By Cindy Elavsky

Q: I know that the television program “Friday Night Lights” has been taping. However, I cannot for the life of me figure out when the season will begin, what day of the week or what time of day it will be aired. Please help — I love this show! — Susan T., Salem, Va.
A: The producers of “Friday Night Lights” cut a deal with DirecTV, allowing the satellite network to air the third season of the show on The 101 before NBC got to air it. DirecTV aired the 13-episode season beginning Oct. 1, 2008. So, many people already know what happened in the lives of the players and coaches of the Panthers football team. NBC began airing the third season on Friday, Jan. 16, at 9 p.m. EST.
* * *

Q: Can you tell me what the lovely Claire Forlani has coming up next? — Brooke M., West Palm Beach, Fla.

A: Currently, you can catch the beautiful English actress, who has starred in “Mallrats” and “Meet Joe Black,” in the original miniseries titled “The Diplomat.” Claire, 36, co-stars with husband Dougray Scott (“Desperate Housewives,” “Mission: Impossible II”) as Pippa Porter, the estranged wife of Dougray’s character, Ian Porter. Ian is a disillusioned British diplomat haunted by personal tragedy (which involves Pippa) who is believed to be doing business with a Russian arms and drug trafficker. When he refuses to cooperate with Scotland Yard, suspicions mount and Porter must try to complete his secret mission before irreparable damage is caused. The miniseries will premiere on Friday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. EST on ION Television.
* * *

Q: I really love the sitcom “Rules of Engagement.” Has it been canceled? — Nancy R., via e-mail

A: The CBS sitcom starring David Spade, Patrick Warburton, Megyn Price and Oliver Hudson will begin its third season as a midseason replacement. As of press time, an exact date had not been announced (probably sometime in February), so check your local listings for more information.
* * *

Q: I loved the book “The Last Templar.” I heard they are making a movie of it, but I can’t find out anything. Can you help? — Contessa T., via e-mail

A: Yes, actually. NBC will be airing its movie version of “The Last Templar,” starring Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino, Scott Foley and Victor Garber. This original movie based on the best-selling Raymond Khoury novel has been made into a four-hour miniseries. The first part airs on Sunday, Jan. 25, with the conclusion airing Monday, Jan. 26 (9-11 p.m. EST both nights).
Mira plays Tess Chaykin, a Manhattan archaeologist who reluctantly teams up with FBI agent Sean Daley (Scott Foley). They are drawn into a fast-paced, romantic adventure as they attempt to uncover the lost secrets of the medieval Knights Templar. Veteran thespian Omar Sharif (“Doctor Zhivago,” “Lawrence of Arabia”) rounds out the all-star cast.

Have a question for Cindy? E-mail her at letters@cindyelavsky.com, or write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

© 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.