Hordes of television heavy hitters crowd into Austin, Texas this weekend (June 9-12) for the annual ATX Television Festival for a weekend of panels, screenings and other television-related events. According to the ATX website, ” Our focus is on the celebration of the medium: looking back at its history, where it is now, and where it is headed.”
As Deadline reports, this year, industry favorite Friday Night Lights, a one-hour drama about high school football in small town Texas that ran from 2006-2011, had a 10-year high school reunion, as it were, when they reunited at an event at the festival. The event was, in fact, staged like a high school rally and included Friday Night Lights Alumni like actors Gaius Charles, Scott Porter, Adrianne Palicki, Jesse Plemons, Matt Lauria, Brad Leland, Louanne Stephens and Connie Britton as well as Executive Producer Jason Katims. The only noticeable omission from the event was the star of the show, Kyle Chandler, who played Coach Taylor, the inspirational football coach, who brought people together through the sport of football.
Friday Night Lights was produced for NBC starting in 2006. By its second season in 2007, the show was nearly cancelled. However, rather than shutting the show down, DirectTV made a play for it produced three more seasons of the series. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune in 2007, then head of NBC Entertainment, Kevin Reilly described the show as not having great ratings, but having a “very fervent fanbase.” As such, it’s no wonder the ATX Television Festival found a way to reunite the cast five years later. According to Deadline, the event included a screening of an episode, musical performances and other entertainments. The cast even got together for a reunion photo, courtesy of Twitter:
— Scott Porter (@ScottPorter) June 11, 2016
The cast of Friday Night Lights have not been resting on their laurels the past five years. Kyle Chandler, former star of the show, now stars in drama Bloodline for Netflix. Connie Britton, who played Chandler’s wife on the show, now stars in country music drama Nashville. Executive Producer Jason Katims has gone on to work on Parenthood, About a Boy and The Path.
Other events planned for the weekend’s ATX Television Festival include a panel from some of the creatives involved in popular series The O.C. as well as a writers room reunion for the writers involved on popular FX series The Shield.