Actors Kyle Chandler (L) and Connie Britton from NBC's drama series Friday Night Lights (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)
After being noticeably absent at the Emmys for the last four years, critic favorite Friday Night Lights was finally recognized with an Emmy nod for Outstanding Drama Series in its fifth and final season. The series lovable leads Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler were also recognized for Lead Actress and Lead Actor in a Drama.
Critics have often placed Friday Night Lights at or near the top of their lists, but the series about a High School football team in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas never quite made the list as each year's Emmy nods were announced.
The NBC show barely even made it to season five, as it was never a ratings hit. Friday Night Lights was saved from near certain cancellation back in 2008 when NBC and DirecTV struck a deal: episodes would air first on DirecTV and months later on NBC. This deal thrilled the core group of dedicated fans that fought to save the show.
Shot on location around Austin, Texas, and in a collaborative and improvisational style, FNL will be remembered for its naturalism. Though much of the cast came and went throughout the show's five year run as characters graduated from high school and moved on, FNL's impeccable writing team kept the show fresh with incredibly honest vignettes of life in small town America.
NBC will air the series finale of Friday Night Lights this Friday, July 15.
While the show has been nominated for other Emmys over the years (Outstanding Casting, Outstanding Writing), this is the first year that FNL is up for Outstanding Drama. Joining them on the list is AMC's Mad Men, HBO's Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire, Showtime's Dexter, and CBS' The Good Wife.
Below is the full list of Emmy Nominations for 2011.
Outstanding Drama Series Boardwalk Empire Dexter Friday Night Lights Game of Thrones The Good Wife Mad Men
Outstanding Comedy Series The Big Bang Theory Glee Modern Family The Office Parks & Recreation 30 Rock
Lead Actor, Drama Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights Michael C. Hall, Dexter John Hamm, Mad Men Hugh Laurie, House Timothy Olyphant, Justified
Lead Actress, Drama Kathy Bates, Harry's Law Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights Mireille Enos, The Killing Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Supporting Actress, Drama Kelly McDonald, Boardwalk Empire Christina Hendricks, Mad Men Michelle Forbes, The Killing Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife Margo Martindale, Justified Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Supporting Actor, Drama John Slattery, Mad Men Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age Walton Goggins, Justified Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones Josh Charles, The Good Wife Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Lead Actress, Comedy Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie Tina Fey, 30 Rock Laura Linney, The Big C Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Lead Actor, Comedy Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock Louis CK, Louie Steve Carell, The Office Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory Matt LeBlanc, Episodes Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Supporting Actress, Comedy Jane Lynch, Glee Betty White, Hot in Cleveland Julie Bowen, Modern Family Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Supporting Actor, Comedy Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men Chris Colfer, Glee Everyone with a Penis, Modern Family
Oustanding Reality Competition Program So You Think You Can Dance The Amazing Race Project Runway American Idol Dancing With the Stars Top Chef
Host for a Reality or Reality Competition Program Jeff Probst, Survivor Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series The Colbert Report Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Saturday Night Live Conan Real Time with Bill Maher The Daily Show
Outstanding Mini-series or Movie Mildred Pierce Downton Abbey The Kennedys Cinema Verite Too Big to Fail The Pillars of the Earth
Lead Actress, Mini-series or Movie Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey Diane Lane, Cinema Verite Taraji P. Henson, Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story Jean Marsh, Upstairs Downstairs
Lead Actor, Mini-series or Movie Greg Kinnear, The Kennedys Barry Pepper, The Kennedys Edgar Ramirez, Carlos William Hurt, Too Big To Fail Idris Elba, Luther Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood
Supporting Actor, Mini-series or Movie Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce Bryan F. O'Byrne, Mildred Pierce Tom Wilkinson, The Kennedys Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail James Woods, Too Big to Fail
Supporting Actress, Mini-series or Movie Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce Melissa Leo, Mildred Pierce Mare Winningham, Mildred Pierce Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey Eileen Atkins, Upstairs Downstairs