Exclusive: 'Friday Night Lights' sets end date

The fifth season of Friday Night Lights will be its last, multiple sources confirm.

Although an NBC rep insists no official decision on FNL‘s future has been made, I’m told the network has informed the show’s cast that they’re free to pursue other work after production on season 5 wraps in June. And while the news is sure to make you — and, more importantly, me — sad, this cloud is chockablock with silver linings. To wit:

* We won’t realize the show is gone for ages. While season 4 wraps tonight on DirecTV, it won’t even debut on NBC until April 30. And the fifth season? That may not hit the network until 2011. (It’ll premiere on DirecTV in the fall.)
* While there was always the possibility that the critical darling could continue for a sixth season, no one connected to the show really expected it to. In other words, though we may sniffle and sob, the cast and crew have already gotten that out of their system by now.
* For the show’s MVPs, the timing is great: Pilot season is just kicking off, so the actors are free to attach themselves to new fall shows with no availability issues. As I mentioned, production on season 5 is expected to wrap in June or July, right around the time most broadcast shows start up production. (My God, can you imagine the bidding wars that’ll ensue over the services of Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton?)
* The timing of the announcement is also great for behind-the-scenes quarterback Jason Katims and his fellow producers. Now they can call their final plays knowing that they’ll be their final plays.

Having said that, it’s still sad to think of FNL coming to an end. Eulogies anyone?


Comments (232 total) Add your comment
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  • pj

    what makes me most sad about this is that this show has yet to get the awards and accolades it really deserves. hooray to direct tv for allowing this show to continue.

    • KS

      While awards are indeed great, we fans can be assured that WE know the value of this show, and the cast & crew know that we know. That’s what matters. :)

      • janet bruha

        I absolutely love FNL. The cast is superb and the story lines are awesome. It is too good of a show to let go.

    • john

      What we need to do is get people watching this show. Even if you do not have a Nielson box, you are still counted, technology has advanced these past years.

      So WATCH when it comes back on NBC. Even let your TV on NBC when it airs.

      This shows deserves the ratings over most of the crap aired that does better.

      Why do people prefer crap over quality?

      • Ricky

        This was definitely one of the best shows on TV, cable or otherwise. Kyle and Connie deserve the big salaries they’ll command on their next shows. Who knows, maybe they’ll even go to the silver screen and light up Hollywood like never before. I am saddened by how many people know Jersey Shore but almost no one watches FNL. What a shame, and we’re all worse off for it.

      • Karon

        I love the show…It is my favorite show and I am a middle aged educator. It is well written and the dialog is awesome. I have dish but I was so frantic…I’ve watched it on graboid. I am terribly disappointed…I would like it to go on longer.

    • Billiam

      Most of the shows that Emmys have snubbed in the past were quirky or hard to describe (like Buffy, Veronica Mars, BSG). But FNL should appeal to the Emmy crowd. It also should have had mainstream appeal and had a huge fanbase, of course, but viewers are fickle.

      • aceman

        I love this show but it kept getting move around and I lost track of it! I am finally able to see episode after episode and I want more! This show and cast have so much more to offer and the potential is limitless!! We have to keep this going! I had heard a rumour that a sixth season is in the works!

  • Jed

    Just happy this show is finally getting canceled. For NBC to renew this crapfest and cancel Las Vegas when Vegas was doing much better ratings-wise than FNL should tell you how screwed up NBC really is right now.

    • Zack

      You must be trolling because no human being can possibly be that stupid.

    • JennaD

      Jed, let’s step outside.

      • mydove

        JennaD…hilarious.

    • Michael

      MY GOD! I hope your being ironic!

    • Cdog923

      Terrible opinion is terrible.

    • Chad

      Las Vegas…? YOU are why TV is so terrible. FNL is a wonderful show and just because you have the viewing taste of a brick, shouldn’t mean the rest of us have to suffer your inane lack of sense. Las Vegas? You have embarrassed your family, Jed

      • Alex

        “viewing taste of a brick” Heh heh. Agreed.

