Category: Friday Night Lights

DirectTV adds 'Hit and Miss' with Chloe Sevigny to its slate

"Hit and Miss" starring Chloë Sevigny to air on DirectTV
DirectTV's Audience Network continues to build its slate, serving as U.S. broadcaster of the new British series "Hit and Miss."

"Hit and Miss" stars Chloe Sevigny ("Big Love," "Boys Don’t Cry") as a contract assassin who also happens to be a pre-op transsexual. Making for a more chaotic life, she learns she fathered a son more than a decade ago. Such a concept could only come from Emmy winner Paul Abbott, the man behind the unconventional family of "Shameless."

Audience Network might mostly be known as a destination for struggling acquired series. It rescued NBC's "Friday Night Lights," airing first-run episodes of the series after its second season, and taking on FX's "Damages" as it entered its fourth season. But "Hit and Miss" marks yet another original series picked up by DirectTV that was produced in another country -- others include Canadian entries "Call Me Fitz" and "Less Than Kind" and past series "Rake" and "Underbelly" from Australia

"Hit and Miss" is set to first air in Britain on Sky Atlantic in January and to kick off its DirecTV run the following month.

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-- Yvonne Villarreal
Twitter.com/villarrealy

Photo: Chloe Sevigny in Beverly Hills on Jan. 11. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times

Emmys 2011: 'Friday Night Lights' star stakes out her territory

Connie Britton

"Friday Night Lights" star Connie Britton was mobbed at the sinks in the first floor ladies room at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live before the Emmy Awards ceremony began. Women kept approaching her as she washed her hands, proffering compliments to the actress, who was wearing a strapless, rust-colored gown with a blond bodice, her strawberry blond hair long and flowing. "Connie, you look gorgeous!" they cooed.

"Connie we hope you win tonight!" one woman said. The actress replied: "I'm going to stand here all night," adding emphatically, "I AM NOT MOVING."

"Friday Night Lights" has four Emmy nominations.

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-- Meg James

Photo: Connie Britton arrives to the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

2011 Emmy nominations: Stars talk about working, being nominated and celebrating

Hall The nominations for the 2011 Emmy Awards were announced early this morning, with plenty of surprises mixed in with the evergreens. (See the full list here.)

The Los Angeles Times spoke to a number of nominees about the Emmys and the roles that nabbed them a chance at an award.

Some nominees -- like "Justified's" Walton Goggins -- didn't even try to downplay their excitement: "I feel like I’m floating in a vat of liquid gratitude," he said. "It’s surreal. This may never happen again in my lifetime but to go through this experience now, it doesn’t get better than this." 

Idris Elba, who was nominated both for his role in "Luther" and a guest role on "The Big C," was doubly knocked out : "It’s incredible. You wait for one bus and two come along. They’re both great surprises."

Matthew Weiner is no Emmy newbie, but he still seemed thrilled: "There’s something extra sweet about it because, four years into it, you just don’t expect to be in it." He also revealed that he already had an ending in mind for the series, three seasons down the line. "I do. I do. I do. I do have an ending in mind." So what is it? We'll have to wait, apparently. Said Weiner, "I’m keeping it close to the vest in case I change my mind."

"Mad Men's" John Slattery -- who has received a supporting actor nomination for every season "Mad Men" has been on the air -- spoke eloquently about inhabiting the role of Roger: "On TV, the most challenging thing is not to assume you know how your character would react just because you’ve played it for years. You want to deliver the joke, but you don’t want your character to be a joke. Also, people wonder about the clothes and the cigarettes and the drinks -- but you don’t play the period, you play the scene. You play each moment as it comes."

Michael C. Hall, who is nominated once again for his role on "Dexter," talked about the particular challenges this past season: "In the fifth season we sort of had to take responsibility for the mess in Dexter’s world. He had a big share in Rita’s death. It was difficult to try to play this guy who maintains some sort of disconnect from his emotions and still process all of that."

And Johnny Galecki of "Big Bang Theory" spoke about playing a character smarter than he is: "I’d say he’s much more intelligent than I am. I can only pretend to think like this guy. I can understand how he feels as [if he's] the underdog outcast. That is something I can relate to. I wasn’t the most popular kid growing up."

