Connie Britton and Aimee Teegarden by Paul Drinkwater/NBC Connie Britton and Aimee Teegarden by Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Best. Panel. Ever. That's basically how I'd describe last night's Friday Night Lights session at Paley Fest '08. OK, so, I may be a little biased, having served as moderator of said panel ( watch me deliver my opening remarks!), but the fact remains: The 800 or so Panther fans who packed into the Cinerama Dome got their money's worth. And if you don't believe me, believe my colleague Anna Dimond, who was embedded in the crowd with pen in hand chronicling every scoopbit, spoiler and motorcycle thrust.

Participants: Adrianne Palicki, Zach Gilford, Aimee Teegarden, Minka Kelly, Scott Porter, Connie Britton, Jason Katims and Jeffrey Reiner.

MIA: Taylor Kitsch, Gaius Charles, Jesse Plemons and Kyle Chandler, all of whom were stuck on film sets far away from L.A.

Cutting to the chase: Although the DirecTV deal is still not official, Katims said to expect some news "within two or three weeks." Even more promising, he referred to shooting new episodes in July, before quickly qualifying it with an " if the show returns." What would a DirecTV deal look like? Basically, FNL would air on NBC and DTV concurrently.

What if?: Where does the story pick up "if" the show comes back? According to Katims, it's unclear. Most likely, the action would jump ahead to a new school year. As for "graduating" cast members or "incoming freshman," he maintained that he's devoted to his core cast, but added that there needs to be a balance between the authenticity of the show (i.e., people do leave high school, eventually) and its growth (move over, Taylor, there's a new hottie in town).

Of football and young men: Regardless of where (and if) next season's plot picks up, there are a few things that are going to stay front and center, with football topping that list. Katims admitted the sport had been benched a little bit this year, but promised that would change next season. He also assured fans that the storyline surrounding Smash's transition to college will be told.

Killer plot: Katims, being the stand-up guy he is, took full responsibility for the murder plot that polarized fans and critics alike. He then pointed out that at least one good thing came out of the controversial story: Tyra and Landry got together!

Awwww: Gilford is super, super, super shy. The mere mention of the scene from this season in which Matt gets a lap dance made him blush. He also has trouble taking a compliment. When the moderator (me!) offered him props for his big bathroom breakdown scene in this season's penultimate episode, he gave all the credit to Chandler (his costar in said scene) and the good "camera angles."

Scenes from a perfect marriage: Britton said she and Chandler clicked immediately. She also shared their daily morning routine: running lines over coffee.

Funnyman: The show's resident practical joker is... Taylor Kitsch! Who would've thought?

Dance man: It didn't take much prompting, but, thanks to one fan's request, a super-game (and buff) Scott Porter stood up, walked to the front of the stage and reenacted his famous motorcycle hip thrust from Music & Lyrics. He even topped off his performance with a sassy little booty shake. (Watch it here!) What's not to like?

Coming up Thursday: The Buffy panel!

Click here to watch highlights of the panel. And then use our Online Video Guide to tackle some Friday Night Lights clips and episodes.