So with the start of Season 5, we have our first ever school year where not a single player or student is someone we had at the start of the series. Julie Taylor (Aimee Teegarden) is the only member of the “FNL’s” original teenage population even remaining. Yes, we’ll get to see most of them again by the end of the season, but for now, let’s see where they’ve landed.
Scott Porter (Jason Street, DHS, class of 07)
The first graduate of Dillon High, Street stuck around long past his senior year — mobility issues and whatnot. And though we will see Porter reprise the role in Season 5, after a two-season absence, he can currently be seen on “The Good Wife” as recurring investigator Blake Calamar, who’s got some pretty awesome sexual tension with Kalinda (Archie Panjabi).
Gaius Charles (Brian “Smash” Williams, DHS, class of 08)
Smash had his dramatic ride off into the sunset, so don’t plan on seeing him again, but Charles is making some pretty crafty career moves. In addition to film roles in “Salt” and “Takers,” he recently appeared in New York’s Public Theater’s production of “Othello,” alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman. Classy!
Minka Kelly (Lyla Garrity, DHS, class of 09)
Possibly better known for her high profile romance with Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter, Kelly can currently be seen in a recurring role on NBC’s “Parenthood. Up next? 2011’s “Single White Female” redux, “The Roommate,” alongside doppelganger Leighton Meester.
Adrianne Palicki (Tyra Colette, DHS, class of 09)
The only Dillon alum to disappear without even a hint of resolution, after her heart-wrenching performance in Season 3, we might be most excited for Tyra’s return. It will make us feel better after the immediate failure of her super-buzzed role on FOX’s “Lone Star.” With other TV prospects currently on hold, you can next see her starring in the remake of “Red Dawn.”
Zach Gilford (Matt Saracen, DHS, class of 09)
No, he’ll never quite free himself of Dillon (How else would we see Grandma Saracen?), but Gilford does have a lot of other prospects. He’ll be a series regular on Shonda Rhimes’ “Grey’s Anatomy” meets “Doctors Without Borders” mid-season entry, “Off the Map.”
Taylor Kitsch (Tim Riggins, DHS, class of 09)
Kitsch won’t exactly be MIA this season either, but outside of “FNL,” he’s shaved those gorgeous man-locks for a starring turn in “Battleship,” the movie based on the board game. Fortunately, he was still rocking that signature mane when he filmed “John Carter from Mars,” in which he’ll play the title role.
Jesse Plemons (Landry Clarke, EDHS, class of 10)
No longer a regular, Plemons will make a few appearances in Season 5, but he doesn’t have much else on his plate — other than a super-cute reunion with Riggins in “Battleship.”
Photo credit: NBC-Universal