I’ve spent most of the weekend at the Cotton Bowl, where we filmed the season finale of “Friday Night Lights.” But “FNL” fans take heart. The episode we were filming is the last of season five. NBC is just airing season four this summer. So there’s one more year of Panther, I mean Lion, football. (I still haven’t gotten used to cheering for EAST Dillon.)
And while we may have said goodbye to the Lions and Panthers from Dillon, Texas, we’ve also said hello to three new series being filmed in Dallas beginning this summer.
“The Good Guys” on Fox is a cop show. They’ve aired six episodes and were picked up for another seven. The Fox 4 news anchor is played by Clarice Tinsley. One of the cops lives in a trailer under a ferris wheel in an amusement park (Fair Park). It airs Mondays at 9 on Fox.
“Chase” has been in production all summer for NBC. The Jerry Bruckheimer (“Pirates of the Carribean,” “Amazing Race,” “CSI”) show “drops viewers smack into the middle of a game of cat-and-mouse as a team of U.S. marshals hunts down America’s most dangerous fugitives.”
According to local actors on the set of “FNL” who’ve already worked on “Chase,” it looks like another winner.
A third show, “Lone Star,” is a Fox January replacement. Jon Voight stars as the head of an oil family that likes football. The original series title was “Midland.” So it’s completely different from “Dallas” or “Friday Night Lights.” This takes place in Midland and Houston. It’s just filmed in Dallas. And “FNL” football is based on Odessa Permean and, again, this is Midland.
Why film in Dallas? We have the equipment, facilities and talent. And several successful series under our belt.
“Dallas” and “Walker Texas Ranger” each had runs of more than 10 years. “Prison Break” filmed two of its four seasons in Dallas and its ratings didn’t drop off significantly until its last Los Angeles-filmed season.
So what about the series finale of “FNL”?
No spoiler alerts here. It was all over the news that “FNL” was up in Dallas filming at the Cotton Bowl, which can only mean one thing. The East Dillon Lions made it to next year’s Texas High School playoffs. Or was it the Dillon Panthers? And being the finale, they won. But maybe not.
The ending was filmed both ways, just in case NBC decides to pick up the show for a sixth season. Ratings have (finally) picked up for season four.
But just because it’s picked up doesn’t mean they don’t win. The Panthers won in season one. We’ll have to wait until next spring (or maybe summer) to find out.
And look for me on the field as usual. I stretch my acting ability on this series playing — a reporter. No really. It’s a stretch. I report news for Dallas Voice. I’ve written arts and travel. But on this series, I’m a sports reporter. Completely different. Really. Nothing like when Clarice Tinsley plays Fox 4 news anchor on “The Good Guys.”