Lights Out (2011 TV series)

Lights Out

Everybody loves a comeback.
Genre Drama
Created by Justin Zackham
Starring Holt McCallany
Stacy Keach
Catherine McCormack
Pablo Schreiber
Meredith Hagner
Ryann Shane
Lily Pilblad
Billy Brown
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Ross Fineman
Warren Leight
Phillip Noyce
Justin Zackham
Producer(s) Robin Veith
Location(s) Bayone, New Jersey
Jersey City, New Jersey
Running time 40 minutes
Production company(s) A Warren Leight Production
Fineman Entertainment
Fox Television Studios
FX Productions
Distributor 20th Television
Original network FX
Original release January 11 – April 5, 2011 (2011-04-05)

Lights Out is an American television boxing drama series from the FX network in the United States. It stars Holt McCallany as Patrick "Lights" Leary, a New Jersey native, and former heavyweight champion boxer who is considering a comeback. The series premiered on January 11, 2011 at 10 pm ET/PT.[1] On March 24, 2011, FX announced the cancellation of the show. The final episode aired on April 5.[2]

Plot synopsis

An aging, former world heavyweight champion, Patrick "Lights" Leary is an extremely proud, good-hearted, Irish American who is struggling to find his identity after retiring from his beloved boxing. After years of wear and tear in the ring, he is diagnosed with pugilistic dementia (a neurological disorder that affects boxers who suffered too many hits to the head, gradually causing memory loss and constant headaches). Now, Lights is struggling to support his family (a wife and three daughters) and their comfortably secure lifestyle in Bayonne, New Jersey, after his amoral and incompetent brother/business manager squanders Lights' life savings. Running out of ways—and time—to earn enough money to re-secure his family's future, Leary must decide whether to either: accept the brutal and demeaning job of debt collector for a local racketeer; or, launch a long shot, health-risking, comeback for the huge payday that would result from becoming "the champ" once again.



