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October 23, 2014

friday night lights

What to Watch: TV Picks for May 16 - 22

by Stephanie Earp, posted May 16th 2011 2:30AM
The Office - Thursday May 19, 9PM ET/PT, Global/NBC

Rarely has a season finale been so beautifully set-up for a guest-star bonanza. With Dwight officially out of consideration for the top job at Dunder Mifflin, Jim is tasked by Jo to form a search committee and start looking for Michael's replacement. Interviewees include Jim Carrey, Will Arnett, Ray Romano, James Spader, Ricky Gervais and more. Kathy Bates is on hand to guide the proceedings. The lead-up episode had very few laughs -- here's hoping this talented crew can send 'The Office' to hiatus with a bang.

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TV on DVD: I'm an Addict

by Stephanie Earp, posted May 3rd 2011 3:00PM

Last Sunday night found me red-eyed and bleary, the first pangs of hunger finally breaking through the imaginary wall I put around my mind. I emerged from a two-day bender and found myself wrapped in my bathrobe, my hair lank, sitting in a well-defined groove on the couch.

You see, I just got the season 5 DVDs of 'Friday Night Lights' and I watched the entire thing in about 20 hours. I gorged on those episodes, ignoring all but the most pressing bodily needs, until the Taylors and the motley residents of Dillon, Texas had shown me all they ever would of their lives.

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BET Renews 'The Game,' Logo Greenlights 'The A-List: Dallas' and 'Sex Rx' and More

by Chris Harnick, posted Apr 18th 2011 11:30AM
The GameBET is staying in 'The Game.' After rescuing the show from cancellation on The CW, the series has brought in record ratings for the network.

According to Deadline, the series' fourth season debut was seen by 7.7 million viewers, a staggering number compared to the less than 2 million viewers the show was bringing in while on The CW. Season 4 ended with an audience of around 4.4 million viewers.

BET is also expected to renew 'Let's Stay Together' and announce a series pickup for 'Reed Between the Lines.' Former 'Girlfriends' actress Tracee Ellis Ross stars in 'Reed' as a busy psychiatrist. Malcolm-Jamal Warner also stars.

In other TV news ...

Logo has renewed 'RuPaul's Drag Race.' The companion series 'Untucked: RuPaul's Drag Race' and 'The A-List: New York' have also been renewed. The network has ordered two new shows, 'The A-List: Dallas' and 'Sex Rx.' 'A-List: Dallas' comes from the producers of 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' and 'Sex Rx' follows sex addiction specialist Christopher Donaghue. [Deadline]

Dog of 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' fame bailed out Nic Cage from a New Orleans jail. "I performed my duties as a bail bondsman and not in connection with our show. This is what I do for a living," Dog said in a statement. "There are two sides of my job: I release my clients after they have been arrested; and pick them up if they don't show up in court. I do not believe the latter will be the case for Mr. Cage." [E! Online]

Mariah Carey may have "something" to do on 'The X Factor,' but she won't be a judge. Simon Cowell revealed details during an interview: "I think Mariah will have a role on the TV live shows," he told Jackie Brown. "I met her recently and she was on great form. And her idea was to be the judge of the judges, which only Mariah could come up with. She'll be involved in some form. I literally adore her. I love her to bits." [CBS News]

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'Friday Night Lights' Returns to NBC Tonight: Revisit Our Recap, Features Here

by Jean Bentley, posted Apr 15th 2011 4:40PM
Friday Night LightsTonight, NBC begins its run of the final season of 'Friday Night Lights.' The drama -- about so much more than football -- began broadcasting its fifth season on DirecTV's channel 101 late last year.

For your convenience, we've gathered some of our 'Friday Night Lights' stories below to get you ready for the East Dillon Panthers' latest season.

First up, take a look at AOL TV lead critic Maureen Ryan's take on the magic of 'FNL,' Texas Forever: 12 Things Television Can Learn From 'Friday Night Lights.' Why, exactly, was the show so good? Well, there's the realistic portrayal of a healthy marriage, the fact that it told stories about teenagers that weren't dumb, the changing yet always ultra-talented cast ... should we go on?

