‘Friday Night Lights’: Your questions answered

Update: Sorry everyone. Jason’s been slammed producing the last episode of the season. He hasn’t had time yet to respond to your questions. I hope to post them next week. Thanks for your patience.

Friday Night Lights showrunner Jason Katims has generously agreed to answer fan questions exclusively here on Season Pass. The person who asks the question Jason deems the best will win the Season 2 DVD set.

“FNL” returns to the air tonight only on DirecTV. In a Hail Mary pass from NBC to the satellite provider, our amazing show was saved to live another season. In a unique shared window setup, all 13 episodes will air on DirecTV’s channel 101 starting tonight and then begin airing in February on NBC. I’m thinking NBC should have plenty of open spots on its sked by then, based on their new shows I’ve seen so far.


I’ve seen “FNL’s” first episode and I can tell you it matches the quality we’ve all come to expect. The writers, directors and cast, especially the phenomenal Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler, are all still at the top of their games. The time lapse between the last episode of Season 2 and this first episode of Season 3 has been handled deftly. You will quickly be caught up with everyone’s lives.

Here’s how the Q&A works:

1) Leave a comment with your question between now and Friday, Oct. 10.
2) I will choose the 20 best questions and email them to Jason who will then answer at least 10 of them and hopefully more, depending upon his availability and the complexity of the questions.
3) Check back on this post for updates on when you can expect the answers — I’m shooting for Wednesday, Oct. 22. Again, it depends on Jason’s schedule.

Things to keep in mind:
1) Read through the comments to see what others have asked so we aren’t getting the same question over and over.
2) You may ask more than one question, but I am going to spread the wealth so I will probably only choose one question per person to submit to Jason.
3) Nothing is off limits, Jason said, but giving away future plot points is always an iffy proposition. Ask wisely. Remember this is your chance to delve into the creative process of one of the finest shows on television.

Fire away. And enjoy the show tonight (if you have DirecTV).


See the Marc Cherry/”Desperate Housewives” post here, which kicked off my Q&A series.

Future Q&As include “Ugly Betty” showrunner Silvio Horta (who has the questions in hand already); “Mad Men” showrunner Matthew Weiner, later this month; and “Lost” honchos Damon Lindeloff and Carlton Cuse. Keep checking back with Season Pass for more. And I’m open to suggestions for shows you like to see included.

— Kathy Lyford

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  1. E. says:

    I have a question: What is the countryish song that is played in Episode 1, Season 3 when Riggins and Layla are walking down the school hallway?

  2. Brk says:

    Just wondering when you might post this.

  3. Trevor says:

    Great show. Very glad that you got a third season, and that I’m lucky enough to have DirecTV.
    If by chance the show isn’t renewed for a fourth year, was the third season finale set up to serve as a fulfilling series finale?
    If you had your druthers, how long would you like the show to run?

  4. Jennifer says:

    Love the show, so glad it’s back for another season. I’ve watched the two episodes so far and there’s been no mention of the reasoning behind Santiago’s disappearance. I know eight months have passed, but the fact there’s been no mention of him bothers me. Is there any intention to reveal where his character went? (One line would be enough.)

  5. Alyson says:

    First off, just have to say that I love the show.
    As for a question: The show is incredibly respected by critics, entertainment magazines and websites, it is always grouped in the category of best show you aren’t watching. There is a fanbase who loves this show and would do anything it could to keep the show from going off the air. As the person running the show, what is it like when you hear that people love your show, but the viewership just isn’t there, or that you may not get picked up for another season? As fans, we all now how much we hate to hear these things, but when you have to go to work everyday and hear these things, how does it affect you and the cast and crew?

  6. Elizabeth Johnson says:

    I’m a huge fan of FNL, after being introduced to it by my brother. However, it took me about 5 or 6 episodes to get “into” it. Do you feel that the pacing of season 1 hurt ratings?
    Also, because tv viewership has declined in general, is there a chance that FNL could be renewed for a 4th glorious season? And what can we, the fans, do specifically to help save FNL?

