Eyes may have been clear, if a bit wet, and hearts were very full when the ATX Television Festival staged a surprise reunion of Friday Night Lights stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton — aka Coach and Mrs. Coach.
The inaugural ATX Festival in 2012 featured an FNL panel, but neither Britton nor Chandler could attend. This year’s RSVP list promised Scott Porter, Gaius Charles, Matt Lauria and Brad Leland — aka Jason, Smash, Luke and Buddy — as well as “special guests,” and when both Chandler and Britton (now a star of ABC’s Nashville) arrived on stage, the room erupted with cheers. (The ATX Television Festival’s Twitter feed posted a short Vine video of the moment — watch it here.)
Highlights from the panel included Chandler, visibly moved during the revisiting and discussion of memorable scenes on the theater’s screen, sharing, “I was lucky I could work with everyone” — to which Porter attested, “No, we were lucky.” Chandler also at one point, in relating an anecdote, referred to Porter as “Jason,” prompting his TV wife to correct him.
The first question of the panel came from FNL superfan Mae Whitman, who on Parenthood was romantically paired with Lauria’s war vet character.
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Chandler and Britton’s surprise reunion moved fans both in attendance and “watching” from their Twitter feeds. Among the social media raves:
As for the Taylors themselves reuniting, on the big screen, all of the actors hand agreed that while the FNL players remain passionate about that prospect, there are no firm, specific plans in place at this time to do so.