Friday Night Lights: Season 3 (2008 - 2009)

Season 3
Friday Night Lights

Critics Consensus

Fueled by realistic depictions of everyday issues and elevated by an outstanding young cast, the third season of Friday Night Lights finds the series continuing to shine.



Critic Ratings: 18


Audience Score

User Ratings: 94

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Air date: Jan 16, 2009

In the third-season opener, Eric endures criticism of his coaching and helps Smash rebound from an injury; Tami's new job as principal leaves her struggling with the budget; Tyra frets over college; and Riggins wants Lyla to take him seriously.

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Air date: Jan 23, 2009

Tami faces criticism for not installing a JumboTron; Matt considers emancipation as a way to take care of his grandmother; Lyla invites Tim to a fancy dinner; and Tyra uses unorthodox campaign tactics in the school election.

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Air date: Jan 30, 2009

Katie McCoy offers to host the annual players' barbecue, much to Eric's dismay; Matt feels threatened by J.D.; Billy ropes Tim into a moneymaking scheme; and Smash worries about how his mom will pay for college.

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Air date: Feb 6, 2009

Tyra dates a new guy (Zach Roerig); Matt's mom visits town to help him care for his grandmother; Smash gears up for his college tryout; and Tami makes a last-ditch effort to win over the superintendent.

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Air date: Feb 13, 2009

McCoy continues to steal the spotlight from Matt, who must also deal with his mother's return. Elsewhere, Tyra sees a new side of Cash, and Jason looks for ways to support his son and Erin.

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Air date: Feb 20, 2009

Riggins tries to get the team to accept J.D., but J.D.'s dad stands in his way; Julie and Matt spend the day together at the lake; a woman from Cash's past makes a surprising claim; and Landry holds auditions for his band.

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Air date: Feb 27, 2009

Eric and Tami try to persuade a player's parents to let him play football; Billy helps Tim pursue a scholarship; Jason, Herc and the Riggins brothers prepare to sell the house; and Buddy's visit with his kids doesn't go as planned.

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Air date: Mar 6, 2009

Jason pursues a sports-agent job in New York with assistance from Riggins; Tami wants Eric to consider buying a new home; Matt asks Eric to let him play in a new position; and Tyra's college interviews coincide with Cash's departure from Dillon.

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Air date: Mar 13, 2009

Tim returns to Dillon to find a depressed Billy; Eric plans a surprise for Tami's birthday; Tyra begins to regret leaving with Cash; Matt's mom and grandmother clash; and Lyla and Mindy commiserate over dating the Riggins brothers.

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Air date: Mar 20, 2009

Joe asks J.D. to postpone dating to concentrate on football; Buddy's financial problems affect Lyla; Eric makes a shocking discovery; and Landry tires of Tyra's selfish behavior.

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Friday Night Lights: Season 3 Photos

Tv Season Info

Cast & Crew

Adrianne Palicki
Tyra Collette
Minka Kelly
Lyla Garrity
Taylor Kitsch
Tim Riggins
D.W. Moffett
Joe McCoy
Connie Britton
Tami Taylor
Aimee Teegarden
Julie Taylor
Jesse Plemons
Landry Clarke
Gaius Charles
Brian "Smash" Williams
Derek Phillips
Billy Riggins
Brad Leland
Buddy Garrity
Scott Porter
Jason Street
Zach Gilford
Matt Saracen
Kyle Chandler
Coach Eric Taylor
Janine Turner
Katie McCoy
Blue Deckert
Mac McGill
Stacey Oristano
Mindy Collette
Peter Berg
Executive Producer
David Nevins
Executive Producer
Brian Grazer
Executive Producer
Jason Katims
Executive Producer
Sarah Aubrey
Executive Producer
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Critic Reviews for Friday Night Lights Season 3

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (14)

Eric and Tami Taylor continue to have the most interesting and endearing relationship of any prime-time married couple.

Feb 5, 2015 | Full Review…

It's good to be back in Dillon, even if it's harder to get there than it used to be.

Feb 4, 2014 | Full Review…

Let's be honest: Season 3 is a Hail Mary pass for Friday Night Lights, one of those real good TV shows that always seems to have been playing from a touchdown or two behind. Still, win or lose, the show has got game.

