FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS TV Series May Continue as a Movie

     July 15, 2011

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Jason Katims’ critically lauded but ratings challenged television drama series Friday Night Lights is coming to an end with its fifth and final season finale tonight on NBC, but the show may get a chance to live on as a movie…again. The series (which just scored Emmy nominations for Best Drama, Best Actor, and Best Actress) was based on the 2004 film of the same name, which in turn was based on a book. And now it sounds like the characters may return once again in a new feature film with the show’s stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. Hit the jump for the details.

kyle-chandler-friday-night-lights-imageTalk of a new film began with this tweet from Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons:

“Peter Berg told us he wants to do an FNL movie with Chandler/Britton off the final episode.”

Berg directed the 2004 film and jump-started the TV series before turning it over to showrunner Katims. After that tweet, TV Line’s Michael Ausiello did some digging and sources confirmed to him that the statement is in fact true, and Berg is currently working behind the scenes to make it happen.

Although I’ve only seen the first couple of seasons of Friday Night Lights (I’m gonna finish it soon, I swear) I was blown away by the show. The writing, the acting, the tone: all fantastic. It’s that rare hourlong drama that isn’t afraid to slow down for small character moments, and did I mention the heart-tugging?

kyle-chandler-connie-britton-imageWhile a feature film would be a nice touch (especially with Katims, Chandler and Britton onboard), there may be some legal issues to wrangle. As I mentioned before, the property has been a book, a movie, and a TV show, and TV Line points out that there are a lot of production companies and rights involved. When asked for a comment, a rep for Universal told the site that no FNL film is “currently in production.” The key word being “currently.”

It’s certainly early in the game at this point. The television show has an incredibly devoted fanbase, but ratings were always an issue (as is the case with most high-quality serialized TV shows). Katims is also busy running NBC’s Parenthood, and has yet another television series in development. Time will tell, but I’m all for the underrated Chandler and Britton getting a high-profile feature film in which to shine. Adding season three to the top of my Netflix queue now…

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