Has the exodus of Friday Night Lights cast members begun? Is this a sign that the show’s long, arduous death march is coming to a close after three tumultuous, yet critically-acclaimed seasons? Aimee Teegarden, the adorable teen who plays Julie Taylor, progeny of Coach Eric Taylor and his lovely wife Tami, has signed for an appearance on the CW’s 90210. Teegarden will play a girl named Rhonda, who crosses paths with Ethan Ward, current boyfriend of de facto lead character Annie Wilson on 90210. As of now, Teegarden has signed on for one lonely episode, but there’s always the possibility for more. Can we read anything into the future of Friday Night Lights given this news?
No, not at all. Friday Night Lights has long finished production on its 13-episode third season, which has been airing exclusively on DirecTV and will re-air on the mother-ship NBC beginning in January. If there is a fourth season of Friday Night Lights, which is not likely to happen, production wouldn’t begin until next summer. Still, it is disconcerting to see one of the stars of a series as great as Friday Night Lights slumming it on a series as admittedly mediocre as 90210. There’s nothing wrong with 90210, and it’s a good career move for Teegarden to get some more exposure, but the actress has solidified her position in TV lore as a member of the Taylor family, a pantheon level TV family. A move to 90210, even for one episode, presupposes the imminent demise of Friday Night Lights.
NBC, if FNL were a hit show, likely wouldn’t allow one of its stars to appear on a competing network’s own high school series. But, obviously, FNL is not a hit series, and they want to allow their actors to move on with their careers, regardless of what the future holds for the Dillon Panthers and Friday Night Lights. Aimee Teegarden is one of the rare actresses on a high school series who is actually near the right age for her part. Still only 19, Teegarden should have a nice career ahead of her.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of NBC)