At 11:30 pm on Friday, April 11, 1980, ABC premiered their own version of Saturday Night Live. It was simply called Fridays and aired for three seasons. At the time of the premiere, SNL was a little over a month away from ending their fifth season. This would also be the last season that featured members from the original Not Ready for Primetime Players.
Unlike SNL, Fridays did not have a house band. The show also embraced the New Wave music scene more so than SNL. Their musical guest ranged from Devo, The Cars, and Split Enz to The Marshall Tucker Band, Kiss, and Paul McCartney. AC/DC, The Clash, and The Stray Cats all made their American TV debuts on Fridays.
The sixth season of SNL was met with bad reviews and low ratings. The next few seasons started an upward rise again with Eddy Murphy joining the show and becoming a breakout star. Fridays rode high until ABC expanded NightLine to five nights a week and pushed the start time to midnight. The show was canceled on April 23, 1982.