Watch 'Friday Night Lights'

I need you to watch this show, which airs at 9 PM Fridays on NBC. I know. It is on Friday nights – when you are out. DVR it. Hulu it. Or head out at 10 and make a fashionably late appearance – whatever it takes. It is one of the five best shows on television and if it does not get good ratings this year, there is a good chance it will be canceled. If it is canceled, I will throw a brick through my TV. (It is not even my TV. It is my roommate’s TV. You can see how the cancellation of this show could get expensive for me.)

NBC and DIRECTV split the costs of producing the show and as part of the deal DIRECTV was allowed to air all 13 episodes before the NBC launch. I watched the season on DIRECTV this fall. It is fantastic. The writers close out two major story lines (Smash and Street), bring in a new character (a freshman QB with a rifle arm) and continue to follow the characters whose stories are so compelling: Tim, Lyla, Tyra, Landry, Buddy, Matt and of course Coach and Tami Taylor, who somehow manage to steal the show in a story centered around the lives of horny, drunken, smart, ambitious high school students.

The Coach-Tami relationship could go down as the best, strongest and perhaps most realistic marriage in television history. It is great to see people on television who act like people I know.  

Here is the first episode of season three, which is available on

Please. Watch this show. I can’t bear to live in a world in which Desperate Housewives remains a ratings hit and this show is canceled. I will lose it. I will go hermit. I will get a little cabin in the woods, forsake civilization and you will never hear from me again. I will tape my columns to the trees for the woodland creatures to read. I will record my podcast on cassette tapes and interview ferns. I will retreat to an Obi Wan Kenobi lifestyle and when young Luke Skywalker comes and asks me for help returning a droid to its rightful princess owner, I will tell him, “No.”

Joe Donatelli
Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles
  • Tom

    I second this column. Anyone who thinks that they have this show “pegged” based on the commercials you see is wrong. This show is a thousand times better than any of its crappy, crappy marketing.

    A new standard for me is whether or not a show has too much filler (scenes that don’t have a point or don’t move a story along – ie Sopranos, most 22 episodes/season broadcast television programs, car chases), this show has little to no filler.

    Watch and enjoy! Go Panthers!

  • I, too, am hooked on this show. Of course I’d like to see more football, but it’s a different kind of drama and it makes me miss Texas sometimes.

    I wonder if there will be a 4th season. Many of the fans have already seen Season 3, so ratings might be low on NBC. Plus there obviously need to be major casting changes.

    I’ll agree that the Taylors are the best couple around. He sure has made progress since the time he exploded in Grey’s Anatomy

  • Joe Donatelli

    On Bill Simmons’ podcast, show creator Peter Berg said the hope is that the people who watched it on DIRECTC will watch it again and the show will continue to add audience. He admitted that it also is possible zero people will watch the show because they already saw it on DTV. Huge gamble. But the show has been on thin ice since the pilot.


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