ABC Family acquires rights to ‘Friday Night Lights’

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“Friday Night Lights” is taking its game to syndication.

ABC Family has acquired basic cable rights from NBC Universal Domestic TV Distribution to air five seasons of “Friday Night Lights,” the network announced Tuesday.

“We’re thrilled to add NBC’s critically acclaimed series ‘Friday Night Lights’ to the mix of our defining original and quality acquired series,” Tom Zappala, ABC Cable Networks Group executive vice president of program acquisitions and scheduling, said in a statement. “The series is beloved by critics and viewers, and fits in perfectly with ABC Family.”

The low-rated critical darling has been TV’s underdog. The series debuted on NBC in 2006, and, after its second season, has been kept alive with the help of a co-production deal between satellite provider DirecTV and NBC. Beginning in 2008, the third and fourth seasons of the drama aired on DirecTV’s The 101 Network and were rebroadcast on the peacock network.

“‘Friday Night Lights’ is a perfect fit for ABC Family’s sensibility for the modern-day family program,” Bruce Casino, senior VP of cable and ancillary sales for NBC Universal domestic television distribution, said in a statement. “ABC Family will introduce this award-winning show to a whole new audience segment where the series can thrive in its new environment.”


NBC is currently airing the fourth-season episodes that aired last fall on DirecTV. The fifth and rumored final season of “FNL” is scheduled to premiere on DirecTV in October

Episodes of the first season are tentatively set to begin airing in September. A network representative said there there were no plans for ABC Family to produce new episodes of the series.

-- Yvonne Villarreal

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