This is an archived article that was published on in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

When the Television Critics Awards nominating ballots were counted, I was sort of surprised - and very pleased - that Friday Night Lights (7 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5) was in the running.

And not just as this year's best drama, but it's one of five nominees for program of the year.

That speaks to the quality of the show, because it's not exactly well-positioned to get noticed by the critics. It's on DirecTV in the fall and NBC in the spring/summer. It's in its fifth and final season, and (as a group) we tend to forget about shows that have been around that long when it comes awards time.

And it's a show that is rooted in sports. High school football, of course. And the TCA doesn't include a whole lot of members who cover sports on TV. So few, actually, that we dropped our award in that category several years ago.

(Yours truly is in the minority of TV critics, covering entertainment and sports.)

But "Friday Night Lights" really is one of the best shows on TV. This fifth and final season is fantastic from beginning to end.

In tonight's episode - the ninth of 13 this season - Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) is losing control of his team and threatens to suspend quarterback Vince Howard (Michael B. Jordan), whose ego is completely out of control.

It's great stuff.

Elsewhere on TV ...

Golf (8 a.m, ESPN; 1 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5; 3 p.m., ESPN): Second round of the U.S. Open

Flashpoint (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): A yearly re-qualification turns into a fight for survival.

Whale Wars (7 p.m., Animal Planet): The Gojira comes to the rescue when a harpoon ship dogs the Steve Irwin.

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution (8 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Jamie Lee Curtis presents Jamie Oliver with the Public Health Champion Award.