THE LIGHTS SHINE ON THE FIFTH SEASON OF FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS ON DIRECTV’S THE 101 NETWORK The Final Season of the Critically Acclaimed, Emmy-Winning Drama Will Air Commercial-free Every Wednesday at 9 p.m. El Segundo, CA, August 12, 2010 – Friday Night Lights will return to DIRECTV’s The 101 Network for its the fifth and final season on Wednesday, October 27 at 9 p.m. Lead by recent Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress Emmy nominees Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, the season five cast will feature series regulars Aimee Teegarden, Michael B. Jordan, Matt Lauria, Jurnee Smollett, Madison Burge and newcomer Grey Damon (90210, True Blood). Former cast members Jesse Plemmons, Taylor Kitsch, Scott Porter, Adrianne Palicki and Zach Gilford will return throughout the course of the final season. "Going into season five, knowing it would likely be the final season, everyone involved with the show turned our focus to trying to make the best possible thirteen episodes we could,” said executive producer Jason Katims. “It was moving to watch the writers, cast, producers, directors and everyone on the team pull together like that. We wanted a great ending. We wanted to leave it all on the field." “Friday Night Lights has been integral to The 101 Network’s programming strategy and it has been an honor to be able to provide our viewers with a show of its caliber these past two seasons,” said Derek Chang, EVP Content, Strategy and Development DIRECTV. “As sad as it is to say good-bye to our friends in Dillon, we look forward to this upcoming season and the incredible stories that remain to be told.” Expanding on the hit feature film and best-selling book “Friday Night Lights,” the award-winning show centers on life in Dillon, Texas, where high school football brings the community together -- and the drama of small town life threatens to tear it apart. After a redistricting plan left the town divided, season four introduced viewers to East Dillon and its inhabitants, creating a new playing field for the series. Season five opens at the start of a new school year and finds Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) an outsider in the world of Texas high school football. As he attempts to reclaim his rightful position within the establishment, Taylor finds himself faced with the challenge of tempering the expectations of the East Dillon Lions’ supporters, while proving to their detractors that they are a force to be reckoned with. Struggling to maintain control of the team he built and the players he’s molded, Coach endeavors to accomplish the impossible. After refusing to compromise her principles to appease the Dillon School Board, Tami joins her husband at East Dillon High doing what she does best, guiding students. Frustrated by what she finds at the school, she sets about to challenge the status quo, despite the resistance she encounters from both the faculty and students. Her efforts to repair a broken system, however, do not go unnoticed and will force her to make a decision that places a strain on the Taylor’s usually steadfast marriage. Meanwhile, Julie (Aimee Teegarden) finds herself adrift at college and enters into an ill-advised relationship that will have serious consequences. Vince (Michael B. Jordan) continues his reign as the Lions’ quarterback, learning that his newfound stardom comes with advantages as well as hardships both on the field and off, as he faces the return of a father (guest star Cress Williams) he barely knows. Luke (Matt Lauria) is forced to face a startling reality about his future and the role that football will play in it. Jess (Jurnee Smollett) struggles to find a place for herself on the Lions as something other than a Rally Girl or member of the Spirit Squad. Becky (Madison Burge), unhappy at home, turns to someone else’s family for support. Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) continues to serve time in jail as a result of the illegal activity at Riggins Rigs, an experience that has left an indelible mark on him and threatens his relationship with Billy (Derek Phillips), the only family he has. Additionally, season five will also feature the return of several characters from past seasons. Fan favorites Jason Street (Scott Porter), Tyra Collette (Adrianne Palicki), Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford), Landry Clarke (Jesse Plemons) and Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) will return to Dillon throughout the course of the season. In April of 2008, NBC, Universal Media Studios and DIRECTV formed a bold, multi-platform partnership to launch the third season of the critically acclaimed drama series. The season was broadcast initially on DIRECTV’s The 101 Network and subsequently telecast on NBC later in the 2008-09 season. In March of 2009, Universal Media Studios and DIRECTV extended this innovative partnership to produce 26 episodes that would launch the fourth and fifth seasons of "Friday Night Lights," with the series again airing first on DIRECTV’s The 101 Network and then subsequently on NBC. The series is executive produced by Peter Berg, Jason Katims, Brian Grazer, David Nevins, David Hudgins and Sarah Aubrey. Friday Night Lights is a production of Imagine Entertainment, Universal Media Studios and Film 44.
Aug. 13, 2010, 12:05 a.m. CST
Aug. 13, 2010, 12:44 a.m. CST
by Stereotypical Evil Archer
Not me, I'm listening to Isis. Yes, I'm also a music geek.
Aug. 13, 2010, 12:45 a.m. CST
since The Wire and BSG left. This show has more to say dramatically about how people actually live in America than the entirety of all that worthless indie cinema crap, than all the sitcoms and supposed adult dramas set in police stations and hospitals. This show was a fucking revelation and the fact it wasn't a hit is just depressing. At least though they're going to go out on a high note.
