Shows Like Friday Night Lights – Are You In For Some Sports Drama?

Friday Night Lights ran its last play in 2011. Yet, fans are still looking for shows like Friday Night Lights. The American sports drama aired on NBC and DirecTV for five seasons. You can always rewatch it if you like some football drama.

What made Friday Night Lights so amazing? Well, it mixes high school sports, the American dream, and small-town family drama perfectly. The amazing cast led by Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Taylor Kitsch, Scott Porter, Zach Gilford, Michael B. Jordan, and others did an amazing job as well. Many of them got their career launched thanks to the popular TV show.

Peter Berg developed the series inspired by the 1990 nonfiction book by H.G. Bissinger. Berg also adapted the book as a 2004 film of the same name.

The series follows a high school football team in the fictional town of Dillon, a small community in rural West Texas. The ensemble cast is all associated with football and high school. While the show is set in a small town, it still manages to address many of the issues in contemporary American culture. Friday Night Lights talks about family values, school funding, drugs, abortion, racism, and many more topics.

The show never garnered a sizeable audience, but it was still a critical success. Many experts praised it for the realistic portrayal of Middle America. The show has earned a Primetime Emmy Nomination and won a Peabody Award and Television Critics Association Award.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at other best shows like Friday Night Lights. Can we find other characters like Coach Taylor and Tim Riggins? Of course.

Swagger

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Apple TV had a similar show about the world of youth sports. The main difference? Swagger is about a basketball team and basketball drama.

This show takes a look at the competitive world of AAU basketball in the Pacific Northwest. Isaiah Hill portrays Jace Carson, a 14-year-old hoops phenom who wants to hold his position as the Number 1 ranked prospect in the country.

The show also talks about families and coaches that work and try to provide an opportunity for the kids in the basketball world.

Kingdom

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Here is another sports drama, this one about mixed martial arts. The MMA drama has managed to capture the feel and raw magic of Friday Night Lights perfectly.

Byron Balasco created the show that ran for three seasons on DirecTV. The series revolves around the sport and uses it to send a powerful and emotionally complex message about purpose, family, glory, and more.

Frank Grillo stars in the main role as Alvey Kulina. He is a former fighter who now runs his gym in Southern California and trains other fighters. Matt Lauria, who also appeared in Friday Night Lights, portrays a former champion in the gym.

Titletown High

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FNL was able to authentically capture the cultural importance of high school football in the South. Titletown High is a show by Netflix that tries to do the same.

The Netflix original series follows several teens on the football team in Valdosta, Georgia. Similar to FNL, you get to experience the real-life love for the game.

The story is about a team that hasn’t won a national title since 1992 and their attempt to recapture the glory under a new head coach.

Parenthood

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If you loved the family drama in Friday Night Lights, you will respect this show. It is a story about a multigenerational family. They struggle with the challenges of marriage, raising the children, and supporting each other through life.

This TV show gives viewers a multi-layered portrait of an extended family that many loved in FNL. Based on the 1989 movie of the same name, it was adapted for television by FNL showrunner Jason Katims.

The ensemble cast includes Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Erika Christensen, and Dax Shepard.

Ted Lasso

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This is another show about sports. And it is centered on an influential and beloved coach. Watching the show you can feel all the emotions.

The show does a great job of showing you more about what initially appears on the surface. The Apple TV+ comedy stars Jason Sudeikis in the titular role. He is an American college football coach who takes a job as a manager of a struggling Premier League team.

Yes, soccer and football are not the same things, but the show is worth watching.

Friday Night Tykes

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Everything is bigger in Texas, right? This show is the perfect example of that. It is about the Lone Star State’s love of football.

This is a docuseries that offers an inside look at children as young as 8 who play in the Texas Youth Football Association. It is one of the largest independent youth football leagues in the US. The goal is to prepare kids for football at a high level.

The show ran for four seasons on the Esquire network. It follows several teams on and off the field, showing how it teaches kids about the fundamentals of the game.