Matt LeBlanc knows all about awards: "I’m familiar with not winning," he joked.  Asked if he'd spoken to any of his costars from "Episodes," he quipped, "They’re probably bitter and angry. I’ll call them and rub it in. They’re all in London."

For Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton of "Friday Night Lights," the nominations are a lovely complement to the end of the series. Said Britton, "After five seasons, it just feels incredible to have the show recognized. It was long deserved, I think." Chandler talked about hearing the news: "My wife came out and said, 'Guess what, you just got nominated!' I immediately asked, 'What about Connie?' She told me that she got one too. Then she shoved me in the swimming pool."

 VergaraMireille Enos of "The Killing" talked about the backlash to the show's finale. "I loved the reaction," she said. "It's evidence of how attached people had gotten to the show. My hunch is that the people who are screaming loudest are the ones who are going to be the first to watch the next season."

Who was overlooked? Slattery mentioned "Mad Men's" Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Pete Campbell.

And what about the stiffest competition among fellow nominees? "Modern Family" star Sofia Vergara pointed to  certain popular octogenarian: "Betty White is on the list, that can’t be good for anyone."

Michael C. Hall couldn't choose one name. "Oh, gosh, I don’t know. It’s strange," he said. "We’re not running a 100-yard dash. We’re all doing very different things. It’s a strange thing deciding whose is best. Good luck to the voters doing that."

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-- Joy Press

Photo: Top: Michael C. Hall at The Los Angeles Times' 3rd Annual The Envelope: Primetime Emmy Screening Series panel in Los Angeles. Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images. Bottom: Sofia Vergara in "Modern Family." Credit: ABC.

Television Academy Honors honors 8 shows 'with a conscience'

With its Television Academy Honors, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will pay tribute to eight programs that demonstrate the power of television to change attitudes and exemplify "television with a conscience."

The honorees selected for the fourth annual event, which will be held May 5 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, explored a range of issues including sexual abuse and assault, racism and teen pregnancy, living with a life-threatening disease and good nutrition in the fight against childhood obesity.

The recipients include "The Big C," "Friday Night Lights," "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution," "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Parenthood" and "Private Practice."

Documentaries to be honored include HBO's "Wartorn 1861-2010" and ESPN's "The 16th Man."

-- Greg Braxton

Tweeter's Digest: The week in TV tweets

Snooki What better way to look at the events of the week than through the eyes of TV personalities?

This week, Joe Jonas celebrates the Super Bowl, Keith Olbermann celebrates his new job, Howard Stern celebrates his new Twitter feed. Meanwhile, Dr. Drew defends Lindsay Lohan, reality stars collide -- and actors keep an eye on Egypt. See them tweet after the jump

— Joy Press
twitter.com/joypress

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'Friday Night Lights' comes to an end: A salute to the Taylor marriage

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America's favorite TV married couple -- Eric and Tami Taylor of "Friday Night Lights" -- signs off on Wednesday when the series finale airs on DirecTV.

In December, The Times took Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton to lunch at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills to talk about how they memorably and convincingly portrayed a happy and highly functional marriage for five seasons.

The two actors agree that two ingredients helped them forge their partnership: their strong friendship off-screen and the unique way in which the show was filmed -- documentary-style, with three cameras, no rehearsals and plenty of improvisation.

"One of the joys of doing the show, especially now after having been there, was the fact that we were able to take the material and infuse it, at times change it, and twist it into what you see," Chandler said. "A lot of shows wouldn't have that camaraderie or collusion or the collaboration of all parties to change those things. They get lost in the mix.

"Stepping away from it, I don't think I could be more learned in trusting myself in making decisions now," he continued. "I can really see behind material now. I couldn't do that before this show. And because I got to go behind it and stretch it and play with it and do all these things that we did, as a performer and an artist, it really changed my whole fabric. It helped me to see things I don't know."

Britton said other TV shows would benefit from looking at the "Friday Night Lights" business model.

