ABC Family sacks 'Friday Night Lights'

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t…find Friday Night Lights on ABC Family’s schedule? There’s a good reason for that: The cable net — which began airing encores of the beloved drama over the summer — has quietly pulled the show off the air.

“As of today, Monday, Oct. 18, FNL is no longer on ABC Family’s schedule,” says a network spokesperson. “It wasn’t performing from a ratings standpoint. We moved it around the schedule, but unfortunately it wasn’t holding up.”

FNL‘s fifth and final season premieres on DirecTV Oct. 27.

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  • Angel

    Not enough people were watching. Sounds like a justified decision to me.

    • It’s barely been on the air a month. How is that a large enough sample size to know that it’s not working?

      • jonny_quest

        lone star got cancelled this season on fox after 2 episodes but then again that is fox’s M.O.

      • Michael

        It’s highly unlikely that a show that underperformed on network TV will perform well in syndication. I’ve never enjoyed TV more than I have when watching this show and I watched all of the repeats that ABC Family aired, but once I saw that it was bumped to 11am, I knew that it was a goner. I’m shocked that they considered it in the first place. Guess I’ll have to go back to wearing out my dvd sets.

      • Billiam

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Scrubs has done surprisingly well in syndication. Comedy generally does better in syndication than drama, though. Still, it makes me sad to know that apparently more people are watching the Full House reruns than the FNL reruns.

      • ntvnat

        Get a clue. It was a very low-rated show who required a DTH (direct-to-home) satellite company to co-finance its production and has never been liked. No surprise reruns of GOLDEN GIRLS (((spanks))) it in the ratings.

      • Vikki Sixx

        But having it on the air for over a month five times a week is a large enough sample.

      • Kara

        jonny_quest – those two shows have an actress in common. Thank god she didn’t sink SPN.

      • Tego Livi

        Serialized shows are a hard sell in repeats. People interested enough to devote the effort necessary to keep up with the story will generally have watched it already (in FNL’s case, they’ve already had two chances). And everyone else will say “I can’t keep up with the story–give me CSI or Seinfeld reruns instead.”

    • downtown diva

      Maybe not enough people were watching because it wasn’t widely advertised. The only ads I saw for it were while I was watching a sitcom EW’s What to Watch recommended. I don’t have children so I don’t watch ABC Family regularly, and chances are that a lot of people who don’t watch the network at all may not have even known the series was airing weeknights (at first) at 7:00. I’ve already seen seasons 1-4, an it’s a great series. I’m looking forward to season 5 but also with knowing it’s the final season and having to wait till NBC airs it in the spring/ summer if they wait till early May like they did for season 4.

      • noam

        agreed. i saw no cross-channel promotion for this. i never watch abc family, and only knew about fnl airing there because my grandma watches gilmore girl reruns and mentioned it to me…when you’re relying on the word-of-mouth of a ninety-three year old woman, you’re doing something wrong, abc family!

      • Vikki Sixx

        Funny…I saw non stop ads for it.

    • Bigfan

      I chose FNL over Gilmore Girls for this run. NOW I wish I had just recorded the full series run of Gilmore Girls for the 3rd time in a row on ABC Family. Will just have to wait for the reset button in about – oh – 5 months.

      • Michele

        I Agree 100%

      • Marina

        Agree Big Fan, I mean really they have repeated those Gilmore girls so much people can pretty much repeat the words with them

    • Laurie

      Right… b/c another hour of My Wife and Kids on the schedule seems like a sound decision. I’m sure that’s gonna be much more watched than FNL.

    • theivesunplugged

      @jonny quest, Lone Star sucked that’s why it was pulled. You want to reference FOX’s MO try Firefly

    • Michelle

      I am not a TV watcher. never have been and never will be.. with the exception of FNL. The ONE show that I LOVED and now it’s off air? I already bought Season 1 – 3, tomorrow I will be buying the rest! So disappointed!!

      • Debbie

        This is the best show on television, I hope they bring it back. I Love FNL….