No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
1"Pilot"Norberto Barba & Clark JohnsonJustin ZackhamJanuary 11, 2011 (2011-01-11)1.487[3]
Former heavyweight boxing champion Patrick "Lights" Leary (Holt McCallany) struggles to find his identity after retiring from the sport. He also wonders how he is going to support his medical resident wife Theresa (Catherine McCormack), and their three daughters. The series premiere begins five years after Leary's retirement following a controversial split-decision loss to Richard "Death Row" Reynolds (Billy Brown). The Learys' once charmed life is on shaky ground; the IRS is determined to take away their mansion, and Patrick's brother/manager Johnny (Pablo Schreiber) wants him to make a comeback, despite him showing signs of pugilistic dementia.
2"Cakewalk"Norberto BarbaWarren LeightJanuary 18, 2011 (2011-01-18)0.921[4]
When Leary is threatened with criminal charges, he must do the bidding of bookmaker Hal Brennan (Bill Irwin) to make them go away. Lights is also being coy with his suspicious wife Theresa, and Mike Fumosa (Ben Shenkman), a pesky reporter—both having heard rumors that he will return to the ring to fight Reynolds. Meanwhile, his daughter Daniella (Ryann Shane) finds out about her father's diagnosis and confronts him.
3"The Shot"Ed BianchiBryan GoluboffJanuary 25, 2011 (2011-01-25)0.819[5]
Lights struggles to help train his father's young fighter, Omar "The Armenian Avenger" Assarian (Pedro Pascal) for the middleweight championship against Monte "The Hurricane" Harris (Corey Michael Lincoln). Omar may be the best hope for Leary Gym of becoming a champion since Lights retired. However, promoter Barry K. Word (Reg E. Cathey) is only interested in getting Omar into the fight if Johnny agrees to a deal involving Lights' return. Meanwhile, Patrick's family makes him a memory book for his 40th birthday and he spends the rest of the night watching the outcome of the fight.
4"Bolo Punch"Norberto BarbaCarter HarrisFebruary 1, 2011 (2011-02-01)0.864[6]
Johnny gets himself in a life-threatening situation when he is unable to pay his gambling debt after betting on Omar's fight. So Lights has to put himself on the line to bail him out by fighting an MMA fighter named Dokaj (Bas Rutten) in order to make the money and save his brother. Meanwhile, Theresa offers to donate $50,000 to help rebuild a clinic that her church is involved with in Haiti, but she soon discovers that the family's $12 million from Lights' fighting career is all gone.
5"The Comeback"Rosemary RodriguezTeleplay by: Warren Leight,
Eli Bauman & Joe Tracz
Story by: Nathan Jackson & Warren Leight
February 8, 2011 (2011-02-08)0.803[7]
The Learys' financial situation turns more desperate and they are advised to consider bankruptcy. However, Lights decides to make a comeback with a few easy fights, but discovers Johnny's deal with Barry Word. Despite this, Lights tries to find his own fight enlisting Reynolds' old sparring partner Jo Jo Reade (Hisham Tawfiq) for his next opponent. But an unfortunate accident causes him to take on a harder challenger in the dangerous ex-con Javier "El Diablo" Morales (Gavin-Keith Umeh) and the aftershock threatens Lights' and Theresa's marriage.
6"Combinations"Tom DiCilloStu ZichermanFebruary 15, 2011 (2011-02-15)0.700[8]
Lights starts training for his fight with El Diablo—his first fight in five years, while dealing with the heartbreak of being away from his family. While sparring, he receives an injury from a thumb to the eye, causing him to see double. This gets him into trouble hanging out with Johnny who tries to help his brother's well-being by setting him up with a call girl. When stories fly about his night out and that the fact he has been cage fighting for money, Lights seeks advice from reporter Mike Fumosa to make the story go away, but he wants to write about Lights' private life in return.
7"Crossroads"Ken GirottiRobin VeithFebruary 22, 2011 (2011-02-22)0.742[9]
As the fight with Morales nears, Lights finds himself at a crossroad in his life and career. He is about to attempt a comeback both in the ring trying for his 36th win, and at home trying to gain the support of his family. But when he asks Theresa to be in his corner for the fight, he instead gets unwanted support from an unlikely ally.
8"Head Games"Phil AbrahamBryan GoluboffMarch 1, 2011 (2011-03-01)0.802[10]
When his father decides not to train him because he does not think he is capable of fighting at a professional level anymore, Lights turns to Ed Romeo (Eamonn Walker), Reynolds' former trainer for some heightening of his skills. Not only does Ed train him in an unorthodox style, he tries to make Lights realize he should fight for his wife and girls, and cut his father, brother, and sister out for the fact that they are suffocating him. Lights takes this into account when he grows suspicious of their sudden interest to help him with his big fight in an effort to fire Romeo.
9"Infight"Jean de SegonzacTeleplay by: John P. Roche
Story by: Bryan Goluboff & Warren Leight
March 8, 2011 (2011-03-08)0.797[11]
Lights alliance to Ed Romeo, his new boxing mentor comes between him and his family. Although, Romeo likes Teresa and the girls, he wants Lights to cut his father and brother out because he thinks they are weighting him down. This does not sit well with Lights, who in return, tells Romeo he doess not feel free of them, but feels controlled by him and decides to free himself of his eccentric trainer. Meanwhile, at the gym, Johnny and Romeo get into a fight, which ends up in an unfortunate accident for Lights.
10"Cut Men"Nick GomezCarter HarrisMarch 15, 2011 (2011-03-15)0.688[12]
After being accidentally stabbed with scissors by Johnny, Lights' injury puts his comeback, his health and Theresa's medical career in jeopardy, especially when Barry Word can not postpone the fight because of the penalty fees. As his family's expenses pile up, Lights tries to speed up the healing process by secretly seeing a doctor to give him a potent "medicine cocktail" mixed with prednisone. Lights tries to recover from his unfortunate injury, but finds out from Mike Fumosa—now a TV reporter—that Word is already setting up Reynolds' next fight with a Ukrainian Muslim boxer named Mustafa. Meanwhile, Lights and Johnny find out that Margaret is seeing gangster Hal Brennan, and think he is playing her to get closer to Light's and backing his fight.
11"Rainmaker"Norberto BarbaRobin VeithMarch 22, 2011 (2011-03-22)0.693[13]
Lights tries to help a hard-up former champ, Jerry "The Rainmaker" Raynes (David Morse), but the punchy boxer ends up helping him. Meanwhile, Councilman Randall Hess (Patrick Collins) is brought in for questioning in a prostitution scandal and is all of a sudden "talkative" with the FBI. Hess threatens Lights' future by trying to get him to confess his involvement in having the councilman take a bribe when he delivered a cake box full of cash from Brennan. However, Lights gets arrested for bribing a public official and has to find a way out without jeopardizing his family and his upcoming fight.
12"Sucker Punch"Jean de SegonzacStu ZichermanMarch 29, 2011 (2011-03-29)0.614[14]
Things are heating up two weeks before the big fight when Lights is no longer the favorite to win and is a 6 to 1 underdog. This makes Barry Word worried and tells him take a dive. Further more, Lights gets a surprise visit from his estranged mother, Mae (Valerie Perrine), who has left the family several times over the years. Though Margaret considers her mother dead and Johnny suspects her of wanting a handout, Mae claims she just wants her family back, so Lights and Pops try to reunite with her.
13"War"Norberto BarbaTeleplay by: Warren Leight
Story by: Bryan Goluboff & Warren Leight
April 5, 2011 (2011-04-05)0.636[15]
After all the trials and tribulations that led up to the championship fight, Lights goes to "war" when he finally faces off with "Death Row" Reynolds for the heavyweight title. Before the big fight, Hal Brennan gathers all the former champs that have been burned by Barry Word and starts a war against him by starting a new boxing alliance called United Boxers. But in order for Lights to be a part of it, he suggests a 10 percent cut for a health fund to help all the boxers in need of medical care. Meanwhile, Word has a pre-fight talk with Lights, and it is not very inspiring the night before the fight. Theresa has her own talk with Reynold's wife, Jennifer (Reiko Aylesworth). As soon as the third round begins, Lights manages to K.O. Reynolds and wins back his title, but suffers a severe concussion. After the fight Theresa makes a shocking discovery about Lights: she goes to his side and watches in horror as he groggily asks her "Who won?".