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Back to Heartbreak With 'Friday Night Lights'

by Stephanie Earp, posted Apr 11th 2011 5:00PM

As the final season debut of 'Friday Night Lights' approaches on Friday, April 15, my joy at the chance to return to Dillon is mixed with sadness and frustration.

I'm pissed that almost no one watched this show during its four miraculous seasons and that almost no one will be watching its swan song. Like 'Veronica Mars' and 'Arrested Development' before it, it will become a weird quirk of conversation for the people who watched it. At parties and chance meetings, fans of the show will reminisce about the beauty of it while other people will avoid the freaks talking about fictional, canceled characters as if they were real.

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What to Watch: TV Picks for April 11 - 17

by Stephanie Earp, posted Apr 11th 2011 2:30AM


Happy Endings - Wednesday April 13, 9:30PM ET/PT, Citytv/ABC

I've seen a few commercials for this new series over the last few weeks, but what I haven't seen is much of purported series lead Elisha Cuthbert. The previews focus instead on the antics of the supporting players like Casey Wilson ('SNL') and Damon Wayans Jr. -- I'm sure with good cause.

But it does make me wonder if ABC perhaps regrets casting the pillow-lipped actress and then giving the series such a gross double-entendre of a name. (I'm not alone in thinking of illegal massage parlours when the words 'Happy Endings' are strung together, am I?) Anyway, the series is about how a group of friends cope when one of the core couples break up at the altar. But whatever, that's not important -- it's like 'Friends' in that it doesn't really need a plot. And it's actually quite good.

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Exclusive 'Friday Night Lights' Deleted Scene: Watch Coach Taylor Counsel Vince

by Jean Bentley, posted Apr 5th 2011 3:40PM
Friday Night LightsWith the fifth and final season of 'Friday Night Lights' both releasing on DVD today and premiering on NBC this weekend, maybe it's finally time to come to terms with the end of one of the best dramas to ever grace television screens.

If you can clear the tears from your eyes long enough to watch, check out TV Squad's exclusive deleted scene from the -- sniff -- last season in honor of today's DVD release. In it, Coach Taylor counsels Vince on the rules regarding college recruiters contacting him and luring him to their schools with free meals and other no-no perks.

Watch the clip after the jump.

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Swords, Doctors and Sam Axe: 19 Spring Shows You Need to Know About

by Maureen Ryan, posted Mar 15th 2011 12:20PM
Fall is always crazy in the TV realm, but the middle of the current season has been just as bananas.

As soon as 2011 rolled around, the networks unleashed a bumper crop of new and returning shows, and only in the past couple of weeks did the relentless pace of premieres and returns simmer down to a manageable level.

We can't get complacent, however, because in the next few weeks, cable and broadcast networks will release yet another barrage of notable new shows, from 'Game of Thrones' to 'The Killing' to 'The Borgias.'

To make sure you don't miss anything, here's a handy list of 19 notable March and April programs. I've put a * next to new programs I've seen at least one episode of. Look for full reviews of most of these programs on TV Squad in coming weeks.

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Ask Mo: Answering Questions on 'LO:LA,' Sheen, 'Warehouse 13,' 'Chuck' and More

by Maureen Ryan, posted Mar 8th 2011 4:30PM
Thanks for submitting a bunch of great questions here and via email. So let's get to those queries now.

Keith asks: What's going on with 'Law & Order: LA'? I read about cast changes, but the shows been AWOL for some time now.

Mo says: NBC just announced that 'LOLA' is coming back with a two-hour re-premiere April 11. As many fans know, there was quite a bit of cast upheaval in recent months, as well as job changes for the show's characters. So expect some major alterations when the show returns.

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'Friday Night Lights' Series Finale Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 10th 2011 10:30AM
friday_night_lights_nbc_series_finale['Friday Night Lights': 'Always']

If there was a theme for the series finale of 'Friday Night Lights' it was resolution. Inevitably, that's what television endings are all about. It's a chance to wrap up storylines and set characters off into a future that will probably never been seen by viewers.

It can be a daunting task for writers, and there are countless examples of programs that over-reached in the series finale and dissatisfied fans. Fortunately for 'Friday Night Lights,' that was not the case (my colleague Mo Ryan also gave her take on the finale).

