via DirecTV press release:
IT’S EAST VS. WEST, LIONS VS. PANTHERS WHEN
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS RETURNS FOR SEASON FOUR
OCTOBER 28th ONLY ON DIRECTV’S THE 101 NETWORK
The Critically Acclaimed Drama Will Air Commercial-free
Every Wednesday at 9 p.m.
El Segundo, Calif., September 10, 2009 – Viewers will meet the East Dillon Lions when the fourth season of the critically acclaimed and Emmy-winning drama series Friday Night Lights premieres October 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on DIRECTV’s The 101 Network. Executive Producer Peter Berg (“Hancock”) will direct the season premiere, returning to the series as director for the first time since directing the show’s pilot in 2006. Four new additions to the cast, as well as the returning characters, will be central to the fourth and fifth seasons of the show.
Expanding on the hit feature film and best-selling book “Friday Night Lights,” the award-winning show centers on life in Dillon, Texas, where high school football brings the community together -- and the drama of small town life threatens to tear it apart. As season four opens, a redistricting plan has left Dillon a town divided. Having been ousted from his role as head coach at Dillon High School, Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) finds himself faced with the daunting task of building a football team from scratch as well as motivating and disciplining the unmanageable East Dillon Lions players. Tensions follows Coach Taylor off the field and into the home as he and Tami (Connie Britton), who remains Principal of West Dillon High, find themselves increasingly at odds with one another and the adversarial roles the redistricting has forced upon them. As one of the main proponents of redistricting Dillon, Tami bears the brunt of criticism from very unhappy parents and students who have been zoned out of West Dillon and into less desirable East Dillon.
“This season opener is practically a pilot in itself. It puts Coach Taylor at the center of the action in a new school, with a new team, and many new challenges,” said executive producer Jason Katims. “In addition to the returning cast, we are introducing a host of new characters who will become integral to the fourth and fifth season of the show.”
An integral member of the newly formed East Dillon Lions is Vince (All My Children alum Michael B. Jordan), whose incredible speed positions him as the Lions best, and possibly only, hope despite his undisciplined skills and unpredictable temper. Vince quickly finds himself at odds with the team’s new pretty boy and rising star player Luke (Lipstick Jungle’s Matt Lauria). The running back held great promise playing with the Dillon Panthers, however, due to the redistricting lines he is now forced to play for the East Dillon Lions. Other newcomers include Jess (Jurnee Smollett, The Great Debaters), the daughter of a onetime NFL hopeful, who is an expert in the sport and will prove to be a crucial part of the new East Dillon team; and Becky, played by newcomer Madison Burge. Becky is a fifteen-year-old beauty queen who isn't afraid to use her looks to get what, and who, she wants and quickly establishes herself at the top of the East Dillon social hierarchy.
The upcoming fourth season will also focus on the fate of several returning characters including last season’s graduates Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch), Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly), and Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford) as well as Julie Taylor (Aimee Teegarden) and Landry Clark (Jesse Plemons), whose lives have also been affected by the town’s redistricting. Additionally, Coach Taylor finds himself further troubled by a new rivalry with his former team, the Dillon Panthers, headed up by his replacement Wade Aikman (Drew Waters) and the man who masterminded his downfall, Joe McCoy (D.W Moffett).
In March, Universal Media Studios and DIRECTV – the nation’s No. 1 satellite service TV service - extended their innovative and multi-platform partnership from last year to produce 26 episodes that would launch the fourth and fifth seasons of "Friday Night Lights," with the series airing first on DIRECTV’s The 101 Network and then subsequently on NBC with 13 episodes each during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. NBC will premiere season four in late spring or early summer 2010.
The series is executive produced by Peter Berg, Jason Katims, Brian Grazer, David Nevins and Sarah Aubrey. Friday Night Lights is a production of Imagine Entertainment, Universal Media Studio and Film 44.
About DIRECTV’s The 101® Network
The 101 Network, DIRECTV’s exclusive entertainment channel, is a unique television experience that is available to 18.3 million DIRECTV subscribers. In 2008, the network changed the television landscape with the unprecedented third season premiere of the Emmy Award-winning series Friday Night Lights and has since become the premiere destination for diverse, quality and critically acclaimed programming. Through its partnerships with leading television and film studios, networks and top cable channels, The 101 Network offers viewers the finest in drama and comedy, with daring, innovative series, exclusive “sneak peek” programming and premium cable series un-cut in their original form. The 101 Network showcases concert specials from superstar artists and celebrated music festivals such as SXSW Live and Farm Aid, sporting events such as UFC Fighter exposés and the annual DIRECTV Celebrity Beach Bowl; as well as feature films and TV movie specials.