ESPN Producing Real-Life Friday Night Lights

ESPN’s newly formed content-development unit has been given its first task: Varsity Inc.,a reality series following a high-school football team through its season.

Production has just begun on the series, which will follow the 2007 season of the West Monroe (La.) Rebels and their hometown’s love of the game. The series will be spread over four episodes, spanning six hours, with additional bonus content slated for release on ESPN360 and

Varsity Inc. hits at the core of what ECD endeavors will be going forward: It’s a compelling, impassioned story that goes beyond just sports and offers high-quality, multipurpose content for a variety of our businesses,” said Keith Clinkscales, ESPN’s senior vice president of content development and enterprises.

The series will debut Nov. 29 at 11 p.m. on ESPN2, and repeats will be featured on ESPNU.