This week, Netflix announced via Twitter that Friday Night Lights, the hit television drama, will be returning to its platform (US only) on August 1. The show spans five seasons and, though it never held the highest viewership ratings when it was on the air, it has since amassed a massive fan following.
The series follows various players of the Dillon Panthers, one of the top teams in Texas high school football, as well as their coach Eric Taylor, played by Kyle Chandler. The show portrays the hardship and dedication players must put in to be regarded as one of the best teams in the nation, but it also follows the drama associated with being a high schooler in a small, rural town.
Friday Night Lights first aired on NBC on October 3, 2006, and spent its second season on NBC as well. Unfortunately, amid the creation of the show’s second season, many screenwriters went on strike, forcing the showrunners to shorten its second season from 19 episodes to 15 episodes. Though the show was critically acclaimed at the time, it still faced the dangers of cancellation. As a result, NBC struck a deal with DirecTV to create three more seasons. DirecTV aired each new season on their 101 Network, and months after each new season had aired, NBC was permitted to rebroadcast them. The final episode made its debut on February 9, 2011 and marked the end of Dillon football.
The show served as a launchpad for many careers, including Michael B. Jordan, Minka Kelly, Taylor Kitsch, Jesse Plemons, and Aimee Teegarden, who all went on to star in other projects following their departure from the series.
Jordan showed his appreciation for the show and its cast in a HOT 97 interview:
“I’m biased but he’s super dope, Kyle Chandler is everything that you think he is. And Connie Britton is amazing too. The whole entire cast is really, really great people and the show itself is one big family. Peter Berg has created this system that’s just like an actors playground. It’s incredibly liberating. Everybody that you fell in love with on the show are exactly what you expect them to be.”
Despite not joining the cast until the fourth season of Friday Night Lights, Jordan and the character he portrayed, Vince Howard, had no trouble stealing the hearts of the audience and quickly became a fan-favorite. Meanwhile, Chandler and Britton were both nominated for Emmys for their character portrayals, and in 2011, following the show’s conclusion, Chandler won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Jason Katims, who served as an executive producer for the show, won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.
Catch Coach Taylor and the rest of the Dillon Panthers as Friday Night Lights returns to Netflix, beginning August 1.
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