      • Sal

        Errr… it’s not cancelled, you do know that, right? ABC Family had been airing it in syndication, and now they’ve decided to pull it off syndication.

  • I don’t trust a fanbase that supports two washed-up 90s “stars” (melissa & joey) and the worst written/acted scripted show on television (secret life). FNL was too good for the network to begin with.

    • D.

      Agreed! Secret Life is the WORST!!!

      • mary q contrary

        DIT TOE

      • Marina

        Secret Life is Aweful The only decent teen actor is the Mentaly challanged young man. not sure his name.

    • Carrie

      Hey. I don’t know why but i actually like Melissa and Joey. It’s a cute show. Now Secret Life is horrid. Bad in all categories.

    • Michael

      I don’t trust a fan-base that watches by-the-numbers, uninspired cop and lawyer procedurals. But CBS holds half of the US audience, so who the hell am I to judge?

      I say this with much love…it wouldn’t have fared better anywhere else. Genius show that never did and never will find a big audience. That’s not going to change, no matter how you package it.

      • Eliza

        You forgot about Two and a Half Men. The shining gem in our generation’s legacy to television. Gag.

    • Constance


    • Renee

      Omg thank you for your comment! I agree when are people going to realize Melissa and Joey is who’s the boss recycled!!!! But with horrible writers!

    • Beth

      Agree – Melissa and Joey is the worst. FNL is too smart for people who watch this network.

    • dawnomite


  • sonja

    I don’t know why this show doesn’t get the love and praise is deserves.

    • @Sonja

      Because it sucks.
      This show has been given ENOUGH time and PLENTY chances to perform, and it just fails to catch on with viewers.

      It’s just not that good.

      • Jen

        Have you ever watched it?

      • Anna

        Or maybe your taste in tv sucks. FNL is great.

      • pam

        you obviously don’t know talent. This show has won numerous awards. It has never been given a fair shot-always being put on at odd hours. Who is home at 11am???? Middle aged women watching the young and the restless-that’s who. Who is watching tv at 6pm-parents watching the news or the fam is having dinner. This show was robbed and if you haven’t watched it then don’t post an opinion here! Now I don’t have to support abc family-FNL was the only reason I watched that channel. Shame on them-I hope they go by wayside like the WB. I will have to wait for the final season on NBC and then buy the DVD’s. Then I won’t have to waste my time with network tv.

      • Jessica

        Whoever thinks FNL is not a good show is simply stupid

      • mary q contrary

        You’re a fool.

      • Allison M

        Have you ever watched? It’s definitely one of the best things on TV. And not in an “omg I love xyz it’s so entertaining and silly!” kind of way, in a genuinely good acting and plot kind of way.

      • LOL

        You guys can whine all you want, but the show is obviously for a very tiny niche audience. TV is a BUSINESS, not a charity. If the show is getting poor ratings, it deserves to be axed. A few dozen vocal fans with too much time on their hands doesn’t change this reality.

      • Bruce

        ABC you stink you tried moving the show to 11am when the hole world is at work or school to get better ratings! that’s real smart! and you moved it from 6pm dinner time for most people! I don’t think ill watch ABC family any more

      • Zakry

        I’ll answer that question -no, she hasn’t.

  • Sarah

    That is so depressing…I just stated watching this amazing show. I guess i will have to go rent the dvd’s

    • Dolphin

      Netflix has it for instant viewing … Seasons 1 – 4. :)

      • Saint

        Thanks for the Netflix instant view option. Was horrified to find I had DVR’d Gilmore Girls (a former guilty pleasure) this morning. lol Had no idea Landry killed a man!!! Wow, good stuff FNL.

      • Melissa

        Thanks for the tip! I was getting ready to go to the video store tonight. haha

      • Bazinga!

        @ Dolphin – Yes, thank goodness for Netflix! I just started watching it on streaming video yesterday. Last week I scrambled as my DVR didn’t record the 6 pm show, found it at 11 am, and then scrambled again yesterday when it was yanked off again at 11. I am pretty PO’d it got cancelled after spending a month watching it faitfully. I am not the typical FNL demographic (not a big football fan), but it is such an amazing show. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a well written, scripted drama with characters who are wonderfuly flawed and perfect at the same time.

      • Caryn

        Same here. I was coming home at 6 and turning it on and when I saw My Wife and Kids I was devastated. It’s definitely a great show…been watching it on Netflix now instead!

      • Donna Gower

        I am really disappointed in ABC Family. I’m glad I’ll be able to get this wonderful series on Netflix. Why don’t you run Gilmore Girls a few more times on your schedule???? It’s only been rebroadcast a couple of HUNDRED times by now. And, I agree, Secret Life and In It to Win It are TERRIBLE shows!!!!!!

  • Sarah

    Aw crap! I had never watched the show before, fell in love with it, and was hoping to catch the whole series on ABC Family. Sad!

  • molly

    this totally bummed me out. i really only started watching it because it was syndicating it on ABC family, and i just switched from blockbuster-by-mail to netflix solely so i can finish watching the series streaming. such a great show.

  • Q.H.

    Just like the show didn’t get ratings on NBC or however many other networks they’ve tried to air this on. When are these execs going to just wake up? It’s been 5 years, and PEOPLE STILL ARE NOT WATCHING THE SHOW!! The public is not interested in it. So enough already!!

    • Seriously

      Yeah, wake up and make some more generic crap like all the cop shows actually on air, people like that!

      • jonny_quest

        no, we need more “unscripted” reality shows because there just aren’t enough of them on TV that people watch.

    • pam

      People weren’t watching because of the times that nbc and abc family were airing it. It performed well on DirectTV. It is by far the classiest show on TV. All the reality crap has turned TV in a dismal activity. There are few shows left on network TV worth watching.

      • Silv

        Don’t know what time DirectTV was airing it, but my son plays football and basketball, so we’ve had to dvr it to watch it as he usually has games on Friday nights. Kinda dumb to air it on the nights its target audience is out enjoying their Friday night sports.

      • Prohibidabido

        @Silv, NBC originally aired the show on Wednesday nights. They moved it to Fridays because too many idiots couldn’t figure why a show called Friday Night Lights was airing on a day other than Friday. And then the ratings fell further because no one is home to watch television on Friday nights.

    • Steph

      if you look back even NBC admits it mismarketed FNL as a teen show when it was really more dynamic than that. I just started watching this on Netflix and even I was surprised at the depth and artistry of a show that was supposed to just be about football (it’s not). The fit w/ ABC Family was probably not great, that’s really slumming it for FNL. I think Lifetime, USA or TNT would be a better fit. Maybe one of those networks will pick it up for reruns.

      • Juan

        I completely agree with you, Steph. I, too, was surprised at the depth and character development of this show and was pleasantly surprised to see that this show was more than a show about football and teen angst.
        I would like to see how much better My Wife and Kids is doing in the 6pm time slot.

      • tc

        I agree! I never watched it when it aired on NBC because I thought it was a show for teens- and again when it was on ABC Family. But I had it on as background noise one day, and really liked it. I started recording and watching it every day, and then it’s gone. I really hate when that happens. Especially when they keep playing Gilmore Girls over and over and over, twice a day! You can’t tell me that both time slots are getting better ratings than one airing a day of FNL’s! Gilmore Girls was great the first time around years ago, but this is getting ridiculous!

  • chris

    Nooooooo! I just started watching this show & it was quickly becoming one of my favorite shows!

    • Samantha

      I know!!! I was freaking out when it wasn’t on the schedule because I have quickly become obsessed

  • Rose Tyler

    I just started watching it too. Thank goodness for Netflix! Interesting that the run and rerun Gilmore Girls pulls in more viewers then FNL could. Of course I am one of those people watching and rewatching Gilmore Girls so what do I know.

