ABC Family has acquired the rights to "Friday Night Lights," or at least the basic cable rights for the first five seasons of the award-winning drama.
 
ABC Family's deal with NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution was announced on Tuesday (May 25) and will include the two "Friday Night Lights" seasons that ran exclusively on NBC, the two seasons that ran on DirecTV's The 101 Network and were rebroadcast on NBC and the fifth season, which will follow the broadcast model of the last two.
 
"We're thrilled to add NBC's critically-acclaimed series 'Friday Night Lights' to the mix of our defining original and quality acquired series," states Tom Zappala, Executive Vice President, Program Acquisitions & Scheduling, ABC Cable Networks Group. "The series is beloved by critics and viewers, and fits in perfectly with ABC Family’s blend of optimistic, heartfelt programming."
 
Agrees Bruce Casino, Senior Vice President Cable & Ancillary Sales NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution, "'Friday Night Lights' is a perfect fit for ABC Family’s sensibility for the modern day family program. ABC Family will introduce this award-winning show to a whole new audience segment where the series can thrive in its new environment."
 
While Emmy voters have mostly ignored "Friday Night Lights" -- save for a 2007 casting win -- the Texas football (and much more) saga has made countless critics' Top 10 lists (including our Best of the Decade list), as well as a Peabody Award in 2006.
 
ABC Family tentatively plans to premiere Season One of "Friday Night Lights" in September.