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

February 7, 2011 |  6:00 am


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

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