Despite now airing on a DirecTV only channel, Friday Night Lights has retained its small but loyal fan base from its days on NBC prime time, and is now in its fourth season.

The show, of which the majority is shot in Austin, follows the seasons of a fictional high school football team in a sort of docudrama style. The small fictitious town of Dillon, Texas lives and breaths high school football, and the team is the lifeblood of the community. It is a show filled with drama, defeat, and triumph.

Despite the shows critical acclaim, it never developed the types of ratings that would please NBC executives. Last season, the show was cut down to 13 episodes.

Many people, including some of the shows actors, believed that after the third season, the show was done for.

I a recent interview with the LA Times blog “Show Tracker” Kyle Chandler, who plays head coach Eric Taylor, said, “The first year we were up against ‘American Idol.’ The second year was the writers strike. The third year we get cut down to 13 episodes. I just assumed that while we had a solid base, the numbers wouldn’t go out the roof. … I just didn’t expect that we would overcome a network’s desire for something fresh.”

However, with a new network (DirecTV’s 101 Network) and a new storyline, Friday Night Lights is back, and is still being filmed in Austin. The show, according to a story by the Austin American Statesman’s Diane Holloway, brings $1.5 million per episode to the city. However, several other states are competing for the rights to have the show filmed in their area. They calim they can cut down production costs, but many believe that filming anywhere other than Central Texas will hurt the show’s authenticity.

For the time being, though, Austin is still home to Friday Night Lights.

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