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‘Lights’ Still Up in the Air, Katims Says

March 20, 2008 6:26 PM

'FNL' At Paley

Attention, “Friday Night Lights” fans: Your show is still in limbo.

That’s according to “FNL” Executive Producer Jason Katims, who said a rumored deal between DirecTV and NBC to keep the critically acclaimed but low-rated high school football drama on the air has not occurred yet.

“There’s no deal yet for the show, but we remain incredibly optimistic that that’s going to happen and hopefully happen soon,” Mr. Katims said Wednesday at a “FNL” panel during the Paley Festival.

Mr. Katims did tease that DirecTV isn’t the only entity interested in the show, only the most publicized group. But he couldn’t give any definitive answer on when he’ll know about the deal, or how the deal would work.

“I think the answer is going to be pretty soon, and I say that only because I know I have to start breaking stories. I have a feeling that we are two or three weeks away from knowing what’s going to happen,” Mr. Katims said.

An audible sigh was heard after that news, as the audience of nearly 800 at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood was keen to find out more about the show’s future from the cast that had arrived for the panel, including Zach Gilford, Jesse Plemons and Aimee Teegarden.

Kyle Chandler, who plays Coach Eric Taylor, was unavailable for the panel as he was filming a movie in Canada.

The cast said the waiting game for news about a third season for the show is nothing new, as the beleaguered series has always hung on by a thread on the schedule.

Looking forward to a potential third season, Mr. Katims said he hoped the season would start with a new football season, leaving any resolution to how the Dillon Panthers did during their run this year as backstory.

The writers strike shortened the season considerably, with the television season ending as Dillon faced the last three games of its football season minus one of its star players.

“However, there’s still a lot of stories that we were going to tell, storylines that we’re going to use, that we can still keep and use them in the third season,” he said.

Andrew Krukowski

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