Feb 4, 2014 | Full Review…

I could probably watch an hour of Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler bantering every week, but Friday Night Lights offers much more. The cast members who started out good have only gotten better.

Feb 6, 2015 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

I've seen the entire season already on DIRECTV, and trust me, it only gets better, deeper, and richer.

Feb 6, 2015 | Rating: A | Full Review…

If this is game over for Lights, the series goes out with its legacy intact, no matter what Nielsen says. For three seasons, the cast of little-known twentysomethings played their respective students with exceptional clarity, charm and authenticity.

Feb 5, 2015 | Full Review…

It creates a feeling, a mood, an atmosphere. When the show works, the plots recede to the background as "FNL" immerses you in the day-to-day lives of these characters.

Feb 4, 2014 | Full Review…

Even a reduced Lights is better than most TV series, and a reduced Lights was all we were going to get.

Feb 4, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Friday Night Lights got back to what it does best in Season Three: delivering scenes that are equal parts engaging, action-packed, thoughtful, well-acted, and funny.

Nov 6, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Television's best drama returned in fighting shape for its third, most affecting year.

Nov 16, 2018 | Full Review…

As always, it's not the storylines that stood out on this show, but the moments -- the many times Friday Night Lights captures interactions between these characters that feel 100% genuine, even if you've seen versions of these stories before.

Feb 5, 2015 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

Tyra (Adrianne Palicki), Landry (Jesse Plemons) and Saracen (Zach Gilford) are going to break your heart many times over the new season. Count on it.

Feb 4, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Friday Night Lights: Season 3

  • Jan 13, 2019
    This is one of my favorite shows ever! I watched it a few years ago and am currently rewatching it. I don't even like football, but this show has depth that goes way beyond football. You'll laugh, cry, and cheer with the variety of characters.
  • Feb 25, 2017
    One of the hallmarks of the first two seasons of "Friday Night Lights" was the show's ability to really use its ensemble cast to the fullest. Each week would shine the spotlight on a different character scenario or two, and if those weren't the ones that appealed to you...well, you knew that the next week it would be something different. While this third season does a good job of moving certain storylines forward, it also turns rather repetitive at times in terms of the areas it really focuses in on. For a basic summary, Season Three is one in which we (as viewers) say goodbye to some established figures and welcome some "new blood" into the fold. Because the writers strike of 2007 completely screwed over Season Two's "ending", the beginning episodes of this year basically just get us back up to speed. From there, a few things given to us in this installment include: -Mrs. Taylor's new role as school principle and the new perspective it gives her on certain issues. -The continued evolution of the Tyra/Landry & Tim/Lyla relationships. -Jason Street doing everything he can to provide for his new "family" -The ongoing foibles of Buddy Garrity. -A new QB threat to Matt Ceracen. There are some parts of Season Three that work very well. The chemistry within the Taylor family is still the backbone of the show, and it still never fails to produce emotion in nearly every episode. The "new QB in town" angle is also probably the strongest one of the entire season. Tami's new turn as school principle also brings up some moral dilemmas that prove quite interesting. The trouble with this season, though, is that all the other angles fall under the following two categories: Either they are done too quickly (Smash Williams, Jason Street), or they linger on for far too long (Tyra's rebellious streak, the ticking time bomb that is Tim Riggins). More specifically, the characters of Tyra & Tim (who really stood out in the Second Season) are given more screen time but less character development in the sense that they don't seem much different from beginning to end. It is probably a case of the writers knowing that such drama works with most viewers and being a bit scared (in the wake of cancellation) to stray too far from the formula. Overall, then, I can't rate Season Three of "Friday Night Lights" nearly as well as its two predecessors. Whereas those earlier seasons were high drama with pockets of repetition, I felt that the formula was flipped in this case. The ending of the season set up a scenario that looks like it has great potential to produce an entertaining fourth season, so I'm not giving up hope just yet. I'm just a bit concerned that the show has "slipped" a bit with each subsequent season so far.
  • Oct 22, 2015
    While the previous two seasons established Friday Night Lights as a great show, it's the third season that really augmented its status to excellent. While the show hardly shakes up its formula, it does a much better job this year with conveying it's plots, and scrapes off some of the melodrama. Also stronger performances, and better written relationships make this season what Friday Night Lights is all about.

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