"Friday Night Lights" (NBC, 8 p.m.) closes out its fourth season tonight with a Thanksgiving-themed episode heading up to the final showdown between East and West Dillon.
When it's at the top of its game -- which has been most of this season -- "FNL" is among TV's finest offerings, and it was nice to see Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton get recognized with Best Actor/Actress nominations this year for their roles of Coach and Mrs. Taylor. Speaking of which, Zach Gilford, who plays former quarterback Matt Saracen, was robbed of a nomination given his fine work this year.
"FNL" has always been a tough show to sell. While it features a lot of good-looking teen actors (well, actors in their 20s playing teens, technically), it's never been about selling sex the way CW shows do. And while football is a theme of the show, it's not what it's all about, though many viewers didn't realize this.
It's hard to think of a show on the air right now that presents as realistic a view of everyday life as much as "FNL" -- drugs, teen pregnancy, poverty, crime and general life in a small town hard hit by the recession. It's truly a slice of Americana.
With next season to be its likely last (again shown in the format where the episodes will air on DirecTV in the fall, followed by them being shown on NBC beginning in the late spring), it's important to enjoy this series while you can, because there won't be many like it once it's gone.
WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: Also new tonight are "Flashpoint" (CBS, 10 p.m.) and the SyFy series "Eureka" and "Haven," beginning at 9 p.m.
On Saturday, "Being Human" (BBC America, 9 p.m.) is brand new. Remember when programming your recording device, the episodes run an hour and 15 minutes.
On Sunday, ABC has new episodes of "Scoundrels" and "The Gates," beginning at 9 p.m.
Exhibition football kicks off with the Bengals and the Cowboys (NBC, 8 p.m.)
On cable, AMC has new episodes of "Rubicon" at 9 p.m. and "Mad Men" at 10 p.m.
Tom Skeritt guest stars on "Leverage" (TNT, 9 p.m.) as Nate's dad.
Finally, on cable, "True Blood" (HBO, 9 p.m.) finally seems to be picking up the pace, followed by "Hung" and "Entourage."
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