      • Tim

        I bought the first season of las vegas and COULDN’T sit through it. I have owned it for years and have yet to watch past the fourth or fifth episode. You are crazy.

    • Will

      I love FNL and Las Vegas, I know both didn’t have the ratings on NBC towards the end, that is why Vegas got cancelled, and FNL got picked up by DirecTV…don’t be mad Jed just because they left Vegas on a cliffhanger.(They at least should have made an episode on the DVDs to finish it off) Look at Southland, I think it is a very good show, and it got picked up by TNT even though NBC gave it up, so I love FNL and Vegas, but don’t be mad Jed that no other network wanted Vegas.

    • Sue

      Troll.

    • Ronnie

      To compare Las Vegas with FNL…is just…OMG…IDIOTIC.

      • Suzi

        I am in 100% agreement with your assessment of this dodo heads statement. OMG – FNL is in a league of it’s own. Vegas was just standard TV. FNL is one of the best acted television shows ever and I will sorely miss it. :(

    • pam

      you have no class and don’t recognize a classy show when you see one. Vegas was a waste of oxygen. Grow a pair and then voice your opinion. Friday Night Lights rocks!

    • da

      Obviously you’ve never watched this show, or you wouldn’t call it a crapfest.

    • Pete

      Hey Jed, your favorite show is ‘Two & a Half Men’ isn’t it? It’s got to be if you think a show that is so well written, acted & shot as FNL is a ‘crapfest’. Go back to your ‘Las Vegas’ & continue to be dumbed down.

    • Ricky

      It’s obvious you have no idea what you’re talking about. Either that, or you’re 13 years old and were more enamored with the large breasts on display on Las Vegas than the great acting, writing in FNL. Your TV is probably set to block out anything PG rated or higher anyways.

    • DRayche

      you are an idiot!!

    • Marc

      Jed, your comment show’s how little you know. If DirecTV didn’t step up and foot half the bill for this show, FNL wouldn’t have seen a 3rd, 4th, or 5th season. FNL is consistently one of the most well written, suburbly acted, and amazingly produced show on television right now. “The Son” was quite possibly the best hour of television I’ve seen this year or any year, for that matter. To each, their own, but you wouldn’t know quality television if it came up and smacked you upside the head.

      • Alex

        Your right about that episode. It was amazing. The writing for this show is amazing.

      • Doc

        Kudos to “The Son”! I’m really looking forward to watching the Emmy’s this year, in hopes that it wins for best writing!

    • Wendy

      Jed is it? You shouldn’t even be allowed to comment with a name like that…sorry

  • Amy

    God, I love this show. But we all did see it coming….

  • Randy

    Jed, you tool… FNL is a show NBC does not even pay to broadcast. It makes nothing but money on it. Whereas Vegas was costing it money.

  • JennaD

    my first reaction: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    I don’t care if this was expected. I love this show and I wanted more! The cast is amazing! I hope they can have a reunion of sorts with a East vs. West Dillion Thanksgiving or Homecoming game for final season.

  • Amy

    This is the worst news!!!

    I agree though, I can’t imagine the kind of offers Connie and Kyle will have.

  • sweetiepie1019

    Its sad, but on the other hand, five seasons for a show that was never a ratings magnet is pretty damn good. At least it didn’t go down early like Pushing Daisies, Firefly or Wonderfalls. Five seasons is a long time, really, and at least they know before they wrap so there’s closure.

    • Laura

      I’m completely with you on the Firefly, Wonderfalls…two brilliant shows that should have survived.

      • alan

        Yes, Sweetiepie. I am in complete agreement with you. And lets be honest — a show tends to go downhill after season 5 and at least we get a proper finale instead of some hacked up job. Bravo to NBC and FNL creative team!

  • Jenn

    I am beyond sad at this news! FNL has really had a breakthrough year! I can’t wait for those that aren’t lucky enough to have DirectTV to see what a fantastic season this truly has been. How Kyle and Connie (and really the rest of the cast and crew) haven’t gotten more recognition is beyond me. They have hit every scene out of the park every single night. What ever show picks them up will be fortuante! I guess all good things must come to an end.

