'Friday Night Lights': Game Subject to Blackout

By Lisa de Moraes
Thursday, October 5, 2006

NBC's "Friday Night Lights" performed like the '76 Buccaneers in its premiere Tuesday night.

Yes, that bad.

Despite the fact that critics hailed the new drama as

(a) extraordinary in just about every conceivable way,

(b) great in the way of art with a single obsessive creator who doesn't have to consult with a committee and has months or years to go back and agonize over line breaks and the color red,


(c) [a] rewardingly seasoned new drama series that's practically indistinguishable from the acclaimed feature film, except that it's better,

all but 7.17 million viewers gave it a pass -- about as many as watched Meredith Vieira's second day on the "Today" show.

Anyway, that makes "Friday Night Lights" the worst ratings performance for any series premiere in the official 2006-07 TV season. True, Fox's new sitcom "Happy Hour" opened with just 6.965 million viewers but it debuted before the season officially started on Sept. 18. But, if you're not a stickler and want "Happy Hour" added to the mix, then "Friday Night Lights" is still the worst drama-series premiere this season, ratings-wise.

Even more embarrassing, NBC's football drama got crushed by the pantywaist ballroom dancers of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," which copped more than 18 million viewers Tuesday night.

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