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Big bright spot for Friday Night Lights

Three cheers. NBC's made-in-Austin Friday Night Lights has won a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award in its first year.

The ratings-starved high school football series, adapted from the same-named bestseller, joins NBC's The Office and Scrubs and ABC's Ugly Betty among prime-time series winners announced Wednesday. The late Ed Bradley's 60 Minutes story on allegations of rape against the Duke University lacrosse team and ABC newsman Brian Ross' investigation into the Mark Foley sex scandal are also among the 35 honorees.

"No dramatic series, broadcast or cable, is more grounded in contemporary American reality than this clear-eyed serial about the hopes, dreams, livelihoods and egos intertwined with the fate of high school football in a Texas town," the Peabody board said of Friday Night Lights.

The series remains "on the bubble" for renewal next season, but momentum appears to be building in its favor. And this can't hurt.

For a complete list of Peabody winners, go here.