"Walking away from it, I know now so much more clearly not only what I enjoy creatively but what is going to allow me to do the best work I can do," she said. "Not only those things but also what makes people work together generally better. Our show was so collaborative. Everybody on set and everybody on the cast felt so empowered and had such ownership over it. It was a very safe and trusting environment."

To read the full feature about the success of the Taylor marriage go here.

Warning: The article does not contain spoilers about the series finale but does address story lines in the fifth season.

"Friday Night Lights" ends on DirectTV on Wednesday. The fifth (and final) season premieres on NBC on April 15 but will be available on DVD on April 5.

-- Maria Elena Fernandez

twitter.com/writerchica


Photo: Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills in December. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

 

2010 Favorite TV Duos

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TV's full of wonderful pairings. It was hard to narrow it down to 10, so we offer you our Baker's dozen.


1. Sally and Glen of "Mad Men." Our dear Little Sally (played by Kiernan Shipka) has grown into a pre-teen -- one who likes boys. And Glenn (Marten Weiner) is the perfect crush candidate: he's a fellow kid of divorce AND her mother isn't fond of him. Plus, he gets Sally. And their phone calls kind of make us swoon.

2. Virginia and Burt of "Raising Hope." Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt have amazing comedic chemistry together and are totally believebale as this hapless but loving couple.

3. Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) and Blake (Scott Porter) of "The Good Wife."  She's a badass with killer detective skills. He's a badass with killer detective skills. So, naturally, they're rivals--despite working for the same people. And we love every minute of their tortured chemistry.

4. Eric and Tami Taylor (Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton) of "Friday Night Lights." Is there a better husband and wife on TV? Not by a longshot.

5. Cameron and Mitchell (Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson). "Modern Family" is full of winning combinations but just for trying so hard to get Lily into a good daycare, we recognize this hilarious romantic pair. (Also: Mitchell's flash mob and Cameron's biker shorts).

6. Sue and Becky of "Glee." If you don't love the sweet and wise Becky, you have no heart. The sweet and sour combination of Lauren Potter and Jane Lynch is one of "Glee's" best gifts to its fans. (Campaign for Becky as ruler of the free world starts now).

7. Mike and Molly of "Mike & Molly." The only thing excessive about this couple is their adorableness factor. He buys her tubs of shampoo and conditioner. She puts up with his overbearing mother. Together, they bring RomCom moments to the small screen every week. We're dreading the day when there's trouble in paradise.

8. LaFayette and Jesus of "True Blood." Besides all the hotness this pair exudes, how can we not be happy for LaFayette after all he's been through? Who cares if his new man is a brujo? Kudos to Nelson Ellis and Kevin Alejandro.

9. Jacob and the Man in Black on "Lost." Mark Pellegrino and Titus Welliver's mental chess game was riveting to watch. Why couldn't they both be right?

10. Raylan and Boyd of "Justified." Who needs Blair and Serena? Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins play the best frenemies on TV these days.

11. Olivia and Peter of "Fringe." Finally! There is love on "Fringe." We realize technically it was between Bolivia (Anna Torv) and Peter (Joshua Jackson) but there is hope.

12. Hank and Britt of "Terriers." What makes the cancellation of this FX series so heart-breaking is how wonderful these two actors were together. Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James need to be cast on another show together pronto.

13. Lisa and Giggy of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." For weeks we've been oh-too-happy to get jiggy with Giggy. The miniature pooch and his loveable owner, Lisa Vanderpump, put Danielle Staub and her yanked weave to shame. The Gigga man even has his own Twitter account.

 

 


--Yvonne Villarreal and Maria Elena Fernandez

twitter.com/villarrealy

twitter.com/writerchica

Photo: Kiernan Shipka and Marten Weiner as Sally and Glen on "Mad Men." Credit: AMC

'Friday Night Lights' Season 5, Episode 4: 'Keep Looking'

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As "Friday Night Lights" moves into the meat of its final, 13-episode season, this week's Show Tracker will take a slightly different format. Below is a look at some of this season's major storylines, and what has -- and hasn't -- been working.

Becky's domestic troubles: Story developments like the one that greeted Madison Burge's Becky  give "Friday Night Lights" fans near-unconditional faith in writers, cast and producers to work their way out of any potentially tired plot. So far this season, viewers have seen Becky hurt, wounded and unwanted just about everywhere she goes. Even when she's with her peers and seemingly leading a dance-planning committee, all of Becky's ideas are tossed aside for "Texas Luau."