  • Francesco Cerniglia

    It doesn’t surprise me considering the trash Abc Family has become! After they cancelled their best show ever aka Kyle XY, they cancelled the only new show that held up to good quality aka 10 things nd now once Greek will finish his final season (at least we have to be thankful they gave it a chance to wrap up) I pretty much won’t even consider the existence of this channel. I can’t bear the thought of junk like the American Teenagers or Pretty lil liars, and their development slate is just horrific. People that watch that garbage could never appreciate something like FNL.

    • Tim

      I’m glad I’m not the only one still biter ABCF canceled Kyle XY.

      How they ever expected the last third of Kyle to get ratings with no advertising (after blanketing the market with ads for Kyle on S1 and Kyle/Jessi on S2)

      ABCF does not know you have to market yourself.

    • Shana

      I love pretty little liar and friday night lights so your statement is wrong.

  • Entertainment2u-Twitter

    not sure why this show got SO MANY chances when far better shows don’t EVER get a second chance.

    put a stake in it already.

    • pam

      how about I put a stake in you. You obviously are tasteless.

    • Stavros

      The show has had so many chances because people who matter recognise its artistic merit even though the public at large do not.

      • dawnomite

        Excellent comment.

    • Brett

      There is no show in existence that is “far better” than FNL.

      • ash

        I am huge FNL fan and I’m from Britain. I know nothing about American football but the show is so much more than that. It has a universal appeal in its depiction of the hopes and dreams and struggles of the residents of Dillon. The writing and acting is stellar and second only to Mad Men.

  • Briana

    Why does it feel like only a few of us understand FNL?

    • Anna

      Jocks, football, small towns, Texas. None of the above get any love from me.

      • wino

        anna’s reply is the perfect example of people who dont get the show. it has more to do with family, relationships, and every day challenges, than it does about jocks, texas or football.

      • mads

        I started watching it on ABCF thinking it would be a good way to pass the time. After two episodes I got Netflix just to watch FNL. I was so surprised by everything the show had to offer. I thought it would be like any show I could find on the CW but I quickly learned that I was totally wrong. It’s a shame ABCF cancelled it after a couple weeks. Now all they have going for them is Greek and it’s in its last season.

      • ben

        Your exactly why nobody watches the show because that’s what they think the show is all about! It’s more about a family, a town, high school and football reels it all in. It’s really good especially seasons 3&4. Pretty stupid for ABCFamily to pull a syndicated show. Never really heard that before. Dumb…

      • Zakry

        Yep, Anna just showed her ass, didn’t she?

  • effy

    AGHHHHH *cry of anguish* I was afraid of this when I was looking on my schedule for it for this week. UGH I was just getting into it and now ughhh I am really pissed at abc family. They keep Secret Life which is really the lowest quality show on TV (Yes, Jersey Shore is better) but they can’t keep FNL even on at 11 am in the morning, as opposed to the same Gilmore Girl episode that played the night before??? AGHHH

  • Jami

    I was just getting into the show! What’s wrong with you ABC? Quality programming is clearly NOT your forté. You dropped Legend of the Seeker & now another Emmy nominated program can’t be enjoyed by new viewers like me. You continue to disappoint ABC. Way to go!

  • Rebecca

    i didn’t love it by any means (adults acting like children, football=blah, 30 yr olds playing high school kids), but i dvr’d every ep and watched them all later…sad that it’s ending!!! hopefully someone else picks it up… not worth a netflix rent, but great on DVR!

    • pam

      it is worth a netflix rent. better yet, buy the series when all 5 become available. I have seen the episodes repeated times and I love more every time I watch it. It is great acting, heartfelt emotion and Kyle Chandler! I guess if you grew up in a big city, never played sports or don’t enjoy sports, you might not get it. Sucks for you.

      • ger

        I am thankful every day that I grew up in a big city.

      • Zakry

        Great comment, Pam, but if you think FNL is about “sports” I wonder if you’ve been watching the right show.

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