Aug. 13, 2010, 12:52 a.m. CST
apologies for being crass
Aug. 13, 2010, 1:08 a.m. CST
I totally agree with you on all counts. Amazing show/ cast.
Aug. 13, 2010, 1:31 a.m. CST
Aug. 13, 2010, 1:43 a.m. CST
the only bummer is that riggins story will be wrapped up with a handful of episodes. i remember last season peter berg had said that he felt the focus was riggins 'hero's journey', and i couldn't agree more. but in doing so and staying true to that, i was hoping it would play out over this whole season, and not just a few eps. but then again, therin lies the beuty of this show: each cast member/character has such a rich story going on, that none of it will seem like filler. while id like to see the show go on for several more seasons, im still just in awe that we got 5, so i cant complain. truly one of the bnest shows ive ever seen.
Aug. 13, 2010, 2:38 a.m. CST
In my opinion. Leave it all out on the field this season becasue CLEAR EYES FULL HEARTS CAN'T LOSE!
Aug. 13, 2010, 2:48 a.m. CST
by Rev. Slappy
Since FNL will start to run on ABC Family in the fall, it will be interesting to see if it starts to develop a larger audience. I think it's by far the best show being produced by one of the broadcast networks.
Aug. 13, 2010, 3:36 a.m. CST
I agree with Rev. Slappy. If the show is a hit on ABC Family, maybe the cable network will produce new episodes.
Aug. 13, 2010, 4:06 a.m. CST
Sad to see it go but I'm glad/surprised it lasted five seasons. Hope it ends on a high note
Aug. 13, 2010, 4:50 a.m. CST
That's a litmus test I use on "worthy" cinema all the time. Does it illuminate the human condition as well as FNL? Last year both Precious and The Blind Side (yuk) failed that test miserably. They yell and yell about injustice and inequality and just draw attention to themselves. FNL just quietly does what it does and lays it all out there with more accuracy and pathos than either of them. <p> Five seasons. Who would've thought it? I'd rather it never ended and stayed as good as it always has, but five seasons is a massive result. My wife & I have it on DVD and pass them out to people all the time, & everyone who watches it is instantly converted. Other than directing them to ABC Family, I reckon that's the best way to go. Keeping the flame alive! ::unhinged melodrama::
Aug. 13, 2010, 6:36 a.m. CST
..I love this show and really hate to see this be it's last season. There are only a handful of shows of tv that stand with the quality and caliber that this show brings. :-(
Aug. 13, 2010, 7:26 a.m. CST
by The McPoyle Clan
why would Tami be allowed to become a counselor at another school? That would be putting her into a position where she devotes all her time doing exactly what got her into trouble to begin with, as opposed to also being an administrator. Yeah, nobody gives a shit about East Dillon, but still. Perhaps too much dramatic license in this regard.
Aug. 13, 2010, 8:18 a.m. CST
As with other series, the writers moving the plot forward in hopes the audience will not dwell on logical fallacy.
Aug. 13, 2010, 8:29 a.m. CST
and mcpoyle you answered your own question. they want her to recommend abortions to all the poor black kids in east dillon!
Aug. 13, 2010, 9:55 a.m. CST
Since it has the classic 5 season library.
Aug. 13, 2010, 11:38 a.m. CST
It was either Herc or Harry who complained about the inaccuracy of Friday Night lights. The cast were "underwear models." Still, with the exception of the strike season, this has always been one of the strongest shows on television.
Aug. 13, 2010, 11:51 a.m. CST
...AICN's middlin' coverage of FNL.
Aug. 13, 2010, 11:53 a.m. CST
It seemed pretty clear that Tami was allowed to take the position given that she would not rock the boat over her dismissal. Tami was a pretty kick-ass principal and an excellent counselor.
Aug. 13, 2010, 12:50 p.m. CST
by Red Ned Lynch
...although season 4 was showing some signs of wear. Still, a remarkable tale of a quality little show surviving when all the odds were against it, and five seasons is a fair lifespan.
Aug. 13, 2010, 1:29 p.m. CST
by The McPoyle Clan
by mjgtexas. She's being moved TO and made the counselor at the school that Luke and the girl attend. Is there some rule protecting her from double jeopardy? What will his mom think? Don't districts know how to do the priest shuffle?
Aug. 13, 2010, 2:19 p.m. CST
Why bother to bring it back? No one watched it the first time.
Aug. 13, 2010, 2:20 p.m. CST
Aug. 13, 2010, 4:43 p.m. CST
Don't they say that about every show?
Aug. 13, 2010, 5:40 p.m. CST
Way to go NBC!
Aug. 13, 2010, 5:47 p.m. CST
I watched the whole first season and it did nothing for me. No emotion, no meaningful interaction. Basically teen age angst not done very well.
