DirecTV Plans 'Friday Night Lights' Post-Game Show
July 20, 2008 4:38 PM
DirecTV will present “Friday Night Lights Live” when the critically acclaimed but low-rated drama makes its debut Oct. 1 on the satellite provider's The 101 Network.
The 30-minute “postgame” show will allow viewers to call-in and talk to two or three cast members from the show live after each new episode of the series airs.
Asked if there was anything the cast was looking forward to or afraid of regarding “Friday Night Lights Live,” Connie Britton responded, “We have no fear.”
“We're survivors,” Kyle Chandler added.
Indeed, the show has survived many questions and uncertainties regarding its future, but now has won a reprieve with a guaranteed 13 episodes on DirecTV.
The satcaster will be making a big promotional push for the show, something Ms. Britton said she didn't feel the show has ever really gotten.
However, the show must battle the question of downloading and what will happen when the series returns to NBC in February. Many viewers may turn to torrents and file-sharing before the third season makes its broadcast premiere.
“The network believes that there will be an audience for the show in February,” said executive producer Jason Katims, who noted that NBC's and the studio's passion for the show is what made the deal with DirecTV possible.
Or, as Zach Gilford, who plays Matt Saracen, suggested, “If you're really such a big fan, go ahead and download it and then out of good conscience turn it on on NBC.”
Those who do tune in to both networks may notice a difference between the episodes on DirecTV and those aired on NBC. While Mr. Katims said they intend to do the same show they've always done, he did reveal that airing on DirecTV may allow for differences in running times and content, but any variations would be subtle, even to avid fans.
Fans also will see the sendoff of two characters next season, which picks up with a new school year and a new football season. A four-episode arc each for Jason Street (Scott Porter) and Brian "Smash" Williams (Gaius Charles), who have recently been reduced to recurring status, will show the boys moving on with their lives while leaving the door open for both actors to return.
And because a DirecTV panel on “Friday Night Lights” lends itself so well to tearing open that “Moonlight” wound again, a critic asked if the satellite provider would be picking up the canceled CBS vampire drama.
“From what I understand, the sets have been dismantled,” said Eric Shanks, DirecTV's executive VP of entertainment. “No, right at this time. It's a no until there's something else. I don't think there's an opportunity for it.”