Monday afternoon update: It's official! Deal's done!
Click here for the Variety story. More to come from my chat with Jason Katims later tonight once I'm (finally) off deadline.
One way or another, Monday should be a big day for "Friday Night Lights" fanatics. A final decision is expected to come from NBC and DirecTV on a two-season, 26-episode pickup of the acclaimed drama series.
Earlier this month, all signs were pointing to the Peacock and the satcaster were closing in on a deal to save the Imagine TV/Universal Media Studios series, but then early last week there was a hiccup over money -- what else? -- specifically the fee that DirecTV would pay for the right to air the episodes first, commercial-free, as the marquee offering on its 101 Network channel. That was the arrangement that kept the lights on for "FNL" this season, the show's third, and was hoped would continue for a fourth and fifth season of 13 segs each.
At one point it looked like the deal was off, but then clear eyes and full hearts prevailed and the talks resumed in the middle of last week. As of the weekend, the signs were again looking hopeful for the renewal, but insiders cautioned that the final fate of the Dillon Panthers et al would not be known until Monday.
As Slammin' Sammy Meade might say: Folks, this one's going down to the last kick.