After five seasons, the last Christmas in Dillon, Texas, was a winner. Like the East Dillon Lions winning that state championship, FNL went out in a dramatic and happy way.

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Full Hearts: A Review of the 'Friday Night Lights' Series Finale

by Maureen Ryan, posted Feb 10th 2011 2:50AM
The final episode of 'Friday Night Lights' aired on DirecTV Wednesday night. So as not to spoil anything for those who'll be watching the fifth and final season on NBC or on DVD, I'm not going to put anything about the series finale on this part of the post.

By the way, for a non-spoiler-y appreciation of the show, look here. For a non-spoiler-y discussion of 'FNL' on the Talking TV podcast, go here.

Read on only if you've seen the last episode of 'Friday Night Lights.'

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Talking TV Podcast Gabs About 'Mr. Sunshine,' Post-'Friends' Careers and 'Friday Night Lights'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Feb 9th 2011 2:50PM
This may surprise you, given the headline above, but in this week's Talking TV podcast, Ryan McGee and I talk about 'Mr. Sunshine,' the careers of the former 'Friends' and 'Friday Night Lights.'

Don't worry, there are no spoilers in the discussion of FNL (or in my farewell tribute to the show). Ryan's still in the midst of watching the first season of the drama, which airs its series finale tonight on DirecTV, and many fans of the show won't see the current season until it arrives on NBC April 15, so we kept the discussion well away from specific plot points about any of the five seasons.

The discussion of 'Mr. Sunshine' (which I reviewed here) and the careers of the actors who starred in 'Friends' occupies the first 29 minutes and 45 seconds of the podcast. The discussion of FNL takes up the last 27 minutes or so.

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Texas Forever: 12 Things Television Can Learn From 'Friday Night Lights'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Feb 9th 2011 11:15AM
Get out your hankies: The series finale of 'Friday Night Lights' airs Wednesday on DirecTV, and the show's hourlong swan song is as wonderful and moving as you'd want it to be.

Most FNL fans are not going to see the series finale until it airs on NBC later this year (the show's fifth and final season arrives on NBC April 15, and if you can't wait that long, you can get the season 5 DVD set April 5). For that reason, I'm not going to dwell on the particulars of the finale here (for those watching on DirecTV, I'll post a piece on 'Always,' the final episode of the show, on Thursday).

What follows is a non-spoiler-y celebration of what the show accomplished in the past five seasons. 'Friday Night Lights' was very good when it started, but it quickly developed into one of the most innovative, moving and thoughtful shows of the modern era. It wasn't perfect, but television as a whole could learn a lot from what FNL did well.

There will never be another Dillon, Texas, but if the storytellers of the small screen take these lessons to heart, one day, we might get a show that touches our hearts as often FNL did.

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'Friday Night Lights' Season 5, Episode 12 Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 3rd 2011 10:45AM
friday_night_lights_nbc_connie_britton_kyle_chandler['Friday Night Lights': 'Small Town']

This was it: the penultimate episode of 'Friday Night Lights,' the build-up to the inevitable finale that will determine the fates of these characters.

If you're like me, this show flew by. So much happened and so much is still to come ... and I can't wait to see the resolution.

For Eric and Tami Taylor, there's never been a more tenuous time. There's no question that they love each other and have a strong union, but they are in a situation that's fraught with consequences. Have they ever been in such a good/bad dilemma like this before?

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'Friday Night Lights' Sets Date for Final Season on NBC

by Maureen Ryan, posted Feb 2nd 2011 3:40PM
The fifth and final season of 'Friday Night Lights' will arrive on NBC April 15, according to TVLine. That means the acclaimed drama's series finale will likely air sometime in July.

To be a FNL fan these days is to live in two parallel realities (almost like something out of 'Fringe'). For the past few years, each season of FNL has aired on DirecTV before airing on NBC. That means that those who've been watching season 5 on DirecTV are bracing themselves for the series finale that will air there Feb. 9.

There's yet another wrinkle in the story of FNL's final season: As I noted in this recent post, the season 5 DVD set will be released April 5 -- before those final 13 episodes begin airing on NBC. So fans could conceivably be done watching season 5 before NBC even starts showing it.

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