If the broadcast networks are turning into large cable companies, here’s one bright side of it: a show like Friday Night Lights can get a fourth, and fifth, season on NBC with basic-cable-like ratings. NBC and DirecTV have confirmed a deal that will keep FNL around for two more seasons. The seasons will also be basic-cable-like—that is, 13 episodes each—but I think that length has worked pretty well for season three.
What DirecTV gets, according to Variety, in exchange for footing around half the bill, is the right to run the episodes first again. NBC gets, and I love this phrase, “the aura of quality.” Plus, for an hour a week at least, actual quality.