  • Laura

    I’ve only recently discovered FNL and as someone who doesn’t even count myself as a football fanatic…I have to say this show is leagues above most shows on networks and cable. And for myself, its my favorite drama bar none. While its sad to hear we’ll be losing such rich characters from the tv landscape, I too see a silver lining. FNL will have had a very full, and ultimately satisfying run. And for that I’m grateful.

    • Keir

      You’ve answered what I was going to ask. :) I don’t know anything about American Football (I’ve tried to watch the Super Bowl before but I just found it boring with all the stopping and starting) so that’s always put me off whenever I’ve read about how good the show is. I’ll try it. :)

      • mydove

        Keir, you won’t regret it. I, too, as a non-American (I’m assuming you are) don’t get American football for the same reason. Although a show about football, it is secondary to the stories of these people’s lives.

      • Lauren

        Keir, please do watch it! As a girl and an Aussie, I am soooo not interested in football, but this is the most superb show I have ever watched. And I don’t mean superb in that ‘arty’ high brow only critics like it – kinda way. I mean superb in that even a normal person can watch it and feel like they are watching something truly special. A cut above the normal shows the networks spit out. The characters are so flawed and normal that you can’t help but love them. It is funny and emotional and gripping. And Coach Taylor is one of the best characters on TV – and what I love is that he barely speaks! He is like a real man. Short sharp sentences and a few grunts…. Riggins too is a character you will love….. I could go on forever. I will miss it so much! But 5 seasons was a blessing….

    • pam

      maybe the cast will want to stick around and some other worthy station will pick it up. I love my FNL!! I’m sad!!!

    • marty

      Laura: Order season1 from netflix and watch all of it…I’m an old guy whose wife said netflex says I will like this…It’s about high school football. Will you watch it with me? I said: I’ll give it ten minutes… We were hooked…never saw anything as good on the tube before…right up there with the Sopranos… the wire… Fell in love with Minka Kelly (don’t tell my wife) loved all the people in the show…Riggins…Matt…landry..Too bad it got cancelled…

  • Adri

    One of the best shows on air right now (if not the best). I’ll miss it so much.

    I just hope that all the talent on the show will bee relocated in other good shows. There’s so many talented people there (and i don’t mean just the actors) I don’t wanna lose track of.

  • David Bishop

    I heart FNL. Texas Forever!

    • naz

      Texas Forever Davy!

  • Kate

    Jed, you’re an idiot. “Las Vegas” was a piece of bloated fluff – a modern day “Love Boat” at best. FNL is one of the few things NBC did correctly in recent years.

  • Cheryl

    I hope the writing picks up towards the end. This season started off great and the Riggins storyline has been horrible. I had wished for more, only to get gutted.

    Vince, though, is a wonder. That character is amazing.

    • Robert

      I feel the complete opposite about this season. Started slow and gotten much stronger. I think the strongest episode of the whole series happened this season.

      I am happy with five season for this show. Every television show usually ends up being too short or two long. We have been fortunate to get three excellent seasons and really one more feels like enough to provide satisfying stories for all the current characters. Anymore then five risks watering down a great product.

    • Kathy

      Cheryl, I agree with you. I love this show, but this season was a disappointment in some ways. The Vince storyline and acting was really good, you could see the all of the hardships and conflict he was facing. But I hated everything they did with Tim Riggins. He is such a pivotal character in this show and one of the few returning, and I think the writers missed the mark with him. I wanted to see things turn around for him and for him to find his path as it seems like most other original characters have done. And that Becky character could have been completely left out, I didn’t see one appealing thing about her or that storyline.

  • karine

    FNL is definitely one of the best written, acted and directed shows on television today, and I really do not get NBC for not putting it in its roster this season

    As for the actors, Chandler, Britton, Gilford, Kitsch these guys are gonna have to many offers to deal with!

  • Nicotine

    This is going to be the end of an era. FNL is one of the best shows on television. It’s just too bad that most people would rather be inundated with junk like Grey’s Anatomy, than watch the quality television that is Friday Night Lights.

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