Critic's darling, "Friday Night Lights," is back on NBC for its fourth season and there is a whole lot of shaking up going on in Dillon that has left the town divided.
At the close of season three, Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) was fired as coach of the Dillon Panthers, despite the fact that he took his team to the state championship, and he has been relegated to being the coach at East Dillon High. East Dillon High had been shut down for several years and has just reopened. Needless to say, it has no team, no equipment and no funding. It barely has a field. Coach Taylor is tasked with the unenviable job of building a team from scratch.
"Friday Night Lights" lost several of its cast members who were seniors in season three, but Taylor Kitsch, who plays bad boy Tim Riggins, Jesse Plemons as unlucky-in-love Landry Clarke, and Matt Lauria as Luke Cafferty are back.
"This is a show that I have enjoyed all the way through three seasons," Matt tells ET. "To enter the world that they have established and be able to play with them is a huge honor. It is a huge tribute to the writers that they have been able to take the storyline and shift it so beautifully and so seamlessly to a whole new and refreshing chapter of Coach Taylor's life."
And with the new high school, there are new cast members, including Michael B. Jordan as Vince Howard and Jurnee Smollett as Jess Merriweather. Michael may be best known for playing troubled teen Reggie Montgomery on "All My Children."
"They have both had rough upbringings," Michael tells ET, comparing the two characters. "They were both thrown into some sticky situations where they had to adapt. Reggie Montgomery got adopted by Jackson Montgomery (Walt Willey) and ultimately lived with Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) and that was a totally new environment. The same with Vince. Vince is from the inner city and thrown into this football environment. He has never had to listen to anyone in his life. Now he has to take orders from a coach. It is fun to see Vince go through that learning curve."
For her part, Jurnee has big shoes to fill this season, replacing the female leads who graduated from high school and the series last season: Adrianne Palicki (Tyra Collette) and Minka Kelly (Lyla Garrity). Although, Minka does guest star in a few episodes later in the season.
"I am definitely not taking the place of those strong leading ladies," Jurnee says. "I just looked at it as if I was joining a big family because that is how everybody welcomed us in. It wasn't about us being new, or them being out, it is a different story. My character Jess has her own truths and her own struggles."
For viewers who have not yet tuned into this critically acclaimed series because they think it is a show about football, Matt is here to tell you that that is not true.
"The show itself is not about football," he tells ET. "It is about the kids going through the struggle of figuring out being in high school. All the characters have their own personal challenges at home. It was about watching these characters navigate through some really tough obstacles."
"Friday Night Lights" airs tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC.