TV Networks look for low budgets

As the economy forces the broadcast nets to economize in every way possible, the deal that saved NBC's "Friday Night Lights" from cancellation last month may be a portent of things to come for primetime skeins.

At first blush, many in the biz saw the two-season licensing agreement between NBC and DirecTV for "Friday Night Lights" as an anomaly -- a Hail Mary pass for a critically beloved ensembler deemed too good to be killed off by low ratings.

But the business plan behind "Lights" could well be a model for future primetime series, as nets deal with the one-two punch of ever-rising production costs and dwindling auds, plus the left hook landed this year by the steep advertising slump

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Film Business, Filmmaking, Hollywood


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