THE LIGHTS SHINE ON THE FIFTH SEASON OF FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS ON DIRECTV’S THE 101 NETWORK The Final Season of the Critically Acclaimed, Emmy-Winning Drama Will Air Commercial-free Every Wednesday at 9 p.m. El Segundo, CA, August 12, 2010 – Friday Night Lights will return to DIRECTV’s The 101 Network for its the fifth and final season on Wednesday, October 27 at 9 p.m. Lead by recent Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress Emmy nominees Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, the season five cast will feature series regulars Aimee Teegarden, Michael B. Jordan, Matt Lauria, Jurnee Smollett, Madison Burge and newcomer Grey Damon (90210, True Blood). Former cast members Jesse Plemmons, Taylor Kitsch, Scott Porter, Adrianne Palicki and Zach Gilford will return throughout the course of the final season. "Going into season five, knowing it would likely be the final season, everyone involved with the show turned our focus to trying to make the best possible thirteen episodes we could,” said executive producer Jason Katims. “It was moving to watch the writers, cast, producers, directors and everyone on the team pull together like that. We wanted a great ending. We wanted to leave it all on the field." “Friday Night Lights has been integral to The 101 Network’s programming strategy and it has been an honor to be able to provide our viewers with a show of its caliber these past two seasons,” said Derek Chang, EVP Content, Strategy and Development DIRECTV. “As sad as it is to say good-bye to our friends in Dillon, we look forward to this upcoming season and the incredible stories that remain to be told.” 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. After a redistricting plan left the town divided, season four introduced viewers to East Dillon and its inhabitants, creating a new playing field for the series. Season five opens at the start of a new school year and finds Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) an outsider in the world of Texas high school football. As he attempts to reclaim his rightful position within the establishment, Taylor finds himself faced with the challenge of tempering the expectations of the East Dillon Lions’ supporters, while proving to their detractors that they are a force to be reckoned with. Struggling to maintain control of the team he built and the players he’s molded, Coach endeavors to accomplish the impossible. After refusing to compromise her principles to appease the Dillon School Board, Tami joins her husband at East Dillon High doing what she does best, guiding students. Frustrated by what she finds at the school, she sets about to challenge the status quo, despite the resistance she encounters from both the faculty and students. Her efforts to repair a broken system, however, do not go unnoticed and will force her to make a decision that places a strain on the Taylor’s usually steadfast marriage. Meanwhile, Julie (Aimee Teegarden) finds herself adrift at college and enters into an ill-advised relationship that will have serious consequences. Vince (Michael B. Jordan) continues his reign as the Lions’ quarterback, learning that his newfound stardom comes with advantages as well as hardships both on the field and off, as he faces the return of a father (guest star Cress Williams) he barely knows. Luke (Matt Lauria) is forced to face a startling reality about his future and the role that football will play in it. Jess (Jurnee Smollett) struggles to find a place for herself on the Lions as something other than a Rally Girl or member of the Spirit Squad. Becky (Madison Burge), unhappy at home, turns to someone else’s family for support. Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) continues to serve time in jail as a result of the illegal activity at Riggins Rigs, an experience that has left an indelible mark on him and threatens his relationship with Billy (Derek Phillips), the only family he has. Additionally, season five will also feature the return of several characters from past seasons. Fan favorites Jason Street (Scott Porter), Tyra Collette (Adrianne Palicki), Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford), Landry Clarke (Jesse Plemons) and Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) will return to Dillon throughout the course of the season. In April of 2008, NBC, Universal Media Studios and DIRECTV formed a bold, multi-platform partnership to launch the third season of the critically acclaimed drama series. The season was broadcast initially on DIRECTV’s The 101 Network and subsequently telecast on NBC later in the 2008-09 season. In March of 2009, Universal Media Studios and DIRECTV extended this innovative partnership to produce 26 episodes that would launch the fourth and fifth seasons of "Friday Night Lights," with the series again airing first on DIRECTV’s The 101 Network and then subsequently on NBC. The series is executive produced by Peter Berg, Jason Katims, Brian Grazer, David Nevins, David Hudgins and Sarah Aubrey. Friday Night Lights is a production of Imagine Entertainment, Universal Media Studios and Film 44.