In what could be the happiest news of this Lenten season, reports are surfacing that NBC has decided to bring Friday Night Lights back for a third season! The ink has yet to dry on the deal (which has not been officially reported by NBC), but it appears that the peacock network has teamed with DirectTV for a co-finance, co-airing strategy that will ease the burden on NBC to justify higher ratings for the underseen show. The network has been in similar talks over the past month with several networks–CW, USA, even ESPN–but it appears that DirectTV was the one that finally coughed up the needed sum to make NBC happy. Thank you!
Fans of the low-rated show have been in fearful limbo since it ended its second season on an abrupt, Writer’s Strike-induced note last month. Lights has been consistently low-rated (averaging around 6 million viewers) and yet critics have showered praise and awards on the show since it’s debut in 2006. A dedicated band of diehard Lights fans have been circulating online petitions and bombarding the offices of Jeff Zucker and Ben Silverman (NBC pres) with little “Save FNL” foam footballs over the last several weeks. Whether this little bit of grassroots effort pressured NBC into making the decision to renew or whether it was a band of NBC execs who lobbied hard internally for the show, I don’t know. All I know is that Lights is still the best show on network television, and a third season demands to be seen by more viewers.