Kyle Chandler by Bill Records/NBC Kyle Chandler by Bill Records/NBC

We're all grateful that, through whatever corporate machinations that occurred between NBC and DirecTV, there will be a third season of Friday Night Lights this fall. But how exactly is that going to work?

Here's the deal straight from Sunday's FNL panel: Thirteen new episodes of FNL will air on DirecTV starting in October, on a channel called The 101. Then, the same 13 episodes will be shown on NBC beginning in February 2009. So, essentially, if you don't have DirecTV, there is the potential for some serious spoilers. "Just download it [illegally]," suggested cast member Zach Gilford, much to the chagrin of the NBC and DirecTV handlers in the house. "But then it would be in good conscience to watch it on NBC when it airs there," he added. Helpful!

DirecTV promotional materials indicate that the two versions may actually differ slightly, although executive producer Jason Katims said they haven't quite established how just yet.

Katims said that "senior year" would be a recurring theme of Season 3, which fast-forwards eight months from last season's finale. Hence the recent announcement that Jason Street (Scott Porter) and Smash Williams (Gaius Charles) - whose characters would have graduated in the intervening months - would not be returning as series regulars. Porter and Charles will, however, appear in four episodes that will explain their exits. Katims also said he will definitely leave the door open for the possibility of Street and/or Smash to reappear.

Minka Kelly announced that "Lyla's done with her 'born-again' phase, and her relationship with Riggins is now out in the open." " I didn't even hear that," said Taylor Kitsch, who plays Riggins. "I'm interested to see how it plays out." Aren't we all? - Mickey O'Connor

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