Only a knockout would grant a win, and it's a gruesome fight, with more than money on the line. The title goes to Lights, named "heavyweight champion of the world!" to the screams and cheers of the crowd. He kisses wife Theresa in the ring, and holds the belt high for all to see.
Theresa later discovers her now quiet, slightly confused husband in the corridor. "Everyone's waiting," she tells him.
The series debuted in January to 1.5 million viewers, but numbers declined steadily. The March 22 episode was seen by just under 700,000 viewers.
Holt McCallany, Pablo Schreiber and Stacy Keach headlined the boxing drama.
'Lights Out' received generally favorable reviews, however our own Maureen Ryan called it "frustratingly uneven," but it had "its moments."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, PTC President Tim Winter said in a statement, "The marketing campaign itself makes light of lying to parents and participating in all manner of harmful, irresponsible, illegal and adult-themed behavior. The trailers we have seen thus far make sexual objects of almost every single one of its characters and asks not only for viewers to approve, but to actively participate by posting their own secret stories."
MTV probably isn't too worried about it, though, considering their ads seem to have been designed to incite controversy anyway.
UPDATE: Watch the 'Skins' cast respond to the PTC claims here.
In other news ...
• J.J. Abrams revealed that 'Alcatraz' is set to begin shooting next week. The Fox pilot, which stars Jorge Garcia, will film starting Jan. 19. [THR]
• Syfy's new series 'School Spirits' will examine haunted high schools and colleges across the country. The Mark Burnett-produced show is currently in development and will feature interviews with students, staff and faculty who have witnessed paranormal occurrences. [Variety]
• Showtime is in talks to develop a docuseries about the San Francisco Giants. The Mike Tollin-produced show would follow the World Series-winning baseball team. [Entertainment Weekly]
He's also faced with the demons of his final split-decision loss and pressures to return to the ring for a rematch.
With his life crumbling around him, Leary finds himself drawn back to working with his hands, so to speak. But it's not back in the ring where the easy money is to be found. On the opposite side of that, there is his promise to his wife and children that he's done fighting.
Call it a knockout. Maybe refer to it as a one-two punch of dramatic goodness. Whatever boxing pun you choose, 'Lights Out' is exactly that -- lights out fantastic.
Picking up five years after heavyweight champ Patrick "Lights" Leary was knocked out in the last round and forced into retirement, we find Lights struggling with money, health and family issues, and possibly considering a comeback.
And who doesn't love a comeback? Stars Holt McCallany, Pablo Schreiber and Stacy Keach stepped in the ring to tell me about their new FX show (premieres Tues., Jan. 11, 10PM ET).
For a drama about a visceral contact sport -- boxing -- it has trouble sustaining intensity from episode to episode, and it echoes a number of cable dramas about conflicted characters trying to hang on to their middle-class or upper-middle-class lifestyles.
And if you're expecting Patrick 'Lights' Leary to be a Rocky Balboa clone, think again. Leary, a former heavyweight champion who hasn't been in the ring for five years, isn't the kind of guy you instinctively cheer for.
Late last week, I left my frosty Chicago home to travel to Los Angeles for the Television Critics Association winter press tour, where I've been attending panel discussions of on new shows, doing interviews and enjoying the California sun on the rare occasions that I venture outside.
In the first half of this week's podcast, we discussed 'Lights Out,' a boxing drama that premieres on FX on Tuesday, and we also chatted about 'Off the Map,' a new doctor drama that arrives on ABC Wednesday. (My full reviews of both shows will be posted here in the next day or so.)
In the second half of this week's podcast, we focused on three buzzworthy shows that were presented to the media hordes at TCA: 'Game of Thrones,' 'Torchwood' and 'Spartacus.'
Time codes for each portion of the podcast are listed below.
This morning I compiled a list of January premiere dates (with the help of the ever-useful Futon Critic site). I also reworked my December schedule as well, and though I normally compile these schedules for my own use, I thought I'd share the resulting lists of notable TV dates with everyone else.
The timing seemed to be right, given that a few minutes after I posted that January roster, FX confirmed a couple of upcoming dates on the TV schedule: 'Lights Out' will debut Jan. 11 and the animated series 'Archer' will return to the danger zone Jan. 27. (For those of you asking, 'Justified' returns in February -- there's no exact date for that yet.)
So presented for your approval, here are dozens of notable TV returns and premieres that will arrive on your TV in the next couple of months:
The Hollywood Reporter confirms that the cable network is developing 'Reconstruction,' a period-drama set in Missouri after the Civil War. Industry veteran Joshua Brand ('St. Elsewhere'; 'Northern Exposure') will write the project, with Emmy nominee Peter Horton ('thirtysomething'; 'Grey's Anatomy') on tap to direct.
Leading the show will be Jason, a character who "seeks refuge" in Missouri after serving in the Civil War. No word yet on who will play the role.
It is being reported that the idea sparked from conversations between Brand and Horton about the current economic and political climates. The allegory of the Western, they decided, was the perfect backdrop to tell that story.
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