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Universal-Based Syfy Films Goes ‘Lights Out’

By | Wednesday August 22, 2012 @ 11:47am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired for Syfy Films Lights Out, a Jay Frasco screenplay and the rights to the manuscript of his unpublished sci-fi thriller novel. While waiting to hear from publishers, Frasco adapted his manuscript into the screenplay and has notched his first spec sale.

Details of the story are being kept under wraps, but the story focuses on an teenage boy trapped in his house with his sister when a deadly intruder enters the home, and mysterious events occur during the captivity. Frasco, who most recently set-up his thriller The Rising at Bold Films, also wrote the family film Puddle Jumpers for The Animation Company and producer Brian Manis. Frasco is repped by APA, attorney Darren Trattner, manager Dannie Festa and lit agent Jennifer DeChiara. Maybe the publishing crowd will give Frasco’s book another look.

Since Syfy Ventures partnered with Universal on Syfy Films in late 2010 with the intention of generating genre projects a cut above the Mansquito-esque staples of the Syfy Channel programming, Syfy Films has been percolating several promising feature products. They include a feature adaptation of Game Of Thrones author George R.R. Martin’s superhero anthology Wild Cards, which they hope will  launch a franchise.

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FX Cancels ‘Lights Out’ After One Season

By | Thursday March 24, 2011 @ 12:49pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: FX has decided not to renew freshman boxing drama Lights Out for a second season. Lights Out was one of the most critically praised new series this season, punctuated by a breakout performance by Holt McCallany as the title character, a washed-out former heavyweight champion looking for a comeback. But, just like with FX’s now-defunct drama Terriers last fall, Lights Out never found traction in the ratings, leading to FX’s decision to cancel it after one season. It premiered in January with 1.5 million viewers and slipped further throughout its run, averaging 863,000 viewers per first-run episode vs. 2.7 million for Justified.

FX president John Landgraf praised the quality of the show and McCallany’s performance and said that in the end, it all came down to Lights Out’s subject matter “The audience didn’t want to watch a show about boxing,” he said. “We never got any traction” during the pre- and post-launch marketing and publicity campaign.  Landgraf said that he is not concerned by having two new series in row, Terriers and Lights Out strike out. “That’s baseball,” he said. “If you put on 4 shows, two of them work, Sons of Anarchy and Justified, and the other two are Terriers and Lights Out, that’s pretty good.”

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TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Not Discouraged By ‘Lights Out’, ‘Terriers’ Ratings Woes

From Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA coverage:

In the final executive session of the TCA confab in Pasadena on Saturday morning, FX president and GM John Landgraf acknowledged that he’s disappointed in the ratings for the premiere last week of the network’s latest drama series — the boxing-themed Lights Out — and continued to do post-mortems on the demise of Terriers but he remains undaunted going forward, stressing, “We’ve had six critically acclaimed shows and four ratings successes, one failure and one unknown. You can’t bat .1000 in this business. That’s just the way it is.”

Landgraf cautioned that it’s far too early to dismiss Lights Out as a failure after just a single airing. “It was tremendously acclaimed. We’re disappointed by the premiere ratings, but we’ll be running it as planned. There’s (rarely) been a scripted series on television about boxing, and this is a very good one…(But) no matter how good the show is, the question is, ‘Are they somebody’s first choice? Are they good enough to overcome massive competition in the marketplace?’ I can’t tell you what will happen over he next 12 weeks. Premieres are very important, but shows also find audiences over time. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

“Maybe we should have made a show about a zombie or a sexy vampire trying to regain the heavyweight title of the world,” he quipped, referring to the runaway ratings success of two other … Read More »

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Slow Start For FX’s Latest ‘Lights Out’

Nellie Andreeva

FX’s latest series Lights Out premiered to mostly disappointing ratings last night. The boxing drama starring Holt McCallany, which had gotten strong reviews, averaged 1.5 million viewers at 10 PM, 793,000 of them in the adults 18-49 demographic. The audience was a bit below the September premiere of the now-defunct FX dramedy Terriers (1.6 million, 659,000 in 18-49), which at the time marked the lowest-rated drama series debut for FX, though Lights Out did better in the demo. Marketing can’t be blamed for misleading viewers this time – there were no dogs, and the posters made it clear this is a boxing series.

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FX ‘Lights Out’, ‘Archer’ Get Premiere Dates

By | Tuesday November 30, 2010 @ 11:15am PST
Nellie Andreeva

FX has set premiere dates for new drama series Lights Out and returning animated comedy Archer. Lights Out, starring Holt McCallany as an aging former heavyweight boxing champion, will debut on Tuesday, January 11 at 10 PM. The second season of spy spoof Archer will launch on Thursday, January 27 at 10 PM.

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TV TEASER: FX’s New Drama ‘Lights Out’

By | Saturday September 18, 2010 @ 10:40pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

FX’s new boxing drama Lights Out won’t premiere until January, but the network has already started airing the first teaser for it. Since the promo skimps on the story to go for an emotional impact, here is a little about the show: It stars Holt McCallany as Patrick “Lights Out” Leary, a retired boxer with pugilistic dementia eyeing a comeback to support his family. Stacy Keach plays his father and former trainer.

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