Kylechandler_fridaynighlighFor those of you who wonder just what actors do to earn their sizable salaries (aside from the acting part), consider the following scene from NBC’s post-upfront party Monday at Rockefeller Center.

For a solid hour, the cast of Friday Night Lights sat in the same formation on a set of couches having their pictures taken with a constant stream of ad folks, PR people and other assorted fans who attended the network’s presentation (including, in one of the geekier moments of my adult life, yours truly).

That’s 60 minutes of having to smile for the camera, shake hands and hear endless chatter about how much people love the show (actually, I imagine that last bit probably doesn’t get too old). I’m not sure I could handle all that for that long, but to their credit, the cast pulled it off with great aplomb — particularly Kyle Chandler, who was seated next to the stool where people took up their positions to be photographed.

The grip-and-grin picture is an upfronts staple, and typically each network sets up a few spots around its party for civilians to get visual proof of their encounters with the stars of their favorite shows. Prior to the FNL cast taking up residence on the couches, the gang from The Office had occupied the same spot; elsewhere, you could have your picture taken with some Heroes or the stars of NBC’s new series.

Outside the roped-off area, meanwhile, dozens more people snapped away with their digital cameras or cell phones.

Someone from NBC would have done well to eavesdrop on the chatter in line for FNL, because from what I heard while waiting my turn, the network could have developed a new marketing strategy for the show, which is moving to its namesake night in the fall.

The promo push could be organized around this very simple principle: The ladies love them some Coach Taylor. And Tim Riggins too. If I had a dime for every time I overheard someone in line say how much they loved Chandler (who plays the coach) or Taylor Kitsch (Riggins), I’d have at a couple extra bucks in my pocket. Which doesn’t really even buy a cup of coffee, but that’s still like 20 people expressing the same thought in about as many minutes.

It can’t be all that fun to be on display like that for an extended period of time. So cheers to you, cast of Friday Night Lights, for handling your duties like pros.

Posted by:Rick Porter