After more than a year away from network television, Friday Night Lights is back on NBC with season four. But, how long will it last? The acclaimed TV show’s always been ratings-challenged. Has it already been cancelled?
Friday Night Lights (FNL) revolves around a high school football team, its players and the surrounding community. The large ensemble cast boasts performers like Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Zach Gilford, Minka Kelly, Taylor Kitsch, Adrianne Palicki, Jesse Plemons, Aimee Teegarden, Gaius Charles, Blue Deckert, Scott Porter, Derek Phillips, Brad Leland, Liz Mikel, Stacey Oristano, Nieko Mann, Kate Krause, Kevin Rankin, Louanne Stephens, Josh McVaney, Pablo D. Flores, Katherine Willis, Joey Truty, and Jeremy Sumpter.
After struggling through two seasons on NBC, it looked like FNL was doomed to become one of those “brilliant but cancelled” series that has their life cut short. Fortunately, NBC and DirecTV went into business together and agreed to share the production costs. Under the agreement, DirecTV gets to air the episodes first. This sometimes frustrates NBC viewers but it’s better than the show not being produced at all.
After season three, it looked like FNL might be cancelled once again. Surprisingly, DirecTV and NBC renewed the show for two seasons, albeit with only 13 episodes apiece. There was speculation that this would translate into season five being the end for FNL.
Unfortunately, that seems to be the case. Various sources have reported that season five will be the end for FNL. The actors and crew have also been informed that they’re free to find other work once production shuts down in June.
Both NBC and executive producer Jason Katims insist that nothing is official but it’s obvious that the writing’s on the wall — unless of course the episodes bring great ratings for NBC. After three seasons of disappointing numbers, nobody’s expecting that to happen.
Katims is hopeful that FNL will get a sixth season but said, “If it winds up being the final season of the show, then I will feel very, very lucky and grateful that we were able to do as many episodes of a show that is so dear to my heart.”
Fortunately for NBC viewers, they still have 26 episodes of the series ahead of them. And, since the fifth season is still being produced, the cast and crew should have no trouble coming up with a fitting way to end the series. DirecTV is expected to start airing season five in Fall 2010.
What do you think? Any suggestions on how to end Friday Night Lights or should it continue for a sixth season?
Image courtesy NBC.