  7. Danielle says:

    Congratulations on season 3, I’m so happy it’s back!
    My question is how much of the show was mapped out before filming began, and how much came out of other factors such as the actors chosen, their chemistry, or the response from critics and fans?

  8. Linda says:

    Did it ever enter into consideration to give Eric and Tami a baby boy in Last Days of Summer? Was that always in your intention to have Coach, father to two daughters, to serve as a contrast to his role as football coach in which he acts as a father figure to many of his team?

  9. Anne says:

    As a viewer with nothing remotely comparable to the devotion that the town of Dillon shows to their high school football team, my love for this show and the Taylor family in particular, has totally taken me by surprise. Therefore, if you could choose one episode/moment (excluding the pilot) that captures the very essence of the show to sell the show to a new viewer, which one would you choose, and why?

  10. DJ says:

    I am a huge fan of the show, but I must admit there is one thing that always bothered me: the portrayal of African-American men. Smash is certainly presented as a three-dimensional character, with his ego being his major flaw. Could have been a stereotype, but you manage to balance it out. But it seems that other FNL African-American males have stereotypical flaws/personalities, as well (Voo Doo, the cocky college football player Coach has to “babysit” at his hearing, and the football player who chases Smash after Smash almost sleeps with his girlfriend on a college visit.) Combine this with egomaniac Boobie Miles and the almost animalistic portrayal of the all-black football team from the original Friday Night Lights movie, and you’re left with a brand that could have (should have) been more balanced with its depictions of African-American males. Do you have a different perspective on this? Do you plan to introduce any new African-American males to the show that might buck the trend?

  11. Loriann says:

    I have a question….
    Is it true that the character of Jason Street was inspired by the late Madison High School football player David Edwards? If so, are there any plans to dedicate an episode to his memory or address his death somehow?
    Thank you,
    Loriann Zello

  12. Sally says:

    Congrats on season 3. It feels great that the premiere had many elements from season 1.
    Being a huge fan of the friendships on the show, especially Tim/Jason. Is there any chance for good amount of scenes of the two of them? It’s so sad knowing Jason will leave. Scott Porter is an amazing & fun actor. Anyway, I hope that we will get more focus on Tim/Jason friendship before he leaves, especially that they were neglected in S2, after the Mexico episode. I’m also worried about how Tim/Lyla pairing will affect Tim/Jason & Jason/Lyla’s friendship. I love Jason/Lyla & Tim/Tyra, and wish there is a way for them to end up together, so hopefully there will be more focus on them as well, seeing that there are many shippers of those two couples no less than Tim/Lyla or Tyra/Landry’s shippers.
    Finally, I loved the focus on Tim in the past seasons and wish to continue seeing it. Taylor Kitsch is an awesome actor. Will we still see more central focus on Tim & his interaction with all the characters? And is there any chance to meet Tim’s mum or atleast learn more about his past?

  13. Caroline says:

    I’d like to ask Mr. Katims, if it’s really over between Tim/Tyra for good? I hated Tim/Lyla eversince the begining and them being together as a couple is far from being realistic by any means. They don’t fit at all and all of their scenes are always, always forced & boring, the same goes for Landry/Tyra pairing. Lyla has always been so selfish & immature and I really hope pairing her with Riggs won’t kill his character like what happned to Tyra’s character after pairing her with Landry.
    I sincerely believe that Tim/Tyra are perfect together, they have so much in common and both are themeselves when they are together, they don’t need to hide anything because they know each other so so well. I just hope we will be able to see them together again before the series ends, because those are the couple that I fell in love with eversince I watched Sesaon 1 (along with Jason/Lyla,Eric/Tami & ofcourse Matt/Julie.), they were so organic & natural not forced & fake, it will be really sad to know it’s over for good.

