NBC and DirecTV have renewed Friday Night Lights for two more seasons, the network confirmed.
Mirroring the unusual arrangement this season when DirecTV became a telecast partner in the show (see related story, "DirecTV’s New Role: Show Saver "), the series is expected to premiere on DirecTV before airing on NBC in its future seasons. Each of the new seasons will comprise 13 episodes, and the show is slated to air through the 2010-11 season.
Friday Night Lights has struggled to find a mass audience, but has been critically lauded. The audience it does reach is largely an upscale demographic. Season three debuted on DirecTV this fall, then in January started repeating on NBC in the Friday 9 pm timeslot.
The drama, produced by Universal Media Studios and Imagine TV, is averaging 4.5 million viewers on NBC this season, down 27 percent from its year-ago average of 6.2 million, according to Nielsen Media Research figures cited by the Associated Press.