‘Friday Night Lights’: The passion from our fans and critics is incredibly important

UPDATE: On Monday, March 30, NBC and DirecTV inked the deal that will bring us two more glorious seasons of this remarkable show!

At long last, here are the answers to your questions for Friday Night Lights showrunner Jason Katims (pictured accepting a Vision Award in June).

Loyal readers will recall I first opened up the opportunity for questions prior to the NBC show’s third season premiere on DirecTV’s 101 Network back in October. At the time Jason was too involved working on our favorite show to get to your questions. Then, he was swamped with writing  “Parenthood,” his pilot for NBC and Imagine.

I was persistent (some may call it annoying) and with the help of his marvelous assistant, we’ve received the answers we’ve been waiting for. A big thanks to both Jason and Jamie. And I can’t thank you readers enough for your patience.

Those who love “Friday Night Lights” know that the level of devotion you feel for the show can become an obsession. There’s nothing quite like it on television. The show can break your heart every time out. This piece from the Canadian Press does a great job of summing up fans’ feelings.

And yet, the ratings have never taken off (go figure) and as each season approaches its finale, we fans are left wondering if there will be more. Well, recently there has been scuttlebutt on the Web about a two-season renewal in the works. That’s right, TWO seasons. Nothing has been decided thus far and I don’t know any more than you folks, but if you read Jason’s answers carefully you’ll see that he seems optimistic about the future of the show. I have complete confidence that if/when it returns it will be every bit as riveting as it’s been for the first three seasons.

Of course, not all our favorite characters will be back if the series does complete yet another Hail Mary. It is, after all, a show with high school at its core. Kids graduate; people leave small towns.

EW’s Ausiello Files hints at which cast members we could count on seeing in seasons 4 and 5.

Indeed, already this season we fans have had to say goodbye to two favorite characters. At EW’s PopWatch, Scott Porter blogged about leaving the show and Jason Street behind. And Gaius Charles talked about Smash’s exit with TV Guide.

I used the questions that were most relevant at this point in NBC’s airing of the season and Katims answered 10 for us. I’ll start with the question Jason and I chose as our favorite. Congratulations Anne, your signed DVD of Season 2 is on its way.


Q. 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? — Anne
A. I’d choose Episode 304 — “Hello Goodbye.” It’s the episode that bids farewell to Smash and has such a poignancy to it. But what makes the episode recommend itself is that there are so many other things going on simultaneously. Tyra meets Cash; Landry confronts Tyra as he is recovering from dental surgery; Tami loses the Jumbotron battle. It’s meaty and smart and all the characters and stories seem to be firing on all cylinders. Gaius Charles and Jesse Plemons give two of their finest performances.

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