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Friday Night Lights: Silverman Has Doubts About Show’s Future

Friday Night LightsThough 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! TV Series Finale home page

 

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue Esponte February 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Good riddance to Cavemen but Journeyman and possibly Friday Night Lights?! The networks
don’t know a good thing when they see it. Maybe they’re too engrossed in the quick and easy profits of reality tv.

Private Practice is horrible. It makes BoohBah look like contemporary theatre. It’s a pale shadow of the no longer so great show it was spun off from — and I watch Grey’s, hoping it might return to its former glory. I don’t have much patience left for the almost Ally Mcbeal story lines about love and the fact that the title character is one of the weakest on the show. Grey’s could lose Meredith Grey and it might be better for it. That’s neither here nor there though.

Last year, CBS cancelled a show that won the People’s Choice Award for Best New Comedy (The Class). Kudos to CBS for that stroke of ineptitude. Now NBC is throwing two excellent shows to the trash (Friday Night Lights and Journeyman). I’m not a major football fan so a show with little premise more than “football” isn’t apt to get me to tune in on a weekly basis. But FNL is so much more than a show about football. It’s a well written drama that should appeal to fans and non-fans alike. It’s about the trials and tribulations of youth intermeshed with a healthy mix of parental to-dos. In other words, it’s about life. Yeah, the kids play football and the lead male is their coach but the show isn’t about the games or the plays. It’s about the characters’ lives.

As for Journeyman, it’s kind of shocking that anyone who likes (or liked) Heroes isn’t a fan of this show. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s better written than the current season of Heroes which, in comparison with Season 1, has been a bit of a disappointment (although I still love the show and hope that it won’t suffer a similar fate in the near future). It’s almost like a modern, more mature, better written adaptation of an old show that was one when I was a kid, Quantum Leap (starred Scott Bakula). It’s a shame that the networks won’t spend the time needed to watch a show like this grow to its full potential.

People forget that the pilot show for Seinfeld wasn’t well received by audiences and that it took about 4 seasons for that show to make it into the Nielsen’s top 30!!! A lot of people like to say that they were fans of Seinfeld but most people didn’t tune in until seasons 3 and 4 or later when the show really reached its prime. If Seinfeld were released today it probably wouldn’t get picked up for a 2nd season.

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Anonymous February 15, 2008 at 7:29 pm

People are sick of the reality shows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How sad to see such s great show end. This was a show you felt comfortable to watch as a family. Lets keep the filth like Las Vegas around ,what a joke.

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Churlagirl February 11, 2008 at 6:23 pm

How stupid can NBC get? This is by far one of the best shows on TV. My husband, who could really care less about anything on TV, makes a concerted effort to watch this show every week. He makes sure that I have it TiVo’d if we aren’t going to be home. Unfortunately, NBC did to this show what they and countless others before them have done. They take a somewhat uncertain show and purposely try to tank it by moving it to Friday nights. That way they can say to everyone, ‘See, we told you this show should be cancelled.’ Hmm, let’s cancel Friday Night Lights, Journeyman and what’s next???? Maybe we should go ahead and cancel Heroes since it’s ratings have dipped a little. While we’re at it, let’s cancel Medium too. Ha,ha,ha, ha……..our plan is working. We’ll remove everything worthwhile from our programming and lull America into a brain sucking coma induced by mindless drivel and then we will rule the world!!

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Emily February 10, 2008 at 9:46 am

This is truly sad. This was one of the best shows on TV and certainly the NBC Network. How is it that a show like Vegas can still be on the air, not to mention the slew of reality shows?? I just don’t understand what they are thinking. I personally think moving the show to Friday nights was a mistake to being with. I hope to see the actors in other shows, hopefully not on the NBC network. I wonder what sort of message this sends regarding our societies mentality…..

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Jill Elliott February 9, 2008 at 8:04 am

I can not believe it. Yet again, TV Executives fail to see that good acting, a wonderful, true to life story line and class A entertainment can be attractive to viewers. At age 56, no matter what time frame this series is set in, it is real, true and heart wrenching. Why cast it aside? The Coach and his Wife have the love story all of us want and few succeed in. Football is a passion and the most important social aspect of many town’s habitants. You think Flav o Flav, Survivor, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Bad Girls Club, Big Brother, etc. are all the viewers want to see? Worried that FNL might not get the network the advertizing dollars you command? Then consider it your charitable donation to society to reject bad acting, silly story plots, wayward folks all around, and give us more FNL. Let us dream each Friday night that life is about coaches, students, love, problems, teenage issues, collage scholarship dreams and even our own town’s Garrity. Let us dream. Let us keep hope alive. Let us have our Friday Night Lights and our hearts. Say “Yes” to great acting for once. Say “more” to this endearing story line. Say “Keep On” to the parade of everyday obstacles that we as viewers can relate to, no matter what our age.

Stand Up ABC. Stand up and take a good stand.

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Pat February 8, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Network execs are too quick to pull the plug on great shows like this one. Clearly they didn’t plan to give it a fair shot when they moved it to Friday nights. In spite of that, the ratings didn’t drop. What do you think would happen if they moved it to a more popular night and actually gave it some real promotion. People would see what a great show it is and also recognize that you don’t need to be a football fan to enjoy it. Unforunately we all know that won’t happen.

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Boomer February 6, 2008 at 9:33 am

This is one of the best shows on TV NBC is stupid to let it go.

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Bedlam February 5, 2008 at 1:05 pm

It always seems as though NBC runs shows that are critically acclaimed, but have trouble finding viewers. I wonder does it have something to do with scheduling. They always scheduled Homicide on Fridays, even though at the time of its run it was probably the best and most critically acclaimed show on the network. And now the same is happening with Friday Night Lights

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BrainGun64 February 5, 2008 at 5:38 am

FNL may not return for a third season because of what Universal Media Studios executives said there was speculation over the future of one of the
drama series’ stars, Kyle Chandler, and the popularity of the lowest rated –
and critically acclaimed – network television primetime scripted format in a
ever-changing era of developing new series format genres and categories.

Turn back the clock and relive March 2007, when NBC debuted two new UMS-produced scripted formats: The Black Donnellys, which focused on the lives of an Irish/American family of law enforcers, and the Andy Richter private investigator parody Andy Barker P.I.

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