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5 Shows like Friday Night Lights: More than Just a Game

In a small Texas town Friday night means everything. The hopes and fears of the whole community rest on the local football team, who do everything in their power to keep the town happy. All work and no play makes for an unhappy college team, so be prepared for lots of thrills and spills. If you are looking for more TV shows like Friday Night Lights, I recommend Parenthood and One Tree Hill.

Losing Is Not an Option

Friday Night Lights follows the ups and down of a bunch of (American) football players in a small Texan town. The Dillon High School Panthers train hard to win every Friday night, something that the town loves more than anything.

As well as training hard, the team plays hard and they find themselves in some tricky situations, so the show is a mix of sporting drama and teen angst that will appeal to the youngster in you. If you are looking for more angst filled TV shows, here are my top suggestions for TV series like Friday Night Lights.

‘Parenthood’ (True Jack Productions, 2010-2015)

Parenthood is a comedy-drama following a large and imperfect family as they tackle the challenges of raising kids and starting over after setbacks.

The show is based on the 80’s film of the same name and it has won worldwide acclaim due to its great writing and hard hitting storylines. A great ensemble cast brings the Bravermans clan to life, with plenty of laughter and tears provided in each episode.

Similarity Match: 90%
Written by the same guy, Jason Katims, Parenthood has lots of crossovers into FNL, with overlapping characters and guest stars in each of the two shows and similar themes popping up in the storylines.

‘One Tree Hill’ (Warner Brothers, 2003-2012)

One Tree Hill follows the lives of half brothers Lucas and Nathan and their problem laden friends. We see the boys grow from their early teens right through to adulthood, with plenty of heartache along the way.

The writers provide a great box of light-hearted teen banter and serious storylines, such as eating disorders, teen pregnancy and drug abuse, so the show has wide appeal.

Similarity Match: 85%
Swap American football for basketball and you have a pretty similar show to Friday Night Lights. One Tree Hill is more soap opera like, with an overall lighter tone than FNL.

‘Gossip Girl’ (17th Street Productions, 2007-2012)

Another series like Friday Night Lights is Gossip Girl. Full of scandal, scheming and with shipper wars galore, Gossip Girl is a teen drama with an added splash of glamour. Gossip Girl is adapted from the book of the same name, by Cecily von Ziegesar, and follows the lives of spoilt upper east siders, Blair, Serena, Chuck and Nate plus self confessed lonely boy Dan Humphrey.

Although the show is classed as a teen drama, adults figure heavily in the show and there are some serious story lines mixed up with the fun stuff.

Similarity Match: 80%
There is a lot more glitz and glamour on the streets of New York’s Upper East Side than there is in the small Texan town of Friday Night Lights, but the kids share the same trials and tribulations.

‘Nashville’ (Lionsgate Television, 2012-)

Country music superstar Rayna Jaymes has one last chance to keep her fading career alive, but she is not altogether happy about it. 40 something Rayna is not ready to hang up her boots, but her fans think otherwise, as do her management. In order to remain on tour, Rayna must allow up and coming teen star, Juliette Barnes, to tour with her or else she will be dropped from her label.

The show gives us insight into the lively Nashville music scene and how much of a struggle it is for women to maintain a career in the industry.

Similarity Match: 75%
The main theme of the Nashville is very different from Friday Night Lights but fans of shows set in small town America will enjoy a different perspective on the lives of their inhabitants.

‘Star-Crossed’ (CBS, 2014-)

Star-Crossed is a show about a romance between a human girl and an alien boy, when he and others of his kind are integrated into a suburban high school.

The show is not all about teen romance, as it touches upon racism between human and aliens and challenged viewers on their moral compass, as they watch each race fight for survival. Yes, the show is very far fetched but it is also heaps of fun.

Similarity Match: 70%
So, I know that aliens have nothing to do with football and Friday Night Lights can be quite a serious show, but Star-Crossed is the prefect high school show with a twist and I think you will like the silliness of the whole concept.


For the Next Round

Did you like my suggestions for shows similar to Friday Night Lights?

If you can think of another TV show that you’d like to recommend to other Friday Night Lights fans, I’d love to read about what knockout drama shows I can watch for my next TV workout, in the comments below.

itcher Mag is the place for entertainment recommendations across movies, books, music and games.
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