CFP: [Film] Television: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS Anthology

full name / name of organization: 
Jonathan Lupo
contact email: 
jonlupo@gmail.com

CFP: Edited Collection – “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Friday Night Lights”

Proposals are invited for an edited collection on the television series Friday Night Lights. The
editor is interested in essays that discuss and analyze the program from multiple critical,
cultural, theoretical, and industrial perspectives.

One of the most critically-acclaimed series of recent years, Friday Night Lights has earned a
passionate following despite its low ratings. Winner of the Peabody Award and based on a
successful nonfiction book and hit movie, Friday Night Lights follows the citizens of a struggling
Texas town as they pin their hopes on the high school football team. In addition to the pressures
placed on the team and its coach, Friday Night Lights has tackled social issues such as drug
abuse, physical disability, racism, infidelity, and mental illness. Shot on location in Austin, the
show employs a verité visual style which features multiple-cameras and uses mostly available
lighting; this verisimilitude is matched by the naturalistic dialogue and performances.

Friday Night Lights also serves as an effective case study of the promotional and programming
challenges of broadcast television in the post-network era. Notwithstanding its print and filmic
forerunners and the near-universal critical acclaim of its first season, the show struggled to find
a broad audience on NBC. Initially framed as a sports drama, the show pivoted toward a focus on
relationships in a bid to appeal to a female audience, downplaying football. After a critically
lukewarm and strike-shortened second season, Friday Night Lights was renewed in a unique deal
with DirecTV in which the satellite provider received exclusive first-run episodes (to be shown
months later on broadcast television). The success of this arrangement may serve as a model of
production for low-rated “quality TV” in the future.

The volume seeks essays on individual episodes and characters as well as thematic pieces on
themes identified above. The editor encourages work on the following issues as well as others
from multiple disciplinary approaches:

• Depiction of religion
• Small-town life
• Issues of masculinity
• Teenage sexuality
• Regionalism
• Comparison of book and/or film incarnations
• Visual style and mode of production
• Marriage
• Homosociality
• Genres (sports movies/TV shows & teen drama)
• Marketing Strategies – quality TV drama / Teen soap
• Role in the re-branding of DirecTV
• Discourses of Quality TV
• Representations of race & ethnicity
• Critical reception
• Multiple fan “save our show” campaigns

Abstracts should be 350-500 words and include a short biography. Final essays will be 5,000-
7,000 words. Please send proposal and bio by November 17 via Word attachment to Jonathan
Lupo at jonlupo_at_gmail.com or through post to:

Dr. Jonathan Lupo
213B Eddy Building
Department of Communication Studies
1783 Campus Delivery
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1783

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Received on Fri Oct 10 2008 - 15:41:23 EDT

cfp categories: 
film_and_television