Friday Night Lights: Jason Katim Talks About the NBC-DirecTV Negotiations
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Fans were delighted to find out that Friday Night Lights has finally been renewed for a 13-episode long third season, which is supposed to come about thanks to the efforts of NBC and DirecTV. The two companies did strike a deal last month, and have agreed to make season 3 of FNL possible. The deal states that the third run of Friday Night Lights will first air on DirecTV come October of this year and will later run on NBC in February 2009.
Recently, executive producer Jason Katims sat down with TV Guide's Michael Ausiello to delve into the details about how FNL's season 3 came about, and how they’re going to push through producing the awaited brand new season.
Friday Night Lights, despite being perennially on the bubble, has garnered a strong and loyal fan base. In fact, since the conclusion of the show's second season, the fans have ventured into various activities to help save the show from being thrown away by the network. There's the online petitions, the light bulbs and the plastic footballs, anything to keep them busy while waiting. Eventually, their efforts paid off and the show has finally been renewed. However, a few remain wondering why it took the network so long to renew a highly-acclaimed show such as FNL.
"Obviously, a lot of details had to be worked out because there is no model for it. And for DirecTV and NBC, it was important that it work for both of them," Jason Katims explained. "We needed to feel confident that we could deliver the same show, the same quality and the same auspices. So that's basically what took so long."
As viewers, we don't know what goes on in the management side of things, and apparently, production is as tedious as financial management. In fact, Katims recalls having to review the details of the deal, and how they would carry it on now that they have DirecTV to lend them a hand in making FNL's season 3 come to life.
"We essentially had to revisit everything, which included the budget. The reason this worked is that all the parties wanted it to work. Everybody's very passionate about the show," he revealed. "You've never seen anything like this before, where it's going to air on DirecTV and then on a network, and it's still going to be branded as an NBC show. It was about everybody wanting to find a way to make it work."
Right now, it seems that making it work is the main objective of the FNL team, especially Jason Katims himself.
"It's really important for me that I'm staying very focused on this show for this season, and I'm very committed to doing that," he said when asked about getting pulled off to do another show. Fans must be relieved to know that the executive producer is on their side, and he will be pushing through with this endeavor to please the fans.
And when the time comes for Friday Night Lights to end, the producers will make sure to conclude the story, and not just the season. As of now, though, they are working to make each season a complete story in itself.
"What I would love for this show is that when it comes to an end, it's because Peter Berg, myself, the actors, and Jeffrey Reiner and the producers have decided that we've told the stories we want to tell," he said. "Not because of a network deciding it's time for it to be over. That would be my dream."
-Valerie Anne del Castillo, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Photo Courtesy of NBC)