Friday Night Lights returns in January

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NBC has released its schedule for January, and for regular viewers of the network (I'm sure there are some of you out there), it will look, for the most part, like an entirely foreign landscape. However, amid all of the one-month vacations for most shows is the earlier-than-expected return of a critics' favorite: Friday Night Lights.

Matt Saracen, Lyla Garrity, Timmy Riggins, and Coach Eric Taylor get back to business on January 16, slightly earlier than expected. You may recall that the show--a favorite of critics and the TV.com office--was a big underdog to get renewed before NBC worked out a deal with DirecTV to split costs. In return, DirecTV got first-run rights and is currently airing season three to its subscribers.

The original plan was to air Friday Night Lights on NBC in February, but apparently the network decided to jump the snap. Although it's great to have Friday Night Lights back, NBC still didn't see fit to place it in a decent time slot; it'll air on Fridays at 9 p.m. Listen, I don't care what the name of the show is, you don't have to air it on Fridays just because of the title. Sheesh.

Season three has so far been rated fairly high by TV.com users lucky enough to own DirecTV (or illegally download episodes--shame on you!), and we can't wait to see what's in store for the Dillon Panthers.

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