The Simple Beauty of Friday Night Lights

(Note there are mild spoilers if you haven’t ever seen Friday Night Lights. I have tried to not spoil the last season though, in case UK viewers want to try and track it down.)

A few weeks ago, NBC aired the last episode of Friday Night Lights. That this happened in 2011 and not 2007, should pretty much be considered a TV miracle. After criminally low ratings for two seasons and the Writers Strike of late 2007/early 2008, typical (revenue-driven) wisdom would say it should have been cancelled. But, on the back of critical praise, a small but dedicated fan base, and the fact that in 2008 NBC was suffering from a true lack of quality TV, an innovative deal was struck to keep Friday Night Lights (or FNL to those in the know) on the air. Three 13 episode seasons would be shown first on Direct TV (a satellite provider) and then re-aired on NBC. Nothing like this had really been tried before, and the deal saved what has certainly been one of the best shows in recent memory, and one of the best family dramas ever.