In 2011, Friday Night Lights, the intimate story of a high school football team in small-town Texas, scored an Outstanding Drama Actor win for Kyle Chandler as Coach Eric Taylor, and a writing award for showrunner Jason Katims.
Tonight, The Americans collected the same statuettes for best actor Matthew Rhys and the drama category’s outstanding writing award for creators Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg. Weisberg and Fields won for the series finale “Start,” which concluded the story of two Russian agents portrayed by Rhys and Keri Russell posing as an American couple during the Cold War.
It was the writers’ only win in six seasons of the FX series. Previously, the series won two Emmys — for guest actress Margo Martindale — out of 18 nominations since its 2013 debut.
Katims has specialized in emotional family shows, including Friday Night Lights and Parenthood. Both shared a passionate fan base but moderate ratings. In 2007, the show won a casting Emmy and garnered multiple Primetime Emmy nominations, including 2011’s for Best Drama Series.
Before the 2011 win, Katims speculated in an interview with Deadline about why it took so long for Friday Night Lights to find much Emmy love.
“It may be true that they don’t feel edgy to Emmy voters,” he said. “Maybe they never had that immediate ‘You gotta watch it now’ kind of a thing. But I think people who do find them really love them.”