Look who’s running away from Dillon, Texas, to the home of Dylan McKay!
Sources tell me exclusively that Aimee Teegarden (Julie Taylor), of the ultratalented Friday Night Lights cast, has just been cast on the CW’s 90210.
The CW confirms that Aimee will be playing Rhonda, a West Beverly High student who will cross paths with one of the other characters.
Now, clearly, Aimee is an integral part of the FNL cast, so does her move to Beverly Hills mean Friday Night Lights may once again be in danger?
According to NBC, Friday Night Lights will not produce more than 13 episodes for the current third season, and they have just wrapped production for the year.
Still, this does not mean that Friday Night Lights has been canceled–at least not yet. A decision on FNL’s fate is expected to come after the third season begins airing on NBC on Jan. 16. If NBC renews it for a fourth season (as it should), the cast would go back into production in the summer of 2009.
“It’s more like a cable schedule, since cable shows usually shoot 13,” FNL’s Connie Britton explained to me. “It’s kind of great in a way because it’s a finite amount of work to do. The writers have a 13-episode arc. They know that they’re going to end at 13 and they don’t have to wait and see if maybe we’ll get picked up.”
The difference is that unlike previous years, the actors have been informed there will not be a pickup of additional episodes this season, so they have been cleared to work on other projects. I’m told the hope is that during this extended hiatus, some of the FNL stars can book projects that will expand their profile and draw more attention to the show. (It worked for Steve Carell and The Office.)
Says Connie, “We still, of course, hope that we’re going to get a season four!”
The third season of Friday Night Lights is now airing Wednesday nights on DirecTV’s 101 Network (there are four episodes left). Season three will start over again on NBC on Jan. 16, airing on Friday nights through the spring.