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“Friday Night Lights” Film Could Score at Box Office

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Notes before I head back home from a brief vacation:
* Three cheers for the idea of a “Friday Night Lights” movie.
Reports that a movie starring Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton is in the works and could be ready by 2013 surfaced from the Television Critics Association meetings in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Peter Berg, the executive producer of the NBC series that was based on a 2004 movie and Buzz Bissinger’s book, gave the typical lament of series with low ratings — that Nielsen never properly measured its audience.
According to the New York Daily News, Berg told TV critics that “the ratings never really showed how many people were watching this show.”
Berg added: “People found it and they loved it. Something about it really touched people and the Nielsens never caught that.”
As any reader of this blog knows, I loved “Friday Night Lights” as much as anyone. But I never doubted its low ratings because a family series about life in a small Texas town that lived for football was a tough weekly sell.
Still, I agree with Berg that a movie could work.
That’s because a low loyal audience for a TV series of say 4 million weekly can translate into a box office of $30 million or more with movie tickets averaging close to 10 bucks these days.
It would be interesting to see how Berg proposes to deal with the move of Eric (Chandler, see above) and Tami Taylor from Texas to the Northeast. In the poignant series finale, Eric became a football coach at the college where Tami is dean of admissions.
* As a follow-up to notes about the decline of prime time viewing of broadcast TV in the summer, only one of the Top 25 local programs in July locally hit a double-digit rating. That honor went to NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” on Channel 2, according to numbers given to stilltalkintv.
Most of the Top 25 were reruns of popular CBS series that are carried by Channel 4. After “Talent,” the top reality shows locally were “Big Brother” on CBS and the just concluded “Bachelorette” on ABC (Channel 7). Only 10 shows in the Top 25 had a rating higher than 5.5 locally.
* It looks like many Western New Yorkers smartly head over to WNED-TV, the local public broadcasting station, in the summer. It was the No.5 broadcast station in prime time with a 1.9 average rating, which was four tenths of a point ahead of the local CW (WNLO) and only three tenths of a point behind fourth place Fox (WUTV), which averaged a 2.2.
The station formerly known as WNGS averaged a .5 – that’s a .5 – in prime time, mostly with its movie package. It switched its call letters to WBBZ and its format to classic TV series on Monday.
The seven broadcast stations averaged a total of 18.9 ratings points in prime time in July and a 33.1 share. That leaves 37.6 points for cable and other programming, which gets about a 65.7 share of the summer audience. The broadcast channels lost about 3.4 rating points and 4.5 share points from a year ago.
In rough terms, it means about 2 out of 3 local viewers prefer something other than broadcast shows in the summer.

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4 responses to "“Friday Night Lights” Film Could Score at Box Office"

  1. Confused says:

    10 engineering layoffs to be announced Thursday. Non live programming will be hubbed out of Atlanta.

  2. Bob says:

    WBBZ is a good channel, but they need to lose their logo on the side of the screen for HD viewers. It is usually blank, and should be that way, it is distracting and annoying. Also, what is the point of having a HD channel with non-HD programming? Even Hogan’s Heroes is available in HD on Universal HD

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