The CW President Mark Pedowitz said that All American’s modest linear debut was boosted by binging on Netflix, one of the considerations that went into the renewal decision.
Cody Christian, who plays Asher Adams in the series, about a star high school football player from South Central who is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High School, a second season in April, said, “It’s a huge blessing. Now we have eyes on the show and the opportunity to come back and explore these characters.”
Taye Diggs, who plays head coach Billy Baker, added, “We were all very hopeful and very encouraged because we knew we were part of something special. Nobody knows what goes on behind closed door or how decisions are made… I acted as if we were coming back and was very hopeful. I had no idea that the show would do as well as it did on Netflix… I was very grateful and relieved.”
The first season of the show ended with a big championship win for Beverly High and two major cliffhangers as Spencer (Daniel Ezra) is left pondering whether to stay at the school or return to South Crenshaw High while his little brother’s paternity is being questioned.
Showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll said that the second season would address these cliffhangers, “hopefully in an unexpected way”. “What we continue to do on the show is represent these two families, coming from two different worlds and what it’s like to be a teenager in America now,” she added.
She revealed that the second season would begin after the end of the regular football season but not the next school year, meaning that it will feature seven versus seven games. “The [football] season is never really over,” she said. “A lot of football players have said that time of year was their favourite.”
She added that the show would eventually address the issue of CTE and brain injuries, although Okoro Carroll said that she wanted to wait until they had an “authentic” angle.
Inspired by the life of professional football player Spencer Paysinger, All American stars Ezra as Spencer, a talented high school football player from Crenshaw who gets to transfer to an elite school in Beverly Hills. Young British actor Ezra, who is relatively new to the sport, revealed that he’s now got a soft spot for the Raiders.
The show is produced by Berlanti Prods. and Warner Bros. TV. It returns October 7.