Coach

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Now we are getting to American sitcom territory. This television series aired for nine seasons on ABC from 1989 to 1997. Starring Craig T. Nelson as Hayden Fox, the show tells the story of the head coach of the fictional Minnesota State University Screaming Eagles football team.

In the early seasons, the show portrays Coach Fox and how he comes to grips with the emerging womanhood of his little girl Kelly. But it still manages to give you a healthy dose of football.

Euphoria

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The American teen drama aired on HBO. It was based on the Israeli television miniseries of the same name created by Ron Leshem and Daphna Levin.

It follows a group of high school students through their experience in life, as they learn more about identity, trauma, drugs, friendships, love, and of course, sex. Zendaya is amazing in the lead role. The ensemble cast includes Angus Cloud, Eric Dane, Alexa Demie, Nika King, Hunter Schafer, Maude Apatow, and many more.

The show has received critical acclaim since its debut. Critics praise the cinematography, story, and performance of the cast, mainly Zendaya and Schafer.

While the show is about young kids, it still manages to approach the mature subject matter.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

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The TV show is shortened to Secret Life. It is an American teen drama television series that aired on ABC from 2008 to 2013.

It received mixed reviews, with some negative reviews in the beginning. Yet, the female and teenage viewers received it well.

The pilot episode had the highest-rated debut on ABC Family with 2.82 million viewers. For its success, the show earned the TeenChoice Award for Choice Summer TV Show during its premiere season.

All American

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Going back to the American sports drama television series, this one is inspired by the life of professional American football player Spencer Paysinger. Daniel Ezra portrays the lead role.

The show loosely follows the life of Spencer, a star wide receiver at Crenshaw High School who transfers to Beverly Hills High to play American football.

He has to take on a lot of responsibilities to save the community. At the same time, he is the leader of the football team but also takes care of his family and friends.

The Game

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This American television series premiered on the CW network in October 2006. After three seasons, it was canceled. Then BET Networks stroke a deal with CBS Corporation to develop new episodes and relocated the taping of the show. In April 2010, the show was renewed and new seasons began airing on BET in January 2011.

Last Chance U

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The American documentary television series explored the football program at East Mississippi Community College for the first six-episode season. The Netflix original series features collegiate athletes that have had troubles in their life.

Major themes of the show include the academic struggles of the players. Most of the players come from severely disadvantaged backgrounds. And for them, football is their last chance to do something in their life.

The Good Wife

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Here is another show you will like if you enjoyed watching the family drama of Friday Night Lights. The drama television series aired on CBS from September 2009 until May 2016.

The central figure of the show was Alicia Florrick, wife of the Cook County State’s Attorney. She returns to her career in law after the events of the public sex and political corruption scandal involving her husband.

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, Christine Baranski, Matt Czuchry, and Matthew Goode are among the lead actors in the ensemble cast.

Many critics considered The Good Wife the last great drama on the CBS network. The show won five Emmy Awards.

Glee

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Let’s talk about one of the most popular teen musical comedy-drama of the last several years. It aired on Fox from May 2009 to March 2015. The show talks about the glee club called the New Directions at a fictional high school. The club competes as a show choir, all while talking about topics like sexuality, race, family, teen relationships, and teamwork.

During its run, the show has earned 19 Emmy Award nominations, four Golden Globe Award nominations, and many more awards. In 2010, Glee won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.

The show ended in the wake of the death of star Cory Monteith.

Star-Crossed

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This American science fiction teen drama premiered on the CW network in February 2014. It concluded in the same year, May 2014, after just 13 episodes.

Low ratings caused the end of the show. But for the time it ran, it had some nice moments. The show is set in the near future in 2024, following a romance between a human girl and an alien boy.

Make It or Break It

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The show is shortened to MIOBI. It is an American teen family comedy-drama focusing on the lives of teen gymnasts trying to make it to the Olympic Games in 2012. Let’s finish off the list of shows like Friday Night Lights with MIOBI, another sports drama.

Make It or Break It premiered on ABC Family in June 2009 and ended after Season 3.

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