'Friday Night Lights' Renewed, Despite Low Numbers
'Friday Night Lights' Renewed, Despite Low Numbers
Glenn Diaz
Glenn Diaz
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Thanks to its loyal fan base and consistently positive critical reception, football-themed drama Friday Night Lights was among the shows NBC picked up for a full-season order recently, despite its less than stellar ratings.  The show, alongside The Office, 30 Rock, The Biggest Loser, The Celebrity Apprentice, and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, was renewed for a fourth season notwithstanding its average of 4.02 million viewers per episode.  On the other hand, Chuck, which had a slightly better than Lights, is still awaiting word in reference to its future.

"We'll never run out of stories to tell," says Connie Britton, who plays coach Eric's wife Tami on the series.  "And they're always simple stories.  That's why they resonate with people so much."

Noticing its less-than-robust 6.2 million viewers average last year, NBC forged an "unusual" cost-sharing deal with satellite service DirecTV, in hopes of boosting ratings for the series. The effort proved unsuccessful however, as the ratings slipped further to 4.02 million.  Still, the two companies recently inked two more seasons of the time-share deal.

DirecTV executive vice president for entertainment Eric Shanks said the last season of Friday Night Lights did reasonably well last fall, averaging around 600,000 viewers per week among the 40 million subscribers.  "Bu t we're not in the ratings business," Shanks adds. "We're about attracting new customers and making our existing customers happy."

Meanwhile, among the new shows unveiled by NBC is Trauma, a San Francisco-set medical drama about emergency first-responders, and comes from producer Peter Berg of Friday Night Lights.  Says the NBC promo, "Trauma is an intense, action-packed look at one of the most dangerous medical professions in the world: first responder paramedics."

It stars Derek Luke, Cliff Curtis, Anastasia Griffith, Aimee Garcia, Kevin Rankin and Jamey Sheridan.

- Glenn Diaz, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Columbia Tribune
(Image courtesy of NBC)