Though the drama is a darling with television critics, Friday Night Lights still isn’t a big hit with the majority of viewers.
Last spring, it was hard to tell if NBC would renew Lights for a second season. The show was well-respected but struggled in the ratings. Then, likely because NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly really believed in the show, Lights was renewed for a second year. Shortly thereafter, possibly because of that programming decision and others like it, Reilly was shown the door and Lights lost one of its biggest fans in NBC management.
In Lights’ new Friday timeslot, the show has been performing pretty well. That’s typically not a big night for the desired 18-49 demographic to be home watching television but the season two ratings haven’t been much worse than season one. But, will these numbers be enough to justify a third year? Current NBC Entertainment head Ben Silverman doesn’t seem to think so.
At a launch party for Lipstick Jungle, Neel Shah from RadarOnline asked Silverman about the show’s future. After dodging the question and suggesting Shah try the 30 Rock sitcom instead, Silverman said, “I love it. You love it. Unfortunately, no one watches it. That’s the thing with shows. People have to watch them. We’re NBC, we have a reputation to uphold. And, man, with this writers’ strike… well, we’ll see what we can do. But start watching 30 Rock.”
Because of the writers strike, only 15 episodes have been produced this season (the last of which is scheduled to air on Friday). Word has leaked out that the second season DVD set will be released on April 22nd and will contain 15 episodes. If that last part’s true, it means that Lights’ year two is over and, unless the show is renewed for a third season, Friday’s episode will be the last of the series. We’ll keep you posted so stay tuned!