRs, each hooked up to a TV (for some, it’s luxury automobiles or dream vacations; for us, it’s home electronics), so both shows being shown at the same time isn’t a concern for me. For anyone else who wants to watch both but isn’t able to, there’s a problem.

I remember Fox “challenging” The Cosby Show with The Simpsons way back. Of course, The Simpsons was just getting revved up and Cosby was already on its way out, but it still generated quite a bit of buzz. There was actually a good reason for the move; Fox was still fairly new, and they wanted something that would generate a lot of publicity for them, preferably involving their flagship program.

CBS is not in this position or anything like it, and I find this ludicrious peeing contest just plain irritating.

What’s the point? Both shows are proven hits. Whatever meager reward CBS could gain from this move (assuming there’s any at all) should be far more than offset by lost viewership and resentment from viewers who do not have blind network loyalty. In my experience, most Americans despise having to choose between two good things. We really want it all. And judging from our reaction to the recent postelection tug-of-war and nearly every pro sports labor dispute, we’re not big fans of stupid, useless, pointless, asinine challenges, either.

Am I missing something? Is there a tiny chance that CBS is actaully going to gain something out of this?

Well, I know my mother has been watching Survivor instead of her usual Friends this season because, as she says, she can catch Friends in reruns over the summer and not miss anything.

So CBS got one viewer out of it.

Down here at Squirrel Manor, we’re recording “Survivor” while we watch the so-called “Supersize Friends” (which, when you take out the extra adverts, actually gives one about four more minutes of content) and the mini-SNL. We then watch the freshly-recorded “Survivor” ep, as the charms of “Will & Grace” and “Just Shoot Me” are, quite frankly, invisible to us.

[Hijack] BTW, do overnight ratings take into account time-displacement like the above? I mean, sheesh, what difference does it make if one sees “Survivor” in its regular slot or an hour later?[/Hijack]

Another 2-VCR home here. I tape “Friends”, and watch “Survivor” and “CSI,” and then “ER.” I watch “Friends” the next morning.
I also do not see the point of these network “who’s-the-bigger-bully” type of showdowns. I mean, doesn’t just about everyone have a VCR now? Do they really think people who like both shows won’t tape one and watch it later?

How does something like that affect ratings? Do they know if someone tapes a show and still watches it?

How will the super-size “Friends” be pared down for syndication?

The two-hot-show thing also happened with “Fraiser” and “Home Improvement” a few years ago. I think “Fraiser” beat “HI” pretty well. Or was it the other way around?

DKW, it’s not a “meager reward.” CBS is trying to take over a night that has been NBC’s for years now. Thursday is also one of the biggest nights for advertising because that is when movie studios like to really hit the airwaves to push their new movies that will be coming out on Friday.

While the viewers may not like it a whole lot, it makes sense for CBS to use its strongest programming to try to take over a night that they’ve had no shot at for so long.

Our local station (not an affliate) broadcasts both Friends and Survivor, so they just shuffled Friends back an hour earlier. I haven’t been watching Friends, though. I thought it seemed tired earlier this year, and just haven’t made the time.

My sister and I were discussing the whole Thursday night thing. She likes to watch Angel, Friends, Survivor, Will and Grace, Just Shoot Me, and ER. Those are all in a row here, from 7-12. Then on other nights of the week, she can’t find anything to watch. Why put them all on in a row? What’s wrong with, say, Tuesday?

Well, like I said, they want to have their best shows on Thursday 'cus the ad prices are higher (due in part to movie ads).

We watch “Survivor” and “CSI” and we tape “Friends” and “Charmed” (shut up! It’s a good show!) Then we watch the taped shows on Friday or Saturday.

Incidentally, I have to be at my college from 6:30 to 7:45 every Thursday, so I have to record both shows. Which I’d probably due anyway due to my viewing habits (I have to rewind to catch something I didn’t get the first time, pause to take a breather, fast forward past the interminable commercials, etc.). And it wasn’t that long ago that there were no working videocassette recorders in the house. So I’m not too upset, but only because I really lucked out here.

Rocket88 - I was selected for the Neilsens a long time ago, and they sent me paper forms to fill out and mail back, so time differences weren’t a problem. I don’t like electronic surveying; it seems way too problematic (what if the TV’s on but no one’s watching, for example?).

David B - I recall the Simpsons/Cosby feud happening at 7:00 on Thursday, which is the exact same time slot Survivor and Friends are sharing right now. I had no idea that that day was so important; I’d think that either Friday or the weekend would be a lot bigger (I don’t watch a lot of movies, all right?). Thanks for the explanation.

I still think it’s pathetic as hell, though. CBS is butting heads against the NBC juggernaut because it must have that time slot, because of an artificially inflated ad rate, caused in part by an industry that’s been trying to eat television’s lunch for decades? You talk about the ends justifying the means…