I’m not sure if "Friday Night Lights" is the kind of show that lends itself to the "High School Musical" viewing-party treatment, but it’s at least good to see that NBC is engaged in promoting the soph season premiere of the show.
Peacock has pacted with Houseparty.com to mount a viewing party contest for "1,000 lucky hosts" who’ll get the chance to throw their own "FNL" themed affair complete with a sneak peek at the season premiere on Sept. 14. For people willing to apply at Houseparty.com for the privilege of promoting the show’s Oct. 5 debut in its new Friday 9 p.m. slot, NBC will pick 1,000 of them to receive party kits full of "FNL" themed tchotskes relating to the show about a life in a small Texas town that is crazy about its high school football (megaphones, stadium cushions, rally towels, a DVD of the first four segs from last season with a special introduction from "FNL" stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton) and of course, a bonus DVD of the pilot of "Bionic Woman." (Don’t know of the "FNL" crowd will be flocking to "Bionic" but you can’t blame them for trying…)
Plans for the parties will be tubthumped all across NBC.com (it’s already started on the "FNL" page), local affiliate stations’ websites and each party host gets a page on Houseparty.com. (Gee, whatever happened to picking up some beer, wine and a few extra-big bags of potato chips and making an effort to vacuum before guests show up?)
NBC’s longtime marketing guru John Miller sez it’s all about (staged) word-of-mouth promotion:
"With word of mouth advertising being so effective, we wanted to create a natural venue for that kind of experience in the comfort of people’s homes," he said.
Of course, fans who don’t make the cut can strike back by downloading illegal copies of "FNL" episodes off the Internet, grabbing images of the show off of Google to scan on to T-shirts and generally getting drunk and unruly at their own "FNL" themed parties on Sept. 13. (Just a little joke. Don’t send the piracy police after me, please.)