It was an unexpected "Friday Night Lights" veteran who came to the rescue: Stacey Oristano's Mindy Collette. For much of five seasons, Mindy has been on the periphery, keeping Derek Phillips' Billy Riggins in check or offering some comic relief. Seeing the stripper-turned-housewife fight off her baby fat with some aggressive Jazzercise-like moves, all while giving Becky the cold shoulder, was an amusingly colorful snapshot of suburban life.

As was the heart-to-heart Becky and Mindy would have when Mindy broke the news that her boss at the Landing Strip believed her behind was too large to be granted any night shifts. Working the day shift, Mindy said, would mean dancing to farmers, and "farmers are the worst tippers." It was Becky who rose to the occasion with some negotiating advice, and in one of the most oddly sentimental scenes in the show's history, reminded Mindy that her regular customers "probably miss you." A visibly touched Mindy responded with a weary "thank you."

So when Mindy saw Becky being dumped back into a hairy domestic situation, Mindy flashed the traits that will make this struggling stripper a fine mother. She not only agreed to take Becky in, but did so with some wit and perspective. "She needs a role model," Mindy said. "I think unfortunately in this situation, we are the role models."

Here comes little Buddy: The growth and change of Brad Leland's Buddy Garrity has been one of the biggest accomplishments of "Friday Night Lights," and the return this week of Little Buddy, portrayed this season by Jeff Rosick, gives Buddy a brand new project. First, it's worth noting how closely Rosick resembles Leland, and his baggy shorts and scruffy hair go a long ways toward making him embody the slacker, pot-smoking loser of the Garrity family.

Additionally, it's always nice when Buddy can flash a little Texas pride, as he does when Little Buddy expresses disdain for "seitan," a meat substitute he's sampled while living in California. "Nature already has meat," Buddy responds. "It's called a cow."  

We see Little Buddy fumbling around and screwing up, and viewers get the sense that Little Buddy wants to improve his life, but just can't help himself. Buddy believes he has the answer: Football.

When Kyle Chandler's Eric Taylor questions whether Little Buddy can play, Buddy shrugs it off. "Of course he can play. He's a Garrity." Going forward, it will be curious to see if Little Buddy struggles on the football field rather than tapping into some superhero Garrity genes. The disappointment in Buddy, and the further havoc it could wreak on Little Buddy, would no doubt be tragic, but Dillon, Texas, isn't where you go for happy endings.

Continue reading »

'Friday Night Lights' Season 5, Episode 3: 'The Right Hand of the Father'

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There's a moment in a "Friday Night Lights" season when everything -- almost everything, at least -- seems to click. The point last season, for instance, when Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly) came back to Dillon, Texas, and illustrated the maturity gap between those who stayed in the small town and those who bolted.

This season, the last for NBC/DirecTV's "Friday Night Lights," the stride was hit early in Episode 3. After two solid episodes laying the groundwork for the drama to unfold over the course of the next few months, the series was ready to get its hands dirty. No more setting up was needed, and the show's trademark intimate camera angles were ready to pop in and out of all the various action happening in and around Dillon, paying no heed to hitting every detail.

An example: The East Dillon Lions are now 2-0. Viewers didn't see that game unfold, and there was no need. While some may miss the choreographed football scenes, "Friday Night Lights" has a way of making one feel as if life isn't slowing down when the cameras are off. 

The focus, however, can deftly change from week to week. New faces introduced in Episodes 1 and 2 had little or no role in Episode 3. It looked as if Connie Britton's Tami Taylor was going to have her hands full with a burnout named Epyck, but that was before Denise Williamson's Maura emerged as Dillon's very own little Ke$ha. She's a girl with a sarcastic tongue who thinks getting drunk and naked is all a hoot, even if it appears on YouTube and garners -- gasp -- 2,000 hits. Small towns, as Miranda Lambert has noted, have a way of making everyone feel like they're a celebrity.  

