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Peter Berg, while speaking on a panel for his upcoming Prime Suspect remake for NBC, has gone public with news that had been rumored since last year: a new Friday Night Lights movie is in “active development.” The original film’s director and TV spin-off writer/developer said a script is in the works based on the NBC show and he hopes to start production in the next year
Friday Night Lights has had a tumultuous production history. Originally, Berg directed the 2004 film based on the book by H.G. Bissinger. A well-received film without massive success, Berg was able to shepherd the project into a television series for NBC that held similar themes while crafting a fictional Texas town where football was a religion. Kyle Chandler (Super 8) starred as the head football coach and Connie Britton (the original “Lights” film) as his wife.
From there the series garnered universal acclaim, but had difficulty building an audience. The second season suffered backlash from the 2007-2008 writers’ strike, which resulted in a 15-episode season that killed whatever momentum it had built.
Due to the nature of the story arc, the aftershock of the strike and a decline in marketing power, the show came dangerously close to cancellation. But in came DirecTV, which saved the show by giving it a special deal that ensured the it would have a total of five seasons. The show aired all new episodes from Season 3 onwards on DirecTV first, followed by airings on NBC. This continued until NBC aired the final episode last month.
Throughout its run, the show has received near-widespread acclaim, earning numerous industry nominations and wins while famously being snubbed at the Emmys for major categories (up until Season 4). The show also won a Peabody Award, which is the highest honor you can hope to earn in television and radio. With an incredibly dedicated and vocal following, Berg—who directs next summer’s Battleship with “Lights” star Taylor Kitsch—is hoping to make a bigger wave by bringing the TV cast to the big screen for another game.
Anything that gets this show more press is good, in one writer’s forward opinion.