NBC execs see the 'Lights'

Football drama earns full season

For "Friday Night Lights," the good news is that is NBC has given the drama a full-season pickup despite its ratings struggles. The better news is that NBC is understood to be planning to move the show from the Tuesday 8 p.m. slot, out of the line of fire when Fox's "American Idol" returns in January.

NBC on Monday confirmed that it has given a full-season pickup to the football-themed drama from writer-director Peter Berg, Imagine Television and NBC Universal TV Studio.

Sources say NBC is planning a significant overhaul of its primetime schedule starting in January to work around the crushing impact of "Idol's" return on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. There has been speculation that "Lights" could be headed to a Sunday berth.

In its five airings to date, "Lights" has averaged 6.7 million viewers and 2.7 rating/7 share in adults 18-49. With that performance, the back-nine pickup underscores how much faith NBC brass has in the creative potential of the show and its ability to find its niche audience in time.

"We're proud to reward an authentic, poignant series like 'Friday Night Lights' with a full-season order, demonstrating our confidence in its appeal and quality," NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly said.

Based on the book and the 2004 feature film, also directed by Berg, "Lights" stars Kyle Chandler as the coach of a high school football team in a Texas town that revolves around the local team. Imagine's Brian Grazer and David Nevins executive produce along with Berg, Jason Katims and Sarah Aubrey.