Press Tour Alert: 'Friday Night Lights' Exec 'Spoils' Season 3!

NBC and DirecTV just hosted a little luncheon with the cast of TV’s
best drama series, Friday Night Lights, and as entertaining as it was,
it was nothing compared to dessert: Shortly after the press conference,
exec producer Jason Katims got into a huddle with a few select
journalists and basically outlined his plans for the entire third
season. Warning: Major, life-altering spoilers are below!

* If you’re having a tough time coping with the impending loss of
Gaius Charles’ Smash and Scott Porter’s Jason, wait until next year: Katims reveals that Tim (Taylor Kitsch), Matt (Zach Gilford), Tyra (Adrianne Palicki)
and Lyla (Minka Kelly) are all entering their senior years this season. The knowledge that this may be their final year in Dillon will “add an urgency to [their] stories, but also a nostalgia.” “It will be sad to leave,” says Palicki, “but I think we were all kind of prepared for that on some level.”

* When the new season starts, eight months will have passed since the Season 2 finale, placing the action at the start of a new school year. Among the major developments: Tim and Lyla are now in a serious
relationship. “We think it’ll be a tremendously fun storyline, which
could ultimately become very moving,” Katims says. “It’s one thing to
have this passionate, secret relationship, but once they’re in a real
relationship, they see how different they are. They’re completely an
odd couple… Also, they’re both seniors now, so it’s really a question of, Where are they going now? Where are they headed? Lyla really tries to get Tim to be the best version of himself. (She wants him to) get into college, get a scholarship… But the question is whether these two are destined to have very different lives.”

* The hiatus has not been nearly as kind to another Dillon super-couple: Tyra and Landry. “Tyra in the past eight months has [realized] that, while she loves Landry, she kind of feels like he’s not really The Guy,” says Katims. “So it becomes a story about, Are they going to be able to be friends? And will Landry be able to accept that?” Probably not when he meets the new Guy in her life, but more on that below.

* Matt and Julie will try and put the past behind them and become friends.

* As previously reported, Tami will be appointed the principal of
Dillon High. “From the beginning, we wanted to find ways to get (Connie Britton)
driving story as much as possible, and not just be the coach’s wife,”
says Katims, adding that the new gig will lead to some serious tension at home. “Suddenly she (and Coach Taylor) may find (themselves)
on opposite sides of some issues.”

* Katims concedes that it was not easy placing the calls to Charles and Porter informing them that their runs on the show were coming to an end. “It was very hard to break the news to them,” he admits. Smash and Jason, however, will be going out with “two of the most powerful storylines” this season. “We are not doing this in any unceremonious way. And, also, we want to very much leave the door open for both of them to come back to the show.”

* A handful of new characters will be introduced, including a freshman named J.D. McCoy. “He’s a phenomenal quarterback,” Katims explains. “In the first arc of the season, there’s a controversy over who will be the first-string quarterback for the Panthers.” Additionally, an old friend of Billy Riggins’ will make a play for Tyra. “He’s a local rodeo star, so he’s right in Tyra’s wheelhouse. So Landry is not going to be (happy).”

* Matt Czuchry (Chris) and Benny Ciaramello (Santiago) will not be back.

* A renewed focus will be placed on the Landry/Matt friendship, a relationship Katims says got sidelined last season in the wake of the Landry/Tyra murder plot. “With that intense, secret thing between Landry and Tyra, we lost a little bit of Landry as Matt’s buddy/sidekick/friend, and we’re going to have that back.”

Tim and Lyla in a serious relationship? Landry and Tyra dunzo? Tami the boss of Dillon High? An end in sight for four more characters? Surely, you guys have some thoughts about all this, right?

(For more on what’s in Katims’ playbook for Season 3, check out Dan Snierson’s exclusive interview in Hollywood Insider.)

Comments (52 total) Add your comment
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  • Sarah

    Yay Michael! I love your scoops…. keep transcribing as fast as you can! And please get us some more scoop at NBC tomorrow…. I want to know why they were stupid enough to let Scrubs go. I’d also like some Office scoop (particularly what’s next with Jim and Pam because I sense disaster for their relationship) and a little 30 Rock gossip while you are at it. Glad to have you at EW!

  • Conor

    I swear that Tyra, Riggins, and Lyla have been seniors every season so far … and wasn’t Saracen a year below Riggins and them!?! If Saracen’s graduating, doesn’t that mean Julie and Landry are too. Aren’t they all in the same grade!?

  • Anonoymous

    What about Julie and Matt? I hope their relationship is renewed, at least a friendship. If not, the demise of that beautiful relationship while we have to suffer through Tim & Lyla and Landra & Tyra was a major misstep in this series.

  • krystle

    i am BURSTING with happiness that tim & lyla are finally going to be together.

  • Andrew

    Wow, they really are just willfully ignoring continuity now, aren’t they? Matt is somehow the same age as Tim, Lyla, and Tyra?

  • Weak Sauce

    Why are they messing with Tyra and Landry?! Its the most honest relationship on the show, regardless of how it may have come together in a very awful way, but they are SOOO good together. Furthermore, the storyline made Tyra much more likable, and with Tyra growing so much last season with getting her grades up and becoming a more endearing character, they go a make her back to a b*tch (a local rodeo star!?!?!?!?!). WEAK SAUCE, KATIMS!
    Everything else I can live with (even Lyla and Time, meh).

  • Ana

    I can’t believe they are messing with Tyra/landry likt that, that’s the reason I started watching. The whole reasong for Tyra changing is going to be suddenly fogotten, is teh audience supposed to have developed amnesia…. We fight so hard to keep the shows we like on air, and we get rewarded with a completely different show than the one we tried so hard to save

  • NotATylaFan

    Not thrilled about Tim & Lyla. Blech!

  • Bryan

    Am I the only one that didn’t see the seniors moving on? I mean, the only thing that would keep them behind is failing to graduate or coming back to the school to be some type of instructor. Both moves, I believe, would have been curtains through which even the most dense of people would have seen. You feel me? Nevertheless, I’m still going to watch. Besides ‘Lost’, ‘Heroes’, and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, it is the best show on television. Be well, Guys. Thanks, Aus!

  • Anonymous

    I am so so so disappointed about Tyra and Landry. Why are they tearing them apart?!

  • Joanie

    I’m so relieved they’re breaking up the ever so tedious Tyra/Landry pairing. I look forward to meeting her new guy and seeing her with someone she might have romantic chemistry with. But really, Lyla’s a senior? LOL. Not quite.

  • DJ

    No Santiago makes me sad. :(

  • Melinda65

    I agree, DJ–no Santiago makes me sad. I liked his story and the fact that it gave Buddy Garrity something to do other than try to tell Coach how to run things.
    I am also disappointed about Landry/Tyra. I really liked their relationship, and how Landry was really the first guy to treat Tyra with respect and friendship. Breaking them up is a bad move, IMO. I’m not a Tim/Lyla fan, either, unless she can actually be the impetus for him to stop being such a screw-up.

  • Jessie

    I really hate that it skips so far forward in time. I like to see the progression of things – I am SO sad about losing Street and Smash, I think they were such a big part of the show … I really hope FNL can get back to how amazing it was the first season.

  • Bridget

    Ugh! Tim and Lyla in a serious relationship? Yuck!
    I do love that the focus will be back on Matt and Landry’s friendship. That was definitely lost last year and was greatly missed by this fan.
    Wish Jean were still around for Landry. I’m not surprised that Tyra and Landry won’t be together really anymore.

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