Will 'Damages' Wind Up on DirecTV like 'Friday Night Lights'?
by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 3rd 2010 3:35PM
There's good news and bad news regarding the Glenn Close legal drama 'Damages.' The bad news is that FX has real concerns about picking up the show for another season because of the cost. The good news is that Sony has turned to DirecTV to co-broadcast 'Damages.'
If this sounds like a paradigm you've heard before, you have. Currently, DirecTV shares the broadcast rights to 'Friday Night Lights' with NBC. That's how the Peabody-award winning program has remained on the air.
The fourth season of 'Friday Night Lights' has already run on DirecTV's Channel 101 -- a fantastic season by the way -- and NBC will give present the same episodes again for a much larger audience when the show premieres on May 7. (Of course, NBC could have chosen a night other than Friday -- one of the least watched nights of the week -- but there are fans out there waiting for this quality TV show.)
This is how a lot of people feel about 'Damages.' It is a superb drama and any way that the show's production company, Sony, can finagle to keep it on the air is fine by me. The episodes would still air on FX, but DirecTV's Channel 101 would get the first go-round. Speaking as a DirecTV consumer, that situation would work for me. And for those who don't have that dish, you wouldn't have to wait too long for the same episodes to be broadcast on cable.
The bottom line is that we are living in an era where there's a changing reality for series television. Shows can be shared by networks. Within the NBC Universal world, for instance, NBC programs have been cross-pollinated to Bravo to increase exposure. I would have probably never sampled 'Mercy' if Bravo hadn't broadcast a mini-marathon a few months back on a Saturday morning. It would behoove NBC to do that more often with other shows.
FX has some great shows and it would be a shame to see 'Damages' end before its time over a financial issue. And DirecTV has proven to be a haven for quality shows, some which have ended too soon or deserve a second viewing. This year they've picked up 'Wonderland,' 'Oz,' 'Eyes,' 'Smith,' 'The Nine,' 'Sleeper Cell,' 'Deadwood' and even some foreign imports like 'Underbelly.'
Hopefully, the sources Michael Ausiello talked about in his Entertainment Weekly column are working on this FX/DirecTV arrangement. And if it's not DirecTV, let's hope it's some other network. TV Guide has been doing a lot of creative things, getting the off-net rights to 'Weeds' and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm.' They could be in the mix. "All options are on the table," say the sources.
'Damages,' by the way, will finish the current, third season on April 19. There's no indication that this is the series finale -- they haven't prepared it as such -- which means the creators have planned on giving us more Patty Hewes. And Glenn Close is the epitome of an actress you have to watch, who compels you to tune in and get involved. In Patty Hewes, Close has an amazing character to play.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a deal gets done and 'Damages' does not end up in TV Squad 'Gone Too Soon' column.