Scoop: 'FNL' MVP Zach Gilford scores role in Shonda Rhimes' 'Off the Map'

zach-gilfordImage Credit: Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty ImagesZach Gilford is traveling a long way from Dillon, Texas for his next TV gig.

The ex-Friday Night Lights QB is joining ABC’s Shonda Rhimes-produced medical drama Off the Map as a series regular.

Gilford will play a plastic surgeon in the South America-set drama, which is slated to premiere at midseason.

“The character is still being written, but I’ve heard him described as kind of an all-American frat boy,” says Gilford. “[Map creator Jenna Bans] told me she loves FNL, but wants to distance me from that role as much as possible. [Something] that excited me.”

This isn’t Gilford’s first time appearing on a Rhimes series. The actor guest-starred on Grey’s Anatomy back in season 5. “I didn’t have any direct contact with Shonda, but I have watched Grey’s since the beginning and I’ve also seen a little bit of Private Practice,” he says. “Her work speaks for itself.”

Gilford’s casting comes less than two weeks after news broke that Map star Enrique Murciano had been dropped from the show for creative reasons.

Thoughts? Is Map suddenly on your radar now that Gilford’s on board? Sound off below!

Comments (58 total) Add your comment
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  • C

    I love him, I’ll watch anything he’s in…even if it is yet another medical show!

    • Brody

      My thoughts exactly. My response to this was, “Oh, crap. Now I’m going to have to watch this.”

    • PMD

      You guys said exactly what I was thinking!! I stopped watching Grey’s after the Izzie ghost sex debacle and I have not been back and I am not a PP fan. But I guess I am going to have to jump on the Shonda Rhimes/medical drama bus, because I am already having Matt/FNL withdrawals!!!

  • Rob

    Isn’t Gilford a little young to be a plastic surgeon? The guy was playing a teenager last season and now he is going to play a doctor in his early to mid 30s? I like Gilford, but he seems a bit miscast for the role at least based on appearance.

    • Mike

      I agree it seems like a miscast to me. I love Zach but going to a Shonda Rhimes show seems like a downgrade for him. Shonda is overrated and so are both of her shows.

    • Kris

      I doubt the character is suppose to be in his 30s if he’s playing an “All American Frat Boy”

      • Rob

        Well, a full fledged plastic surgeon would be in his 30s. He would have graduated from medical school at like 26 and would have had 6-8 of residency. I guess TV logic will forgo the fact that he is actually too young to be a real surgeon and not a resident.

    • Brody

      I think he’s in his late 20s in real life, but I could be wrong about that. And Sarah Drew, who plays Dr. Kepner on Gray’s, played a high school student in an ep of Supernatural just this past season.

      • Natalie

        She also played a high school student on Glee.

  • Jayme

    I watched Grey’s for three seasons and the only two episodes that I actually featured Kyle Zchandler. I was intending on giving this a go due to the Wonderfalls girl, now with an FNL alum – I’m going to blown away hopefully.

  • Michael

    As much as I love the Rhimes machine, I will at least give the show a chance now. Love Zach.

    • Spike

      Let’s remember, this is not really a quote, “Shonda Rhimes”, unquote, show. She is one of the executive producers, but the creator of the show is Jenna Bans (a long time Grey’s writer).

      And I like Zach too – looking forward to seeing him. But frankly, this show could feature trained monkeys and as long as Caroline Dhavernas is on it, I am THERE.

  • Lina

    I had the same thought about his age. He seems a little young to play a plastic surgeon. I do hope he can pull it off, though.

  • Denise

    Definitely will watch now that ZG is on the show.

  • Bee

    OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS! zach is awesome and incredibly talented and it’s amazing that he has another show already. and to have it on a show with actual buzz. i already was really pumped for OTM and this just makes it even better.

  • Ronnie1

    Anyone remember a little show called “Doogie Howser”? Zach is a really good actor, and I’m sure he’ll be able to play a doctor. Besides, the character is described as a “frat boy”…and I’ve seen doctors that look as young as high school students. Zach can do this…no worries!

  • Gayle

    I hadn’t heard of the show and it being another medical drama, I probably wouldn’t have watched, but with Zach in it, I’ll definitely watch. I find it hard to swallow that he’s going to be playing a surgeon, but with that stellar performance in, “The Son,” I believe he can do anything. Can’t wait to watch him!

  • Jules

    LOVE Zach Gilford. Definitely watch this show….because he is in it haha. Very excited!

  • Alex

    I have up on Greys after the 3rd season and didn’t really have any interest in Private Practice. But I love Zach Gilford more than I can say and will watch him in ANYTHING. So count me in for this show!

  • Ncdrew

    Originally, I had no intention of watching this show. I do still view Grey’s out of habit, but I hate Private Practice. However, with Zach on board, I’m all in.

  • Becca

    I’ll definitely give Off The Map a chance now. Never saw Friday Night Lights but Zach Gilford impressed me when he appeared on Grey’s in the Season 5 finale.

    • Julz

      You should go back and watch all the seasons of FNL. Such a brilliant show.

  • Jess

    Great for Zach he is such a talented actor!! But i am NOT a fan of Shonda i completely stopped watching Greys cuz i feel she ran it in the crapper!! But now that Zach is on this new show as much as i luv him i still don’t know if i am gonna tune in! I guess i will have to wait until promos and spoilers come out and then make up my mind!!

  • Megan

    I think Zach is a great actor and I’ll definitely give Off the Map a try now.

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