ESPN Classic said today it will become the cable home of NBC’s Friday Night Lights, with the first two episodes airing at 8 PM and 9 PM ET Tuesday as part of the kickoff. A Season 1 marathon of the Texas high school football drama is set for July 14-15, and the series will run in full in sequential order from the start on Thursday nights at 9 PM and 10 PM beginning this week. “We recently created a home on ESPN Classic for ESPN Films on the weekends and we believe Friday Night Lights further enhances our mix of long-form sports storytelling,” said Connor Schell, VP and executive producer of ESPN Films and ESPN Classic. ”We see this as an opportunity to deliver the series to a whole new audience.” Longhorn Network, the ESPN owned-and-operated 24-hour network dedicated to Texas athletics, will also air the five seasons of Friday Night Lights when it launches in August. FLN has its series finale on NBC set for Friday. It has been a critical darling — snatching a Peabody Award and having been nominated in several Emmy categories, including a win for casting in 2007 — but it has struggled in the ratings. In 2008, NBC partnered on the series with DirecTV, which shared production costs in exchange for airing the show before the peacock network.
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