'Friday Night Lights' Replaces 'Studio 60'
"Monday Night Football" may be gone from network television (the franchise was moved to ABC's sister cable channel ESPN this season), but football is nevertheless back on Monday nights. At least tonight, that is.
As reported earlier, NBC will try out its struggling freshman drama about people in a small Texas town and their high school football team in a new timeslot benching Aaron Sorkin's flop "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" for a week.
If the experiment succeeds, the drama will stay on Monday nights. The network may then also try to find a new home for "Studio 60", but that course of action now seems highly unlikely. The drama's all-star cast makes it one of the most expensive shows on television and less than 8 million viewers who tune into it regularly at this point (down almost 50% since the premiere) can not support the high production cost. Also, rumours have spread over the past couple of days that it is only a question of time before NBC cans the show for good.
So, what makes NBC think 'Friday Night Lights' might succeed on Monday nights at 10pm? First of all it is a darn good show, one that has not slipped in quality following its excellent pilot episode (as it seems to be the case with writing on 'Studio 60').
Secondly, the show currently starts off Tuesday nights which is a hard task for a new series, especially when facing blockbuster reality competition "Dancing with the Stars" on ABC or being matched with incompatible "Law & Order".
Finally, the show is already the #3 new show among teens, a group that already adores its tonight's lead-in, the hit sci-fi drama "Heroes" (9/8c). That means "Friday Night Lights" may do a much better job of retaining those 15 million viewers who tune into "Heroes".
On tonight's episode, coach clashes with Voodoo as the team prepares for the big game against Arnett Meade. NBC will repeat the episode in "Friday Night Lights" regular timeslot, tomorrow night at 8/7c.