NBC said Monday it has ordered a full season’s worth of “Friday Night Lights” episodes, its second endorsement in a week of a freshman series that so far has attracted more attention from critics than viewers.
The drama, based on the book and film of the same name, focuses on the coach and football players from the high-school team in rural Dillon, Texas.
“We’re proud to reward an authentic, poignant series,” said Kevin Reilly, NBC entertainment president.
The show has averaged 6.1 million viewers this season. It stands at No. 81 in Nielsen Media Research’s season ratings, or just below ABC’s Friday-night rerun of “Grey’s Anatomy.”
NBC said it was encouraged that the show had a bigger audience in the second half hour than the first in its first five showings on Tuesdays, an indication that those who were watching liked what they saw. It also did well among young viewers during a special tryout on Monday, Reilly said.
Last week, NBC also gave a full-season order to “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” the Aaron Sorkin series that has thus far been a ratings disappointment.
The decisions mean producers will make nine more episodes following the first 13, to make a season’s worth of 22. Not receiving this order is usually a death sentence for a series.