'Spectacular Now's Kyle Chandler And Other 'Friday Night Lights' Alums Who Finally Found Their Place

After NBC's beloved Friday Night Lights went off the air two years ago, fans eagerly awaited to hear what projects the show's actors had lined up post-FNL. Unfortunately, there weren't many. With a few exceptions (Connie Britton, here's looking at you), most of the actors struggled to find work outside of Dillon, TX. Taylor Kitsch, perhaps the Panther with the highest possibility for stardom, led flop after flop, Zach Gilford's Mob Doctor was dead on arrival, and Kyle Chandler only showed up in supporting roles, when clearly, he should've been the star. Yet this summer, the FNL cast has finally found its footing, appearing in some major high-profile roles on TV and in film, and we couldn't be happier. Image: NBC

10 Ex-'FNL' Cast Members Who Got Jobs This Summer

After NBC's beloved Friday Night Lights went off the air two years ago, fans eagerly awaited to hear what projects the show's actors had lined up post-FNL. Unfortunately, there weren't many. With a few exceptions (Connie Britton, here's looking at you), most of the actors struggled to find work outside of Dillon, TX. Taylor Kitsch, perhaps the Panther with the highest possibility for stardom, led flop after flop, Zach Gilford's Mob Doctor was dead on arrival, and Kyle Chandler only showed up in supporting roles, when clearly, he should've been the star. Yet this summer, the FNL cast has finally found its footing, appearing in some major high-profile roles on TV and in film, and we couldn't be happier. Image: NBC

Kyle Chandler

Chandler has the talent, the looks, and the charm to be a leading man, and it's about time he got his due. While his role in August's The Spectacular Now is small, he gives a massive performance, cementing himself as a powerhouse actor willing to break type. He'll be appearing in November's Oscar-bait The Wolf of Wall Street, and has a major role in The Vatican, an upcoming TV movie. Image: A24

Connie Britton

The Woman Forever Known as Tami Taylor has been having a pretty great summer, earning an Emmy nod for her work in the ABC hit Nashville and giving a hilarious supporting turn in Aubrey Plaza's The To Do List that's bound to make FNL fans' jaws drop. It's about time Britton proves that she can play more than just one type of mom. Image: CBS Films

Michael B. Jordan

Of all the FNL cast, Michael B. Jordan is by far doing the best right now. He's the star of July's critically acclaimed Fruitvale Station, and his performance is already making Oscar voters take notice. With a roster of promising upcoming projects and a thousand people wanting to work with him, Jordan can revel in the success of Fruitvale for as long as he likes. Image: The Weinstein Company

Jesse Plemons

Plemons, who played Friday Night Lights' loveable nerd Landry Clarke, has found steady work in supporting roles since leaving the show. On Aug. 11, he returns as child-murderer Todd in the season premiere of Breaking Bad, a role that's brought him more praise than any Crucifictorious song ever could. Image: AMC

Minka Kelly

Minka Kelly struggled to find work after leaving FNL, appearing most prominently in a recurring arc on NBC's Parenthood and the first (and only) season of ABC's Charlie's Angels. Yet in August, she'll appear as Jackie Kennedy in Lee Daniels' highly anticipated The Butler, and has both a movie and a TV series in the works. Image: The Weinstein Company

Gaius Charles

Smash Williams has returned! Gaius Charles was mostly absent from TV/film after leaving Friday Night Lights, but he's made a triumphant comeback as Dr. Shane Ross, an intern on the ABC hit Grey's Anatomy. He's spending his summer preparing for his September return to the show, and Smash fans (aka everyone) are counting down the days. Image: ABC

Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Smollett-Bell has been making waves this summer with a recurring role on True Blood, appearing in six episodes over the past few months. Image: HBO

Dora Madison Burge

Like Smollett-Bell, Burge has appeared in several episodes of a hit TV show this summer — Showtime's Dexter, where she plays the college-aged daughter of a main character. Image: Showtime

Scott Porter

In this summer's The To Do List, Porter, who played paralyzed quarterback Jason Street, reunited with his TV coach's wife, Connie Britton. It's not quite the FNL reunion fans have hoped for, but it's enough to keep us hoping that more of the show' cast members will find ways to get together on-screen again. Image: CBS Films

Emily Rios

Rios may not be the most famous of the FNL alumni (or the most beloved — did anyone actually like Epyck?), but her resume since leaving the show is pretty impressive. She's had major roles on TNT's Men of a Certain Age and Breaking Bad, and now, she's starring alongside Diane Kruger in FX's new hit The Bridge. Not too bad for a girl who even Tami Taylor said was a lost cause. Image: FX