CW Series 'All American' Kills off Original Character in Shocking Twist
Fans of The CW's hit sports drama All American were left in shock and tears after a beloved character was unexpectedly killed off. (Warning: this post contains major spoilers for All American Season 5, Episode 11, "Time"). During Monday night's all-new episode, Taye Diggs' Billy Baker died in an extremely tragic manner, bringing to an end Diggs' five-year tenure on the show.
In the episode, Billy died after in a tragic bis crash. After accepting he head coaching job at GAU, where he was set to reunite with Spencer and his son Jordan, Billy was on a bus with Asher and Jabari, among others, when it suddenly crashed after blowing a tire. Although Billy initially exited the bus, which was half hanging off of a cliff, mostly unscathed, he re-entered it after discovering that Jabari is unaccounted for. The episode ended with Grace and Jordan telling Billy's family that he died.
"It has been an honor to work with Taye over these last five seasons and to watch him bring such incredible life to the role of Billy Baker," showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. "It has truly been a gift for me and my fellow writers to write a character that was equally flawed and heroic. Billy was all of us and what a joy it was to watch this character grow as he raised his kids and his football players as one big family. We wish Taye the very best in this next chapter of his life and he remains a beloved member of the All American family, so you haven't seen the last of Billy Baker."
Speaking with Variety, Carroll added that she "had a pretty good idea at the end of last season that that was where the season was going." Caroll explained that at the end of Season 4, she and Diggs began discussing Billy's journey and his legacy and it "just came together," Carroll sharing, "it t became a mutual thing of, we have an opportunity to do something that no one is going to expect."
In an interview with TVLine published just after the episode aired, Diggs, who has starred as Billy since All American's debut in late 2018, said that while he "was having a great time" on the show," he felt it was the right time to exit. Diggs told the outlet, "It was just a feeling that I got [that I was ready to leave], and I just honored that feeling," adding that he and Carroll had "been talking. And we decided how to go about it, and storylines and whatnot, so it was all above board, and everyone was in the know."
All American is one of The CW's highest-rated series. The network in January picked the series up for a sixth season. New episodes of All American air Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.