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August 28, 2015

Full Hearts for Stunning 'Friday Night Lights' Emmy Wins

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 18th 2011 10:25PM
Kyle ChandlerTexas forever!

Some of the big surprises of Emmy night were the wins for the final season of 'Friday Night Lights.' To say that fans of the NBC/DirecTV show had full hearts would be putting it far too mildly.

First executive producer and head writer Jason Katims won an Emmy in the best drama writing category, and gave a lovely, graceful speech that ended with "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose." Katims won for writing the show's series finale, 'Always,' which beat out 'Mad Men's' 'The Suitcase,' which was widely expected to win in that category.

Not long after that, a clearly stunned Kyle Chandler won as best dramatic actor. The man who played Coach Eric Taylor on 'FNL' for five seasons bested 'Mad Men's' Jon Hamm and 'Boardwalk Empire's' Steve Buscemi, among others.

Former 'FNL' star Minka Kelly, who was one of the presenters of the award, gave him big hug, and Chandler took the stage to the screams of 'FNL' fans in the audience.

"I knew for a fact that i would not be standing here so i didn't worry about writing anything, and now I'm starting to worry about it," Chandler said. He did thank the show's casting director and producers, and also "the people of Austin, Texas, who welcomed us into their home and filled those stadiums and brought the show to life while we were there. God bless and thank you so much."

When it comes to impromptu speeches, Chandler clearly isn't in the same league as Coach Taylor, whose locker-room orations are the stuff of legend. But we can forgive Chandler for stumbling a little and for not giving a shoutout to his on-screen wife for five seasons, Connie Britton (a.k.a. Tami Taylor). (He did try to thank Britton after his microphone was cut off, and he had a little moment in which he gestured toward her from the stage, so it was all really fine.)

Chandler's moment on stage was true to life, it was messy and real and delightful. Kind of like 'Friday Night Lights.'

Who would have thought this show, the future of which was in doubt so many times, would get not one but two Emmys after five seasons on the air. Amazing.

My full Emmy writeup is here.

*See the full list of Emmy winners
*Jane Lynch's best zingers from the 2011 ceremony

Check out video highlights from the Emmys:

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I watched every episode of this wonderful show, and I am still going through withdrawals!

September 19 2011 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
master K

clear eyes full hearts, CANT LOSE

September 19 2011 at 8:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

really shows what the networks know. Cancel a nice family show like this and put on another tramp looking for jerk show I would imagine.

September 19 2011 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whoops I mean Emmy'a

September 19 2011 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Loved FNL to bad it's been cancelled so glad they finally got a couple of grammy's they deserve this show was just real and made me think when my son was playing football and all the things so kids did, but it also related to life and the problems young people as well as their family's go thru. I'm Still Missing It!!!! One of the Best Shows on TV.

September 19 2011 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why is this stunning? It is long overdue, he has had a long career on TV...Homefront, Early Edition and is by far one of the best actors on television! A much deserved win and Connie Britton was robbed by Marguiles!!!!!!! The academy should have went one step further and gave the show best drama!

September 19 2011 at 2:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I have liked Kyle Chandler since his Early Edition show. Glad to see him win.

September 19 2011 at 1:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That is so shabby cutting of a recipient's microphone. Is that really the best they can do?

September 19 2011 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to firehorse1200's comment

Totally agree he was trying to thank his wife and Connie Britton and they cut him off!!

September 19 2011 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ecstatic that Kyle Chandler got a well-deserved Emmy! It is a fitting way to say goodbye to a program that was the best show on TV! It's just too bad that NBC dropped the ball on it.

September 19 2011 at 12:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Congrats to Kyle Chandler! Love, love, loved Friday Night Lights!!! Was very sorry to see it end!! He definitely deserved and earned this award!!!

September 19 2011 at 11:16 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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