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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Friday Night Lights to go dark

     The drama Friday Night Lights has confirmed that it is currently working on it’s fifth and final season, as evidenced by this Entertainment Weekly article.  “What is that show?  Is it still on?”, you may ask, and millions of fans would like to slug you after you pose such queries.  Though loved by critics, the show was on shaky grounds when it premiered on NBC, and was thought to be done after it’s second season, cut to 15 episodes because of the Writer’s Strike.  However, a deal with DirecTV to share production costs kept it going, and subsequent 13 episode seasons aired on the satellite carrier first, then later on NBC.  Last year, that meant cable watchers had to wait until winter to watch.  This year, the season four premiere date is not until April 30th, pushing much of the season into the summer.  That would point to bad news for the series, if it hadn’t already announced an end date.  The show will stop filming by the middle of the summer, but it will likely by 2011 before NBC airs the final batch.

     Headlined by the amazing Connie Britton (24, Spin City) and Kyle Chandler (Grey’s Anatomy, Early Edition) as Tami and Eric Taylor, the show centered on the Dylan Panthers football team, and was based on the book and movie of the same name.  Tami eventually became principal of the school, and when the high school split in two at the end of the third season, Eric was forced to go to the other side of town and coach at the new school.

     A number of students were also part of the cast, mostly football players, and have rotated through the show’s five seasons.  Most notably were the Taylor’s daughter, Julie (Aimee Teegarden), bad boy who wants to be good Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), quarterback and grandmother caretaker Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford), religious cheerleader Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly, Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue), struggling-to-make-something-of-herself-and-not-stay-stuck-in-Dylan girl Tyra (Adrianne Palicki), and the guy that is in love with her, Landry Clarke (Jesse Plemons).  They, along with others, finished their high school days on the show, but returned at least part time for arcs to finish their stories.

     That was what was important about the show: stories, not football.  Be sure to watch it when it returns to NBC at the end of April.

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