In addition to Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, full-time returnees include Jesse Plemons, Taylor Kitsch, Aimee Teegarden, and Jeremy Sumpter. Adrianne Palicki, Minka Kelly, and Zach Gilford will likely be back for short-term farewell arcs. (Michael Ausiello) Zach Gilford will be back for around five episodes next season. (Michael Ausiello)
Taylor Kitsch recently said he’s coming back for season four, but Minka Kelly is only back for a few episodes, which Connie Britton teased is not good news for Lyla and Riggins fans: “Riggins is going to have to move on. The reality of the situation is he’s in Dillon; he’s never going to leave Dillon probably, and she is. She has a whole future, and I think it would be really interesting to see what that does to him. Maybe she’ll come back and do some episodes, and we’ll see where she’s gone off to and see the difference between the girl who gets out and the guy who doesn’t. Those old high school relationships where you think [you’re] going to be forever together and then you’ve got your whole life ahead of you and everything changes. ” (Watch With Kristin)
Rumor has it that Riggins does not stay faithful to Lyla while she’s away at college. (Watch With Kristin)
The show is casting three new series regulars and one recurring guest star.
Vince: A charming yet dangerous East Dillon junior. He’s African-American and, when we first meet him, he’s running from the cops. Look for Coach Taylor to put his speed to better use as a member of the Lions. Series regular.
Luke: Vince’s classmate and arch nemesis. He’s Caucasian, cocky, and charming. Reminds some of a young Paul Newman. Dillon’s new geographical breakdown has him playing for the Lions, and he’s not happy about it. Series regular.
Jess: The super-energetic daughter of a onetime NFL hopeful, she knows the game inside and out. When she’s not busy coaching her younger brothers, this sophomore/junior is getting crushed on by every guy in Dillon, East and West. Series regular.
Becky: A freshman beauty queen whose family is purebred trailer trash. Think Blair Waldorf with lousy genes. She finds Riggins in bed with her mother and reacts by trying to seduce him herself. She is listed as recurring. (Michael Ausiello)
Scott Porter talks about his future on Friday Night Lights: “I may have a guest spot return to Dillon in season five. In the final episodes of the wrap-up season, we’ll put a bow on everybody. There are definitely some ways to bring Jason Street back. If Riggins gets in trouble, or if Riggins ends up getting married, then I’ll come back for that. [Street’s return] is probably going to be Riggins-related, although since I’m a football scout now, I could probably come down and look at some of the new kids at East Dillon.” (Watch With Kristin)
[VINCE] African-American, a Junior in high school, 16-17 years old, from a lower-class background. He is charming but dangerous and sometimes a little menacing. His father is in jail and Vince is involved in criminal activity on his behalf. We first meet him quickly fleeing the cops of East Dillon and it is that kind of speed Vince brings to the football field as well as a toughness we’ve never seen before. He has a dark side and occasionally he snaps. We see him at one point being mocked for a football loss and winds up pulling a gun on the guy making fun of him…SERIES REGULAR
[LUKE] Caucasian, a Junior in high school, 16-17 years old, a young Paul Newman type, cocky and charming. His family are ranchers, scraping to get by. Luke will initially be reluctant to become an integral part of the Lions. His enthusiasm for football has been stamped out by the politics that had him playing for Dillon and now for East Dillon. However, he is the strongest player on the team – except possibly for Vince – and he assumes a leadership role quickly which puts him at odds with Vince…SERIES REGULAR
[JESS] Female, African-American, a Sophomore or Junior in high school, 16-17 years old, Jess is the daughter of the smoker at a local BBQ joint who was himself a onetime NFL hopeful who never made it. Raised in a family steeped in football lore Jess knows the game inside and out. She has several younger brothers who she coaches/bosses around during youth football practices. Jess is a force of nature, super-energetic, and the type to make a big entrance and big exit. All of our male characters will be at least a little bit crazy about her sptv050769…SERIES REGULAR NOT ALL SHOWS PRODUCED
[BECKY] Caucasian Female, Texas Beauty Queen type, 18-20 years old to play high school freshman. A beauty pageant vet from a ‘trailer trash’ family, Becky is well aware that her good looks can get her just about everything she wants. She is surprised when, after meeting Tim Riggins when he wakes up in her mother’s bed, she can’t seem to convince him to hook up with her, too. Becky is the leader of the ‘Trash Bees’ a group of girls who discover that being in a new school means they can declare themselves the most important people in the social hierarchy…RECURRING GUEST STAR
Source: TV Guide
A rather glorious thing happened in March, when TV’s acclaimed if undersampled Friday Night Lights was renewed for not one but two more seasons. Although the series’ NBC return is a small eternity away (summer 2010) and its DirecTV premiere is still “TBD,” we tackled the opportunity to speak with Connie Britton about Tami’s “roller coaster” past, and apparently finite future.