This week's episode was a showcase for the two most stable figures in the series' five seasons, the husband and wife team of Tami and Kyle Chandler's Eric Taylor. The two delivered numerous knock-out speeches, ones that slyly lecture their pupils but leave them with a choice rather than a punishment.

Continue reading »

'Friday Night Lights' Season 5, Episode 2 recap: On the outside looking in

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It takes a special girl to inspire a guy to trade a pig for her. But Beckly Sproles is worth far more than a boar to Luke Cafferty.

If that sounds like some sort of joke, it isn't. There are plenty of standard TV issues handled in "Friday Night Lights." You've got your mother-daughter fights, your teenage pregnancy and, of course, your mysterious bad girl who smokes cigarettes in the bathroom. Yet the series, set in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas, largely has skirted clichés. 

As "Friday Night Lights" ramps up its final season, it's natural to watch it with a slight nervousness. Critically beloved and commercially ignored, the show was at its best in Season 4, adding new layers of racial and class tension to its football-centric themes. Running now as a shortened season on DirecTV, there won't be much time to make up for late-in-the-game missteps.

Continue reading »

'Friday Night Lights' Season 5, Episode 1 recap: Expectations

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Season premieres of "Friday Night Lights" feel a bit like the first day of school. There's a nervous tentativeness that hangs over the show. New characters are introduced, and one gets the sense that everyone is by and large on their best behavior. The drama is there, but it's on the periphery, having been tidied up only to have the residents of the fictional town of Dillon, Texas, muck it all up over the course of the season. 

In terms of introductions, there's a bad girl named Epyck, who in Episode 1 is only alluded to, and there's the worn-out, happy-hour-organizing teacher, Laurel, who may or may not give our guidance counselor hero Tami Taylor (Connie Britton) some trouble. Then there's a basketball-playing newbie in Hastings Ruckle, a sharp young lad who has some tough words about those who play the sport that makes the world of "Friday Night Lights" go round.

They're all a bunch of "toolbags," says Ruckle. Played by Grey Damon, who comes off as a cross between Robert Pattinson and "Friday Night Lights" mainstay Taylor Kitsch, Ruckle is the intelligent outsider, the one who declares that football "celebrates the worst insincts of American culture." 

Naw, replies Kyle Chandler's Eric Taylor. Football celebrates "teamwork and character." Coach Taylor, as "FNL" fans know, is ever the optimist, as for four seasons, first on NBC and now on DirecTV, football has been the center of plenty of turmoil. The ol' game of pigskin has inspired looks at race relations, class warfare, academic funding and sexual politics. And here Ruckle thought it was just a bunch of X's and O's knocking the daylights out of each other. 

Continue reading »

Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler have very different reactions to their Emmy nominations

FNL For four years, the TV universe has wondered how "Friday Night Lights" stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton have been overlooked in the acting categories.

On Thursday, they finally nabbed nominations. But, it seems like it hadn't sunk in or something for Chandler. At least, the way Britton tells it. (And, yes, we always take her side).

"I talked to Kyle briefly this morning," Britton said. "He literally could not talk. I was like, 'What is wrong with you?' And he said, 'I was up till 4:30 in the morning, shooting his football game scene. How was that conference?' "

Britton's character, Tammi, was away at a conference and not at the game with her husband, Coach Taylor. In other words, Britton wasn't working, and Chandler was just noting it.

"He was in work mode. I was in 'This is so exciting!' mode.

Chandler and Britton's easy off-screen chemistry has made their onscreen marriage and partnership one of the most memorable relationships on television. 

"It's so gratifying because we have just been fortunate on this show regardless," Britton said. "We've had such amazing support from fans and critics -- the fact that that never translated to Emmy noms for the show was something we never really understood. It's satisfying enough that the people who are watching it are enjoying it. That's the true measure of success. With Kyle and I both nominated, it's almost like the whole show being recognized."

Better late then never. As Britton pointed out, the NBC series is currently in production on "the final two episodes of the show ever!"


-- Yvonne Villarreal and Maria Elena Fernandez

twitter.com/villarrealy

twitter.com/writerchica

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List of Emmy nominations

Photo: Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler. Credit: Justin Stephens / NBC


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