- "Friday Night Lights" lives, as part of the much-discussed partnership with DirectTV. DirectTV will get to air new episodes starting in the fall, while NBC won't be showing them until early '09. A reporter tried to bring up the problems that happened when HBO was airing "Wire" episodes even a week early for some viewers and not others; Ben Silverman didn't have much of a response, other than saying he hoped people would watch the show wherever.
- "Heroes: Origins" is dead because they felt they were overburdening the "Heroes" producers asking them to produce 30+ episodes in a single season, but "The Office" will not only do a bunch of hour-long episodes again (which is like producing two episodes), but the creative team has been tasked to create a spin-off to premiere after the Super Bowl. The only math that makes sense on that is Tim Kring = hacky * Greg Daniels = talented. No details on the spin-off, though Silverman said some characters from the original might appear. The warehouse, maybe? Or a show about Karen's branch?
- They're done with "Scrubs" after the five episodes they have left to air; when I asked if he was fine with ABC picking up the show for a final season, Silverman said "If they can go 1 for 21, good for them."
- "ER" gets a renewal for one final season, and they say Noah Wyle will make some kind of return appearance.
UPDATE: So I filed my story, which you can read over at NJ.com, and the more I think about it, the less I have to say about this schedule (or schedules). I'm dubious that things will air as announced, but they renewed virtually everything but "Scrubs" (which will live on elsewhere) and maybe "Criminal Intent" (Silverman said that's USA's call at this point), and there are actually fewer changes from quarter to quarter than I was expecting. I think the "Friday Night Lights" thing is going to be very annoying for non-DirecTV people like myself -- I expect to see a big boom in BitTorrent downloads for that show in the fall -- but I guess it's better than the show not coming back at all. (Assuming, of course, that season three will resemble the final few episodes of season two rather than the great majority of season two.)
Beyond that? Meh. I'm going to be out and about tonight -- don't expect an "Idol" elimination post until morning -- but ask any questions you have, and I'll answer them in the comments when I can.