Lights Out has received positive reviews from television critics. Review aggregate Metacritic awarded the series a score of 79%, based on 25 reviews, indicating "Generally favorable reviews". Matt Roush from TV Guide said "Lights Out delivers a sucker punch of downbeat realism as Leary takes a pounding from life but refuses to give up. McCallany brings such a weary dignity to the role you can't help but root for him." He went on to say "Lights Out has its work cut out for it to find and hold an audience and deliver the proverbial TKO, but on the basis of the work alone, it's a triumph."[16] The New York Times review said "In other words, even the soapier subplots of Lights Out are sparingly written and tautly filmed, and the story never strays too far from the violence that is at its core. It's an ambitious drama that doesn't lose sight of what Patrick tells a television interviewer about retirement: 'Sometimes, you miss hitting people.'"[17] Brian Lowry at Variety said in his review "Lights Out isn't an unqualified knockout, but in its milieu, leading man and rich supporting players, score the show a clear winner on points. And that's no bull."[18] James Poniewozik from Time said "It starts and finishes strong, and in between, it passed the most important test this non-boxing-fan could hold it to: when I finished one episode, I immediately wanted to put another in."[19] Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe said "The story of Patrick 'Lights' Leary is engrossing from the first bell, with nicely developed plots and psychological twists that transcend the genre cliches of the boxing drama. And the acting is strong where it matters."[20] Dorothy Rabinowitz from The Wall Street Journal said in her review "It's quickly clear that this skillfully sustained, sharply plotted series is a fighter saga you'll want to follow to the final bell."[21] Ed Bark from Uncle Barky said "It sometimes lapses into the abundant cliches of its genre. Pound for pound, though, you won't see many better dramas this season. Gloves on or off, it keeps scoring points."[22]

Lights Out drew 1.5 million viewers in its pilot episode—793,000 of them from the highly sought-after 18- to 49-year-old demographic.[23] Viewership declined from there, however, with the series averaging 863,000 viewers per episode.[24]

Lights Out was cancelled by FX on March 24.


