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Pickstarter Extra: Will “Friday Night Lights” Be the Next Big TV Kickstarter?

Friday Night Lights

by on March 23, 2013

“Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose.” What was once just the mantra of the Dillon Panthers on Friday Night Lights now seems to be the slogan for the creators of the show in bringing their vision back to life in the form of a movie. After the Veronica Mars Kickstarter hit its $2 million funding goal in a day, speculation began about what next big cult show would turn to the crowd-funding site for the budget of their studio film. It looks like Friday Night Lights, the exploits of the Dillon, TX Panthers’ coach and players (then the East Dillon Lions in later seasons) is possibly going to be the next out of the gate. While talking to Adrianne Palicki about her upcoming film G.I. Joe: Retaliation, we took the opportunity to ask her what hope she had for the FNL film finding life in the wake of the Veronica Mars Kickstarter success, and she responded:

“I think they’re starting a Friday Night Lights Kickstarter, which is insane. It’s crazy, I mean I have multiple feelings on it. I love it so much and I’m afraid that a movie might ruin it and I don’t want that to happen. We went out on top, and at the same time, to get to be on that show again I would die for it. I would love to do it. I’m right there in the middle.”

While she didn’t go into details as to who was planning the Kickstarter effort, this wouldn’t be the first time Friday Night Lights has had to find alternative means to produce new content. Based on the book of the same name by Buzz Bissinger for which the original feature film was also the source, Ron Howard and Peter Berg created a TV show that launched to critical love, but not stellar ratings. After the show’s less-than-beloved second season on NBC, the producers worked out a deal to co-finance production with DirecTV and allow the satellite service to air episodes in an exclusive window ahead of NBC. The deal kept the show on the air for three more seasons, in which the writers were able to get the show back to its first season brilliance. Producers have actively been trying to make a follow-up film, which was reportedly making progress at Universal without the need for a Kickstarter. Like Veronica Mars, FNL is not owned by the production company. As some critics of the studios invading Kickstarter have worried, it seems like Kickstarter is too attractive of an option from both a financial and PR perspective to not launch your cult film on the platform. How will this newfound love of Kickstarter change the financial system in Hollywood, and will this shift cause a new bubble? That’s for the economists to figure out, but I know right now it’s a lot more effective to pledge to a Kickstarter than it is to send Mars bars and peanuts to a studio.

We’ll have more from Adrianne and the cast of G.I. Joe: Retaliation later this week. Stay tuned to “Texas Forever”