1676364610 All American Shockers Why SPOILER Stopped Halfway Through Season 5

‘All American’ Shockers: Why [SPOILER] Stopped Halfway Through Season 5: “It Just Felt Right”

All American -

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers for “Time” Season 5 Episode 11 of “All American”.

Taye Diggs bids farewell to The CW’s “All American.” The actor has portrayed Billy Baker on the drama since his 2018 debut. On Monday’s episode, Billy tells his team that while the rumors that he left her to coach BAU were true, he has since changed his mind and will remain their coach. On the way home from the Crenshaw combine, the tire on the team’s bus blew out, causing an accident. Billy got off the bus with the rest of the team, or so he thought. After calling his wife and daughter to tell them he was fine, he found Jabari (Simeon Daise) stuck on the bus, which was half-hanging on a cliff. Despite Grace (Karimah Westbrook) and Jordan (Michael Evans Behling) begging, he went back to try to save Jabari.

The episode ended with Grace and Jordan coming home to notify the family that Billy had died. Spencer (Daniel Ezra), who had voicemailed Billy earlier in the day, caught a sobbing Olivia (Samantha Logan) in his arms as the episode ended.

“By the end of last season, I had a pretty good idea of ​​where the season was going,” showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll told Variety of Diggs’ exit.

Troy Harvey/THE CW

At the end of each season, since Carroll served as showrunner in Season 2, she talks to each actor about where they see their character going.

“We were so incredibly lucky to have Taye Diggs on this production from day one. One of the things we always talked about was that we had no idea how long we would be able to hold him. I mean, he’s Taye Diggs,” she continues. “So we thought, let’s always make sure we’re communicating, and if it feels like it’s the right time if we both feel that way, we will let’s talk and find a really cool way to make him leave the show.”

At the end of Season 4, she and Diggs spoke about Billy’s journey and legacy and it “just came together,” she says.

“It became a common thing, we have the opportunity to do something that no one will expect. Does this feel like the right time for this? We both felt like it was,” she recalls, noting that Diggs was “so emotional” at the time. However, she knew that this was the only way to let him go as Billy would never intentionally leave his family behind.

“Even though it was so far in advance, I already knew whenever it was going to happen that I was going to do it this way. I pitched it to him like I’m pitching an episode, beat by beat, even though it was going to be a good year or so from now,” says Carroll. “He was like, ‘It feels like the right time and it feels like the right way to do it.’ It just felt right for both of us.”

Each of the next few episodes looks at death from a different character’s point of view – and they all deal with it very differently.

He just got what he always dreamed of for Jordan – his father wants to train him at the GAU.

“Billy went to South LA and met Spencer after a game and said, ‘I want you to come and play for me.’ He never said that to his son until that moment where Jordan would do GAU,” she explains, referring to the conversation between Billy and Jordan in Episode 8. “So, to finally have that moment where Dad needs you, not the other one around, and wants you to play for him and stay with the GAU and then have that taken away from you before you could have that moment, what does that do to Jordan? What does Billy’s legacy look like in Jordan’s life? How does Jordan stand now as the baker of the house?”

Billy and Jordan on “All American” Troy Harvey/THE CW

For Spencer, he will carry the blame for his last conversation with Billy for being argumentative and for not answering his call.

“If you have a chance to talk to someone and you put them on voicemail and then suddenly that person is gone, you can never call them back and have that conversation, that’s going to weigh you down,” says Carroll. “It weighs on Spencer in unexpected ways, in a way that people are going to feel very familiar, and then in another way where you feel, oh, something bigger is happening here.”

There’s also the grief Olivia will face over losing her father and what that means for her sobriety.

“This is the first man she’s ever loved. She’s been spending a lot of time in this new phase of her life with her career this season and Billy has been such a big part of it with the GAU article. It’s kind of the last big thing they did together. So we’ll see how she grapples with what life after Billy is like,” Carroll explains. “It’s no secret that she’s a recovering addict. But we also had no interest in repeating stories we’ve previously shared with Olivia in terms of if she falls off the wagon, how she falls off the wagon. So we took a very conscious journey with her and how she processes her grief and how she digs to find out exactly what she’s feeling and who is helping her get there.

All American was early renewed for Season 6 last month. All American: Homecoming, the 2022 spin-off founded by Carroll, is currently airing its second season.

All American airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW

This interview has been edited and abridged.