Former 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

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