Aug. 13, 2010, 6:57 p.m. CST
hopefully, since we know the show is going to end, we'll get a great ending. perhaps coach wins State with E Dillon.
Aug. 13, 2010, 7:35 p.m. CST
of the book, film and TV series. It is the only story in recent memory about teen angst (amongst other things) that I actually think rings true. This show has heart. <P> I do think the series ending is a good thing though. I'd rather have 5 excellent seasons and the makings of a classic series than a steady decline in quality as the production team inevitably runs out of steam. Leaving with class is seldom done in TV land.
Aug. 13, 2010, 11:11 p.m. CST
Aug. 14, 2010, 9:56 a.m. CST
Aug. 14, 2010, 7:06 p.m. CST
by PRESIDENT BALTAR
The series debuted to strong critical reviews. Virginia Heffernan wrote for the New York Times that "if the season is anything like the pilot, this new drama about high school football could be great — and not just television great, but great in the way of a poem or painting." The Washington Post similarly praised the series as "[e]xtraordinary in just about every conceivable way." Bill Simmons, a former columnist for ESPN Magazine implored readers of his column in the September 24, 2007 issue to watch the show, calling it "the greatest sports-related show ever made." Positive reviews also came from USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Arizona Republic, and the Boston Globe and international sources, with The Guardian's Jonathan Bernstien calling the pilot "accomplished and engaging" and the Metro awarding it 4 out of 5 stars. Throughout its inaugural season many online journalists used the frequency of their medium to heap regular praise on the show. Matt Roush of TV Guide dedicated several of his “Roush Dispatch” columns to the show calling the last episodes of season one “terrifically entertaining” while Zap2it.com's "TVGal" asked her readers to "promise to watch [the last 4 episodes of] Friday Night Lights." TV Guide's Michael Ausiello called the season one finale "predictably flawless." The show's pilot did, however, receive negative reviews as well. The Philadelphia Inquirer's review was particularly harsh, calling the show a "standard high school sports soap opera." The Los Angeles Times and the Texas Monthly also were critical of the show. Season two reviews were considerably less positive than for the first, with the Landry and Tyra murder plot receiving particular panning by critics. The Los Angeles Times said that the show had lost its innocence, while the Boston Globe said the event was "out of sync with the real-life tone of the show." Others were more positive, though, with Variety saying "faith should be shown in showrunner/writer Jason Katims" while the New York Times said "to hold “Friday Night Lights” to a measure of realism would be to miss what are its essentially expressionistic pleasures."
Aug. 14, 2010, 7:08 p.m. CST
by PRESIDENT BALTAR
Awards and nominations 2006 American Cinema Editors - Best Editing on a One Hour Series for Commercial Television - for the episode "Pilot" (WIN) American Film Institute - 10 Best TV Programs of 2006 Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award - Best New Series 2007 Television Critics Association (TCA) Award - Individual Achievement In Drama – Kyle Chandler TCA Award - Individual Achievement In Drama – Connie Britton TCA Award - Outstanding Achievement In Drama TCA Award - Outstanding New Program of The Year (WIN) TCA Award - Program Of The Year George Foster Peabody Award - Award for Broadcast Excellence (WIN) Emmy Award - Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series - Peter Berg for the episode "Pilot" Emmy Award - Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series - Imagine Television, Film 44, NBC Universal Television Studio (WIN) American Film Institute - 10 Best TV Programs of 2007 WGA Award - Best Dramatic Series 2008 People's Choice Awards - Favorite Song from a Soundtrack - "Read My Mind," The Killers TCA Award - Outstanding Achievement in Drama TCA Award - Individual Achievement in Drama - Connie Britton Emmy Award - Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series Emmy Award - Special Class Live-Action Short Program: Spotlight on Austin WGA Award - Best Dramatic Series 2009 TCA Award - Outstanding Achievement In Drama Emmy Award - Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series Humanitas Prize - 60 Minute Category - Jason Katims for the episode "Tomorrow Blues" (WIN) American Film Institute - 10 Best TV Programs of 2009 WGA Award - Best Dramatic Series 2010 TCA Award - Program of the Year Emmy Award - Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series - Kyle Chandler - nominated Emmy Award - Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series - Connie Britton - nominated Emmy Award - Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series - nominated Emmy Award - Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series - "The Son," Rolin Jones, Writer - nominated
Aug. 15, 2010, 11:42 a.m. CST
simpsonian you got that right
Aug. 15, 2010, 2:45 p.m. CST
Aug. 15, 2010, 11:10 p.m. CST
No one cared except for a few critics.
Aug. 17, 2010, 12:15 a.m. CST
Was involved as an extra in a couple upcoming episodes. A couple weeks ago, the company that was handling the extra casting shut down their office that handled the show and let everyone know they were done.