Nellie Andreeva

ABC Family has acquired the basic cable TV rights to NBC/DirecTV’s high school  drama Friday Night Lights in a deal with NBC Universal Domestic TV Distribution. The deal gives ABC Family the rights to five seasons of the critically praised series whose upcoming fifth season on DirectTV and NBC is expected to be its last. Season 4 of the show now airs on NBC, while Season 5 will premiere on DirecTV on October 28.

ABC Family will air FNL starting with its first season, which is tentatively set to begin running on the cable network in September. The series, based on the feature and the book of the same name, is produced by UMS, Imagine and Film 44. Peter Berg, who wrote and directed the pilot, is executive producing with Jason Katims, Brian Grazer, David Nevins and Sarah Aubrey. Like FNL, most ABC Family series are set in high school, including flagship drama The Secret Life of American Teenager. The network’s off-network series include Gilmore Girls, That ’70s Show and Full House.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.