  1. "FX Sets New Drama and Returning Comedy for January Launch". The Futon Critic. November 20, 2010. Retrieved January 6, 2010.
  2. Umstead, R. Thomas (March 24, 2011). "FX Cancels 'Light's Out'". Multichannel News. NewBay Media. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
  3. Seidman, Robert (January 12, 2011). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: The Game, Teen Mom, Light's Out, Tosh.0 & More". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  4. Gorman, Bill (January 20, 2011). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'White Collar' Premiere; 'The Game,' 'Light's Out,' 'Tosh.0' Down; 'Teen Mom' & 'Southland' Up & More". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  5. Seidman, Robert (January 26, 2011). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'The Game,' 'Teen Mom,' 'Tosh.0' Lead Night + 'Southland' Up, 'White Collar,' 'Lights Out' Steady & More". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
  6. Gorman, Bill (February 2, 2011). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'The Game' Leads Night + 'Teen Mom 2,' 'Tosh.0,' 'Southland,' 'White Collar,' 'Lights Out' & More". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  7. Seidman, Robert (February 9, 2011). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'The Game' Down, But Still Leads Night + 'Teen Mom 2,' 'Tosh.0,' 'Southland,' 'White Collar,' 'Lights Out' & More". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
  8. Gorman, Bill (February 16, 2011). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Teen Mom 2' Leads; 'The Game' Slips + 'Tosh.0,' 'Southland,' 'Lights Out' & More". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  9. Seidman, Robert (February 24, 2011). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Teen Mom 2' & 'Tosh.0' Lead Night; 'White Collar' Up; Miami 'Housewives' Not So Hot + 'Lights Out' & Much More". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
  10. Gorman, Bill (March 2, 2011). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Teen Mom 2' Leads; 'Tosh.0,' 'Southland,' 'White Collar' Fall; 'Lights Out' Rises & More". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  11. Seidman, Robert (March 9, 2011). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'White Collar' and 'Southland' Finales Rise + 'Lights Out,' 'Teen Mom' & More". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  12. Gorman, Bill (March 16, 2011). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Teen Mom' On Fire; 'Donald Trump Roast,' 'Tosh.0,' 'Lights Out,' & More". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  13. Seidman, Robert (March 23, 2011). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Teen Mom 2' - 'The Good Wife'; + 'Marcel's Quantum Kitchen,' 'Lights Out,' 'The Game' & More". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  14. Gorman, Bill (March 31, 2011). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Teen Mom' Still Rising; 'The Game' Finale Jumps; 'Real Housewives,' 'Top Shot' & More". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  15. Seidman, Robert (April 7, 2011). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Teen Mom II' Special, 'Top Shot,' Womens' NCAA Championship Lead Night & More". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved April 7, 2011.
  16. Roush, Matt (January 11, 2011). "Roush Review: Game On for Lights Out". Retrieved March 26, 2011.
  17. Stanley, Alessandra (January 10, 2011). "With a Life on the Ropes, Seeking Redemption in the Ring". The New York Times. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
  18. Lowry, Brian (January 9, 2011). "Lights Out". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
  19. Poniewozik, James (January 11, 2011). "TV Tonight: Lights Out". Time. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
  20. Gilbert, Matthew (January 11, 2011). "Packing a punch". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
  21. Rabinowitz, Dorothy (January 7, 2011). "Pride and Privilege". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
  22. FX's Lights Out gives TV its first standout look at the boxing game
  23. Hibberd, James (January 12, 2011). "FX's 'Lights Out' debut takes ratings punch". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
  24. Andreeva, Nellie (March 24, 2011). "FX Cancels 'Lights Out' After One Season". Retrieved March 26, 2011.
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