TVGuide.com: I want you to know that my wife got hooked on Friday Night Lights this past season — and I think it’s largely due to the tactile and real performances given by you, Kyle Chandler, et al.
Connie Britton: Aw, that’s so awesome! That’s what I’m talking about, that’s what we need to do.
TVGuide.com: Hey, every head counts. What was your favorite thing about playing Tami last year?
Britton: For me, it felt like a roller coaster. The whole aspect of being principal was really interesting, because when I first heard about that, I was heady with power! I was like, “This is the be-all and end-all,” Kyle was jealous. … It was fantastic. And then they were like, “Yeah, but you’re going to have a huge head-to-head issue with Buddy, and ultimately you’ll lose.” [Laughs] I was like, “No fair!”
TVGuide.com: What are the odds that Tami and Eric will be working at rival Dillon high schools next season?
Britton: Knowing our writers, I bet that’s the way they’ll go, because that will be so interesting and challenging. And that’s how we do it at Friday Night Lights.
TVGuide.com: Last season we said sad goodbyes to both Smash and Jason…
Britton: C’mon, admit it, you cried during those episodes.
TVGuide.com: Maybe. Will Season 4 serve up anything similar for Matt (Zach Gilford), Tyra (Adrianne Palicki) or Lyla (Minka Kelly), all of whom could be heading off to college?
Britton: The writers just now are concocting their story ideas, but I would think they do a little arc for all those characters — or at least the ones they can. All these actors are going off and doing awesome movies and stuff. We are the farm team for Hollywood, with our actors, our writers, our director…. It’s crazy.
TVGuide.com: Executive producers Jason Katims and Jeffrey Reiner have gone off to do other projects (NBC’s Parenthood and Trauma, respectively). How might their absences affect the mood on the set?
Britton: I don’t think it will be different at all. We’ll have some different players on the team, but we also will have a lot of the same players. There’s Michael Waxman, who was our First [Assistant Director] for a long time before starting to direct some episodes, and we just love him. I think he’s going to be picking up some of the Jeff Reiner slack.
TVGuide.com: Plus you’re going into this transition as one of the business’ best-oiled machines.
Britton: I really do think that’s true. We’ve always attributed the success and greatness of Friday Night Lights to its process, and that involves every single person, from every department.
Review NBC’s complete 2009-10 TV season plan
TVGuide.com: What was the thinking behind a two-season pick-up? Was it financial?
Britton: I’m not involved in all those negotiations, but if I had to guess, the only reason somebody would do a two-season pick-up is if there’s a financial advantage. It impacts syndication, packaging….
TVGuide.com: So are you shooting Seasons 4 and 5 back-to-back? That’d be cost-effective.
Britton: No, I think there will be a little break between seasons, if for no other reason than to let the writers regroup.
TVGuide.com: Did you have your hand slapped at all for telling EW.com that after these next two seasons, the show is done?
Britton: No! I don’t think I’m out of bounds in saying that. I think that is the intention.
TVGuide.com: Hey, end dates are the new black — everybody is doing them.
Britton: Exactly, and we are all looking at it as an advantage. One of the things that’s so hard about TV is that time at the end of the season where it’s a guessing game of, “Will we ever see each other again?” That’s tough, man. So for us to have the luxury of knowing what we have in front of us and, frankly, knowing when we get to say goodbye, is great. Listen, if the show suddenly started making phenomenal amounts of money and gets phenomenal ratings and they’re like, “Let’s keep it going,” that would be great. But I have a feeling that this is a really good way to be really specific with stories.