Scoop: 'Friday Night Lights' recruits 'Practice' vet

FNL-casting_lFormer Practice star Steve Harris has booked a recurring role on Friday Night Lights, sources confirm to me exclusively.

The two-time Emmy nominee will play Vernon Merriweather, an ex-football star and the father of East Dillon newbie Jess (Jurnee Smollett, inset).

Harris’ FNL deal calls for him to appear in roughly seven episodes of the upcoming fourth season (premiering Oct. 28 on DIRECTV’s The 101 Network).

In related news, guess what just landed on my desk. Go ahead, guess. [Beat] You’re right — it’s a disc containing the season premiere of FNL! Look for my mini-review in this week’s Ask Ausiello. If there’s anything specific you want to know about the opener, send your Qs to ausielloscoop@ew.com.

PHOTO CREDIT: Harris: Chris Hatcher/Photorazzi/PR Photos; Smollett: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos

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  • J

    What’s the title! And just how good is it.

  • shane

    I was scared when I saw your twitter that it could be Lara Flynn Boyle.
    Glad it’s Steve Harris. I like him.

    Awesome seeing Jurnee Smolett back on T.V. Was a big fan of her on Full House and liked her in the film The Great Debaters.

    Can’t wait for this season to start

  • harry

    panthers FTW!!!!

    • Remmy

      Panthers suck. GO LIONS!!!!

  • paulmbullock

    I want to know who returns in the season opener, Lyla, Matt, Tyra, ahh cannot wait to see the new season, just let us know that it’s awesome and i’ll be happy! :)

    • Mary Q. Contrary

      I think Matt is going to be around for an extended period of time, i.e. longer than they originally intended. I seem to remember reading something about that earlier this summer. Lyla and Tyra will be going off to college and won’t be seen much past midseason, if even that.

  • FNL Rocks

    How is it!?!?! I love FNL and can’t wait for it to come back to NBC since I don’t have DirecTV.

  • Julz

    Oh my goshness my heart just skipped a beat. This is awesome news and I can’t wait for the new season to start!

  • brody

    Its not lions, its the East Dillon Pirates, a take on the tex tech red raiders (coach leach calls his team pirates). Listen to bill simmons “30 on 30″ podcast with peter berg

  • bryan

    Mike, I just wanted to thank you for being persistant about how good FNL is. I was hesitant, but finally sat down with season 1 dvd this past month and could not stop! I literally watched the first three seasons in less than a month! I would LOVE to know if it is true that Riggins is NOT going to San Antonio State but instead helping his brother in Dillon

    • Angelic

      That was me too!!! The month of August was nothing but FNL and Heroes… Had to keep switching because someone kept taking the dvd seasons from the movie rental place…

      Can’t wait for FNL to start back up Sooooo GOOD!!! I want some Matt and Julie!!!!

    • Mary Q. Contrary

      Taylor Kitsch, who plays Riggins, has said interviews that he’ll stay with the show until it’s canceled, because he would never abandon the people that gave him his big break.

      • Teresa

        One of the many reasons I love him!! ;)

    • Dolphin

      I am also a new FNLs fan who only found it this summer and bought all 3 season’s DVDs.

      I’m a Coach/Tami fan and believe both Chandler and Britton have been too long overlooked by the Emmys.

      Can’t wait for S4!!!!

  • Christine

    I am SOOO jealous you get to see the first episode of the season. Already told my friends I will rotate between their houses every Wed to watch FNL. I am bringing the beer and snacks as a Thank you for hosting!

  • FNL Fan

    UGH! What do I have to do get you to let me borrow that disc?????

  • Jess

    Lara Flynn Boyle is signing on as well – she’ll be playing a goalpost.

    • Amy

      HAHAHAHAHA seriously laughed out loud at this!

  • Jelana

    Stop teasing me. I try not to think about FNL when it’s in hiatus, just like I try not to think about chocolate cookies when I’m on a diet. That said, Steve Harris = good choice.

  • Mimi

    When does the new season begin? I’m so excited to get back to watching my favorite show!

  • Ronnie

    I have been a fan since season 1, and every year I try to convince friends and family to watch it. They don’t know what they’re missing…love that it’s Texas, football and GREAT writing and characters…also read the book (finally!) this summer…so true about football in Texas, it still resonates today. Can’t wait for the new season!! Go Pirates!

  • Lindz

    Great new addition to the cast. The acting on this show is impeccable!

    I really just want to know how you like the first episode and if it’s upheld the awesomeness from previous seasons! Also, I’m totally jealous!

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