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Does 'Friday Night Lights' have a future off NBC?

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NBC has yet to decide whether to order any more episodes of Friday Night Lights this season but that may not mean the end of the critically-adored drama. A source close to the series confirmed that Universal is considering whether to shop the Kyle Chandler starrer to another network rather than cancel it outright. The source cautioned, however, that NBC hasn’t closed the door on the show just yet. In fact, one scenario making the rounds is a shared window for FNL with one of NBC’s sister cable networks.

While struggling in the ratings (FNL has only attracted an average 6.1 million viewers this season and typically finishes third in its timeslot), the show is a huge favorite among TV critics and even beloved by many executives at competing networks because of its multi-generational themes. The drama has also netted an Emmy for casting and a Peabody Award.

FNL has already produced 15 episodes for this season, the last of which will air Feb. 8. Should the writers’ strike end by Feb. 15, the show’s writers could complete the final arc of the season in five or six episodes if NBC gives it the greenlight, according to executive producer Jason Katims. As of right now, Katims has no plans to write the final episode as a series finale. “I would do it as a cliffhanger and leave things open-ended unless of course we were told that the show was ending,” he says. “But I doubt that would be the case because if they bring the show back to do more episodes this season, they’re also going to be hoping that the show returns for a third season.” (With reporting by Dan Snierson)