Is Friday Night Lights the next Jericho?
Jericho debuted in the fall of 2006. Although it was wildly popular among about 10 million dedicated viewers, CBS canceled the show after just one season, in the spring of 2007. Shortly thereafter, rabid fans created and executed an amazing grassroots campaign to bring their beloved series back to life. Just weeks later, CBS revived the series and committed to 7 new episodes. And then the Writers Strike hit. Sadly, when the new batch of episodes aired, the ratings were lower than ever. Just last week, CBS announced that the series was gone for good.
I admit that Jericho never graced my busy TiVO lineup,
but I plan to watch both seasons online. And I certainly appreciate the
fervor and perseverance of the fans who feel as strongly about that
show as I do about Lost (my #1 of ALL time) and FNL.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
We’ve been treated to two seasons of Friday Night Lights, but it has been on the brink of cancellation before, and I fear that the third season (pending an agreement between NBC and DirecTV) may be the last. The series has received critical acclaim across the board, but the ratings haven’t been as strong as the outpouring of praise. To their credit, the FNL fans also staged a very impressive and successful campaign to show their support for the show.
Frankly, NBC is to blame for some of the ratings issues. They moved FNL around to different time slots and air dates from Tuesday to Wednesday to Friday nights, ignoring those of us who appreciate appointment television. And I don’t believe that they applied the data from online viewings and downloads to the overall ratings, which I imagine would add substantial numbers.
In my opinion, Friday Night Lights stands out as one of the best shows on television, and it features not only an outstanding ensemble cast, but two Emmy-worth leads in Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. So here’s hoping that more people tune in to the series, whenever and wherever it appears for a third season.
In the meantime, I highly recommend catching up with the show on Hulu, as they are offering all 37 episodes from the first two seasons absolutely free online.