postThursday, 03 April 2008

Never Say Die - Friday Night Lights Returning for 3rd Season

Friday_Night_Lights The unthinkable has happened. A network TV show that is declining in ratings has been renewed with a landmark deal.

Defying the odds once again Friday Night Lights has been renewed for a third season. The show was renewed for a 2nd season last year, in spite of low ratings, due to critical acclaim and a loyal fanbase. This year the ratings have not improved and it seemed like it would be curtains for the struggling show.

However, NBC and DirecTV have come to a rather unusual deal. 13 more episodes of the show will be filmed with NBC and DirecTV splitting the production costs. The episodes will then premier on the satellite service, DirecTV in October, before being aired on broadcast network NBC early next year.

NBC entertainment chief Ben Silverman said that the deal would allow NBC to make a profit off the show without extending its audience. DirecTV's maximum audience of 16.1 million people is not expected to negatively effect the shows viewership on NBC and in addition the additional marketing from DirecTV is expected to expand the shows audience.

Of course this news is bigger than the show itself. With the writers strike and general Broadcast TV ratings dips negatively effecting the networks advertising revenues, there is a need to find ways to cut costs. Until this the most common way has been cancelling scripted shows in favour of more reality TV.

This deal could represent a change in the way business is done among the networks. Resulting in quality shows with loyal fanbases being kept in production without major budget cuts. It also means that broadcast will not necessarily be the first stop for all it's primetime shows anymore (which already happened with Dexter).

If only this could have happened for Arrested Development.

1 comment:

nick plowman said...

This is the best show on NBC, they would be fools to cancel it anyway.

I never thought I would love it as much, but I do, and I would be devastated if it ended.

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