  14. Christi says:

    Love the show! It’s so nice to have it back on the air! My question is, at the heart of the show is the wonderful relationship between Eric and Tami. What I (and I’m sure hundreds of people) would like to know is their backstory. How they met, fell in love, got married etc. Are we going to get more backstory on this great couple?
    Also — any romantic getaways coming up for them? Celebrations?

  15. My Question for Mr. Katims is what does he feel is the one thing he’d go back and change in any episode, in any season of Friday Night Lights that has to do with plot. In retrospect, is there anything he looks back on and wishes he’d gone in a slightly different direction? Is there something he wishes he could have shown more of, a relationship or backstory perhaps?
    I am a huge fan of his work on Friday Night Lights and consider him an inspiration in my future endeavors attempting to become a Television Writer myself.

  16. Tenikia says:

    First of all, I’d like to say, Mr. Katims, that I’ve loved Friday Night Lights since I’d first heard that it was becoming a television show after having been a successful book and movie and I’m so glad that it’s back for a third season!
    My question to you is this: In lieu of this season being first run on DirecTV, do you fear that the likelihood of the episodes being put online for the many FNL fans who do not have access to the satellite service provider watching them ahead of the February run on NBC will lead to even less viewership at that time? Also, will there be a difference in the episodes being aired as they are now on DirecTV and when they air on NBC?

  17. Love FNL, glad it’s back. I’m an extra and a fan and i feel truly blessed to be a part of something so special.
    My question is, What size is Dillon High supposed to be? is it a 5-A division school?

  18. Kelly says:

    First off, let me start by saying that I *am* truly thankful that FNL was able to return for a third season. However I have one question…why DirecTV? Why not another network (like HBO) that would reach a broader audience, and be accessible to more fans? Right now DirecTV is only available in the USA, which means A LOT of FNL fans (like myself) are missing out. :(

  19. Anne says:

    It’s so hard to choose, because frankly, all the characters on FNL are so real, well written, and expertly acted. But, I find the character of Tim Riggins to be the most intriguing. He is flawed, yet sensitive. We have seen him fail and then redeem himself many times so far. Is there a long range vision for his character?
    We have already witnessed the demise of Smash Williams due to graduation. I appreciate the “realism” applied to the show, but how many other characters will be written off when it comes time for them to pick up their diploma? I’d hate to see the end of Riggins and Saracen.

  20. Carli says:

    Great premiere. So glad my show is back on the tube.
    I had a question about some of the main characters still being in high school, but I’m going in another direction instead. Last season, you spent a lot of time getting Tyra and Landry together. And it worked; I think they’re adorable. However, in the season three premiere we find out the two have broken up (or as Landry says, they’re on a break). Please don’t have Tyra sleep with the copy guy while on said break ;) So my question is: Why spend all that time getting them together if you’re just going to pull them apart immediately after?

  21. Robyn says:

    Being a devoted fan of this show it’s frustrating to know how many people do NOT watch. Also, not being a US citizen with a Nielsen box, it frustrates me to no end knowing that there are so many people out there who watch the show that aren’t accounted for. Although, I am grateful that we are getting another season.
    So, if this season doesn’t go as well ratings wise, is it the end for FNL? Or is there something the fans can do to lobby to keep it on the air. I know in the past that has rarely helped shows stay afloat, but this show is a diamond in the rough. The best show on television. How do we get more people to watch? How can we keep it on the air without kidnapping all the nielsen viewers?

  22. Christi says:

    I am a huge fan from the good old Great White North. Loved the season premiere. What I would like to know is how can you justify having Tami as the new principal? She has 2 years under her belt as a guidance counsellor and now she’s in charge of running a school? Are you setting her up for failure? Tami is my favourite character on the show, and network television. Don’t get me wrong, I love her character and what Connie brings to life playing her. But it doesn’t seem she’s qualified enough to run a school. It just seems like she is being set up for failure. But I guess if anyone can do it, Tami would be the one that can. I believe in her, the fans believe in her, I just would like to know the reasoning behind this decision.

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