Could taking away the very thing around which FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS revolves — football — be the key to the drama scoring a second season? That’s how executive producers Peter Berg and Jason Katmis are thinking according to comments they made at a symposium last week. According to Variety, the pair admitted that they were “doing everything we can to distance ourselves from football,” declaring the sport to be “the least interesting aspect of the show.”
In fact, the execs admitted that the Dillon Panthers won the all-important championship game in the season finale so that a second season would not have to focus so heavily on the game. “Football will always be at the center of the show in terms of the obsession this town has,” Katmis was quoted as saying. “But I think we’ve earned the right to tell stories that have nothing to do with football. In fact, I think it’s a necessity.”
But can a show which is a critical darling maintain that status while losing a key element? And in the end, is critical support even important if the show can find and maintain an audience by refocusing its energies on the characters who are at the heart of the series?