‘Friday Night Lights’ Returning to Netflix in August: What to Know

by Suzanne Halliburton

Get ready, Friday Night Lights fans. The terrific show about life and high school football returns to Netflix next month.

And yes, you’ll be quoting Coach Taylor with one of the best all-time mottos in sports. Netflix used the quote in announcing the return of Friday Night Lights.

“Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose. All five seasons of Friday Night Lights return to Netflix (in The US) on August 1.”

Friday Night Lights featured Kyle Chandler as Coach Taylor. Connie Britton played his wife, Tami. She was the school’s guidance counselor, then it’s principal. The two were the only characters who appeared in every episode.

The show celebrated the fictitious Texas town of Dillon. And Friday Night Lights was filmed in and around Austin, Texas.

Friday Night Lights Celebrates Small Town Culture

And as fans of Friday Night Lights are well aware, the series is an ode to small-town life, which revolves around high school football in the fall. Although the characters are fictional, the story is authentic. It’s based on a book by the same name. H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger wrote Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream for a 1990 release.

Bissinger based his book on Odessa Permian High School. The school is a traditional powerhouse in the Lone Star State. He and his family moved to Odessa in 1988 so he could capture all the details of the program and how the town reacted to it.

After all, football can be a socio-economic reflection of society. And it’s entrenched in pop culture. Bissinger told the story, positive and negative, of the program and town. Odessa Permian reached the semifinals of the state playoffs that season, losing to Dallas Carter, the eventual champions.

Peter Berg Developed Movie and TV Series

Actor Peter Berg adapted the book for a 2004 movie. It starred Billy Bob Thornton and country star Tim McGraw. The TV show came along two years later, but Berg’s series changed the name of the town and the characters. Britton and Brad Leland, who played a team booster, appeared in both the movie and TV show.

The TV version of Friday Night Lights first appeared on NBC in 2006. A number of young actors starred in the show, including Minka Kelly, Taylor Kitsch and Aimee Teegarden. Michael B. Jordan joined the cast in season four.

Berg was doing research for the TV version of Friday Night Lights in the Austin area. He was sitting in the stands during a high school game when a player suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury. He based the Jason Street storyline, which featured prominently in the series premiere, on what happened in the game.

Chandler won an Emmy for Best Actor for his work in the final season of Friday Night Lights. Britton was nominated twice for her work.

So get hyped for football season. It’ll start, Aug. 1.