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.
Chandler was 14 in 1979, which is also the age of his character's son in the movie. Walking into the set that was the kid's room brought back great memories for Chandler. Apparently, Spielberg got all of the late-'70s details down perfectly. "I started thinking immediately, What am I going to steal out of here?" said Chandler. The room was everything he had when he was a kid, including Testors paints and airplane models.
"Then over in the corner, the jewel: an Atari game," he said. Which will make nerds wonder -- did he have the 'E.T.' and 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' Atari games? Watch closely if you see the movie and let us know if you see them.
According to Deadline, 'Friday Night Lights' star Kyle Chandler is being courted to star in a new FX drama, 'Powers.' The show is a procedural that takes place in a world where superpowers are normal (not to be confused with TV Squad's most-anticipated fall pilot, '17th Precinct,' a procedural that takes place in a world where magic is normal), and Chandler is reportedly reading the script now.
Chandler's 'FNL' costar Connie Britton has already signed on to star in Ryan Murphy's 'American Horror Story' at the network, meaning the Taylors could soon be network costars, if not on the same show. (Hey, take what you can get. It's way more real than those recurring 'FNL' dreams ...)
In other TV news ...
• BET's 'The Game' went out with a bang last night. The recently revived sitcom got 4.4 million viewers for its season finale, more than twice what it averaged when it aired on The CW. In other ratings news, ABC's 'Body of Proof' premiered well, attracting an audience of 13.9 million viewers in the post-'Dancing With the Stars' time slot. [THR, NY Times]
• 'Good Morning America' host Juju Chang is leaving the show -- to report for 'Nightline' full time. Replacing Chang as news reader on 'GMA' is ESPN anchor Josh Elliott, who has been co-hosting the morning edition of 'SportsCenter.' [TV Guide]
• Your obligatory Charlie Sheen news update: the king of winning will appear in a guest spot on Drew Carey's new GSN improv show, 'Improv-a-ganza' -- but the cameo was filmed way back in the pre-tiger blood days of January. [EW]
With the Emmy awards less than a week away, I'm continuing to pick who I think should and who I think will win the major awards.
On Friday, I discussed the Best Lead Actress in a Drama category. Today we look at their male counterparts in the Best Lead Actor in a Drama category.
Kyle Chandler, 'Friday Night Lights'
Bryan Cranston, 'Breaking Bad'
Matthew Fox, 'Lost'
Michael C. Hall, 'Dexter'
Jon Hamm, 'Mad Men'
Hugh Laurie, 'House'
Who will win: Wow. You could make a case for everyone in this category, given the strong episodes they each submitted. That being said, Bryan Cranston didn't give the Academy any reason to avoid giving him the award for the third year in a row. 'Breaking Bad' had an exceptionally strong season, and it says a lot that I don't even think Cranston was the best actor on his show this year -- Aaron Paul did that good of a job, but he's nominated in the supporting category -- but I still think he will take the prize.
More casting news after the jump.
Sure, DirecTV subscribers have already witnessed the fourth season come and go. But for those of you who have been waiting a small eternity for the network airing of the series -- which revolves around high school football in Dillon, Texas -- here's a telling glimpse at what's to come.
Entering into its fourth season (and second since the NBC/DirecTV deal), Friday Night Lights is a show in transition on numerous levels. The high school football drama returns tonight to DirecTV's 101 Network at 9 p.m. ET (NBC won't air this season until next summer) and for fans of the show, it's an episode they've long been waiting for.
Ever since the season three finale, as Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and his wife Tami (Connie Britton) stepped on to the East Dillon Lions decrepit football field, Eric's new home, the tension has been at an all time high in Dillon, Texas. How can Coach Taylor, a man whom many consider to be a high school football wunderkind, start from scratch with a team that doesn't even exist yet?
Well, DirecTV has finally released a short promo for the new season and guess what? Despite the fact that it features new footage (as opposed to a recycled season three montage), it gives us absolutely nothing.
But it is pretty damn cool to look at. The set up of a tornado-esque storm ripping apart Dillon and culminating in a rift across the football field while everyone just sort of casually watches and walks away is pretty poetic. You know what else would be poetic? Seeing Eric shove his fist down Joe McCoy's throat in the season four premiere. We can only hope.
But, just like the Oscars have expanded to include 10 Best Picture nominees, I think we could make room for a few more actors on this particular ballot. There's definitely one person I want to see make the 2009 Emmy list: Kyle Chandler for Friday Night Lights.
Maybe that's because TV dads never spend much time at work. (We're pretty sure everyone's fathers would sign up for that!) Step into the wonderful make-believe world where every day is Father's Day, and join us as we count down our 20 favorite TV dads.
To be precise, they're two 13-episode seasons. But that's a lot better than what the news was looking like just a few weeks ago. Michael Ausiello reports that the news will be announced "any day now." It confirms news that he broke a couple of weeks ago.
Look, I love the show as much as a die-hard fan can. I've gone so far as to inquire about getting my own Dillon Panther t-shirt. I think Tami and Coach Taylor are the best couple on television. I live by the edict WWCTD (What Would Coach Taylor Do). Yet, despite my need to have"I-heart-Tim-Riggins" tattooed onto my forearm, they still shouldn't bring this show back for another two seasons.
Before fans start the dog-pile, let me make my case after the jump.
Update: For folks (like me) who haven't seen the season already on Direct TV, tread carefully in the comments. They contain spoilers.
(S03E02) That episode title gets right to the heart of one of the main stories this week. Although, perhaps it should have been followed by a question mark. The backlash from Tami's decision to nix the jumbotron, which we all knew was coming, started this week, and things don't look so good for our favorite principal. Meanwhile, Brian continued to search for Smash, Tyra went back to basics for her campaign, Tim and Lyla continued the vicious cycle, and we got a little peek into Matt Saracen's past. It all made for a very good hour of television.
(S03E01) And so begins phase two of NBC's grand Friday Night Lights experiment. The show kicked off it's third season on NBC Friday night, but all of these episodes have already been shown on DirecTV. Allison reviewed the premiere back in October, but we thought we'd run it up the flagpole again and see who salutes.
Despite the delay for those of us without DirecTV, the season premiere made it so easy to slip right back into the series. Most of our favorite Dillonites are back, and we were quickly brought up to speed with what each of them has been up to. We also got a good look at where a lot of these stories will be heading.
In fact, after somewhat coming off the rails last season with Landry and Tyra's murder plot, Riggins and Street in Mexico, and Matt's involvement with Grandma's nurse, this year's shows are focused, complex and definitely back on track.
That starts with Tami and Eric. Coach Taylor remains as coiled as ever, only now the pressure to succeed seems even more intense because of the emergence of J.D. McCoy, the phenom freshman quarterback. J.D.'s pushy father and personal quarterback coach tick Eric off, but he likes the kid and has demoted Matt in order to give the more talented player a chance.
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