[Kevin Reilly] and I looked at each other, and he said, “What do you want to do?
The show struggled to stay on the air for two seasons before NBC decided to strike a deal with Direct TV that allowed the cable provider to air fresh new episodes of the series before NBC would air them later in the year.
Inspired by the legendary Buzz Bissinger book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream, and the 2004 Peter Berg movie based on it, FNL told the story of a high school football coach from Dillon, Texas, whose improbable victories mirrored those of the critically beloved — but disastrously rated — show itself. There are so many details in the TV series that you could never put in the movie. It makes complete sense now, but at the time, I couldn’t imagine putting a microscope over every one of the lives the way the series does. You can explain the genre — cop show, lawyer show — but execution is everything, and we had an entire movie that explained what the tone and execution of the TV show would be.
In an era when sports television was supposedly at its nadir, when elite storytelling was supposedly only the work of prestige outlets like HBO and AMC, Friday Night Lights emerged as the quintessential show about American spirit and uplift at a time when the moral and economic bedrock of our Country seemed most in doubt. Peter Berg (creator, executive producer): I truly felt that there was a lot more meat from the book that we weren’t able to put in the original film. Berg: I remember I went to NBC, and there were about 10 people in the room.
We at TV Overmind decided to do a little research and unearth some of these tidbits for your reading pleasure.
And hey, we got to watch a few episodes of one of our favorite shows while doing it.