DirectTV, which pulled off the miracle of all miracles last year when it managed to co-finance, with NBC, an additional season of “Friday Night Lights,” may manage to pull off the feat again. The satellite television provider is currently in negotiations to bring back two more seasons of “FNL,” which would first air on DirectTV in the fall, and then run again on NBC in the spring. “FNL” hasn’t exactly lit it up in the ratings over on NBC (it routinely finishes third in its timeslot on Friday), but with NBC plugging Jay Leno into five prime-time slots next season, and “ER’s” run finally ending, NBC is looking at a dearth of decent network dramas for the 2010 season, and it can get “FNL” at half the price.
For those who didn’t see the entire run of “FNL” on DirectTV and are currently in the midst of the NBC run, it’s not spoiling anything to say that the third season is almost as every bit as good as the first, but that the show also faces a heavy challenge if it hopes to top this season. For one, most of the students have graduated (save for the coach’s daughter and Landry, both of whom were sophomores when the show started three years ago, but magically held on to their junior status last year). However, I will say that, despite a flawless final episode that almost makes you want the show to end on a high note, the season finale does set up a very intriguing possibility for a fourth season, although I’d seriously doubt that Taylor Kitsch would be back for more than a few appearances, or a short run, like Jason Street and Smash William’s arcs this season.
In related news, DirectTV is attempting to beef up its programming slate on the cheap by bringing back three other network series that were cancelled before their runs ended. The three shows are “Eyes,” “Smith,” and “The Nines,” all of which still have unaired episodes. I saw the first few of the latter two shows, and while they were both decent, they each deteriorated in quality as their seasons progressed (particularly,Tim Daly’s “The Nines,” which started out incredibly promising). I wouldn’t expect any of the three shows to achieve much of a second-life on DirectTV’s little seen DirectTV101 channel, however. That said, I would actually like to see how “Smith,” which starred Amy Smart, Virginia Madsen, Simon Baker, and Ray Liotta, wrapped up its run. It was a pretty great heist drama.
For those of you that care, Roseanne Barr is also making a return to network television. After a failed talk-show and a failed reality show, Barr is returning to what made her a star: A scripted family sitcom, which would air on Fox. The pilot episode will be written by Jim Vallely, a writer on “Arrested Development,” so at least there is a glimmer of hope, though let’s be honest: Roseanne Barr is full on head crazy these days.
Finally, a programming note: In case you missed it in today’s Pajiba Love, our boy Prisco was involved in an excellent podcast over on Popcorn Mafia this weekend. Prisco can riff on movies like no one, and he’s pretty goddamn brilliant in the podcast, though a certain site owner didn’t appreciate all the cracks made at the url’s expense. Ahem. Check it out if you have a minute. It’s a entertaining listen.