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How Tom Arnold saved ‘Friday Night Lights’

From the Grantland oral history of “Friday Night Lights”:

Eric Shanks (former Executive Vice President of Entertainment, DirecTV): We were at the Sundance Film Festival. Tom Arnold, me, and Ben Silverman were having Chinese food somewhere. Ben was talking about how Friday Night Lights was on the bubble, and that the audience was passionate but not huge. He didn’t know if it could support a network audience anymore. We just kind of cooked up the idea of DirecTV and NBC partnering on the show right there over Chinese food. Actually, Tom Arnold gets all the credit because he was the guy that set up the dinner and put everybody together.

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