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it was a critical success, lauded for its realistic portrayal of Middle America and deep exploration of its central characters.
The show appeared on a number of best lists and was awarded a Peabody Award, a Humanitas Prize, a Television Critics Association Award and several technical Primetime Emmy Awards.
David Edwards, a football player from San Antonio’s Madison High, was paralyzed during a November 2003 game.
Berg was at the game when this accident occurred; he was profoundly affected by Edwards' injury and how it overturned his life. While relying on a script each week, the producers decided at the outset to allow the cast leeway in what they said and did on the show.
This freedom was complemented by filming without rehearsal and without extensive blocking.
Camera operators were trained to follow the actors, rather than having the actors stand in one place with cameras fixed around them.
At the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards, the show was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series. "Buzz" Bissinger's non-fiction book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream (1990) and the 2004 film based on it.
Some of the scenes were filmed at Texas School for the Deaf.
Series star Kyle Chandler said: "When I look back at my life, I'm going to say, 'Wow, [executive producer] Peter Berg really changed my life.'" Executive producer and head writer Jason Katims echoed this sentiment, saying: "When I first came on [the FNL] set, I thought, it’s interesting – this is what I imagined filmmaking would be, before I saw what filmmaking was." Friday Night Lights is unusual for using actual locations rather than stage sets and sound stage.
These factors together with reliance on filming hundreds of locals as extras, gives the series an authentic feel and look.
The show uses this small-town backdrop to address many issues facing contemporary American culture, including family values, school funding, racism, drugs, abortion and lack of economic opportunities.
Produced by NBCUniversal, Friday Night Lights premiered on October 3, 2006, and aired for two seasons on NBC.