AP writer Frazier Moore reports that Friday Night Lights will shine again next season. The deal does place FNL first on DirecTV effective October 1, 2008. NBC will air the episodes beginning in early 2009.
No financial terms of the deal between NBC and DirecTV were deisclosed, but NBC entertainment head Ben Silverman does not believe premiering the episodes on DTV to its 16.8 million subscribers will hurt the series ratings among the larger universe of broadcast network viewers for those who will watch on NBC.
The show's producers seem jazzed with Katherine Pope, president of Universal Media Studios saying:
"We aren't just trying to keep the patient on life support for another season," she said. "This is about bringing the show to the next level, in quality and acceptance. This is about exploding the show! You think the show has been brilliant these past two seasons? This is going to be the best season yet!"
I have to give credit to NBC (and thanks to DTV) for figuring out a way to keep one of our fans' favorites alive. One thing that interests me is whether episodes will be made available for purchase online immediately following airing on DTV or whether we'll have to wait until 2009 for that to happen. It probably doesn't matter to me since I'm an iTunes guy and won't use Amazon's Unbox (where NBCU shows can currently be downloaded) because there's no easy way to get show on my iPhone using Unbox. You may remember that NBCU bolted iTunes in a tizzy over control, which of course, it will come to regret but not just yet.
Either way, I predict the path from "DTV broadcast" to availability for torrent download (I'm not opining on the legality of that here) will be swift and that Internet downloads of those torrents will be among the top torrent downloads. While that sort of thing presents a significant barrier to many people (and let's face it, if you don't have a broadband internet connection it's hardly worth thinking about), enterprising souls who "just can't wait", simply won't.
Photo Courtesy of AP