After months of speculation, it can finally be said: Friday Night Lights
is returning for two seasons. Not just one, but two.
NBC and DirecTV have finalized a deal, with the network ordering two 13-episode seasons of the critically acclaimed yet ratings-challenged drama about a high school football team in Dillon, Texas. As with the current season, the series will premiere first on DirecTV, with NBC showing the new episodes much later—a decision made earlier when the network sought to co-produce the series after it faced cancellation prospects.
Also making the show's return possible is its low costs: the drama, which is shot in location in Austin, Texas, enjoys significant tax incentives. To cut costs further, the new seasons are expected to be shot back-to-back. The fourth season is expected to premiere next season, with the fifth slated to follow immediately after.
Most cast members are expected to return, with Minka Kelly
—who plays Lyla in the series—the only one confirmed not to be returning as a regular. However, she will still appear some episodes through a multi-episode story arc, a task which she will juggle with the upcoming CW pilot Body Politic
It is also expected that series creator and executive producer Jason Katims will continue to oversee FNL
, despite his involvement in a possible NBC series Parenthood
. Thankfully, both projects—coincidentally based on feature films—are produced by the same company.
There's no official word, however, on whether Adrianne Palicki
will be moving out of the series—it's earlier reported that, like Kelly, she will be getting a multi-episode story arc. Similarly, there's no word on director Jeffrey Reiner's involvement, considering he'll also be at work on another pilot for NBC. But at this point, I guess we're all happy just to see the show back, right?
-Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
(Image courtesy of NBC)