All American Season 5: Is Billy Baker dead? Is Taye Diggs leaving All American?

On the CW show All American, Billy Baker is one of the main characters.  He was in charge of the football team at Beverly High. He gets Spencer James from South Crenshaw to join his team because he sees himself in Spencer and has a connection with him that no one else knows about. He is the lost son of Crenshaw and is now the head football coach at South Crenshaw High. Billy, a former NFL player who has yet to come to terms with his past and move on from his glory days, is working hard to better himself, his family, and the team he once played for. As new chances arise in Crenshaw, Billy must decide what’s best for him and his family. All American Season 5 Episode 11, Billy confirms the team’s worst fears by telling them he will not be leaving to coach BAU after all. But at the end of the episode, we received the shocking and sad news.  It seems reasonable to ponder one straightforward question after the February 13 airing of All American Season 5 on CW: Is Billy Baker Dead?  Is Taye Diggs leaving All-American?( Here we explained everything.

All American Season 5: Is Billy Baker dead?

The cast and crew of All American have been holding a massive secret from the show’s audience for close to a year, and in All American Season 5 Episode 11, they were finally able to spill the beans: Billy Baker has passed away.  The sentimental hour was themed “Time,” and it was during that time that Billy and the South Crenshaw football players took part in a combine. This gave the Crenshaw men the opportunity to display their abilities in front of college coaches.

How did Coach Billy die in All American Season 5 Episode 11?

A tire on the bus that was carrying Billy, Asher, Jabari (Simeon Daise), and the other Crenshaw players burst while they were returning home from the event, which resulted in a crash that left the vehicle perilously perched on the edge of a cliff. It seemed inevitable that he would lose his life while trying to save the others on his squad, and that is exactly what occurred.   But when Billy later realized that Jabari was still trapped on the bus, he went back to help him, and that act of kindness ultimately led to Billy’s demise. When Billy initially got out safely and helped the rest of the passengers climb out, too, but when Billy later realized that Jabari was still trapped on the bus, he went back to help him. The viewers didn’t get to see the actual moment that Billy passed away, though; instead, Grace (Karimah Westbrook) and Jordan (Michael Evans Behling), who were at the scene of the bus crash, came home and broke the devastating news to Laura, Olivia, Spencer, and Coop, just as Spencer ((Daniel Ezra) was listening to a sweet voicemail from Billy that aimed to resolve their current discord over Billy potentially leaving Crenshaw for GAU. Coop was also listening to the voicemail at the time, and he was the only one who heard it. At the conclusion of the episode, Grace and Jordan returned to the house to break the news to their family that Billy had passed away. Olivia (Samantha Logan), who was crying as the episode came to a close, was cradled in Spencer’s arms. Earlier in the day, Spencer had left a message for Billy.

Is Taye Diggs leaving All-American on The CW? Why is Taye Diggs leaving

Scott Leo Taye Diggs, who has co-starred in All American from the show’s pilot episode and played the role of a trustworthy football coach and father figure, has left the CW series. All American Season 5 Episode 11 aired on Feb 13 served as his official farewell. He will no longer be appearing on All American.  After the bus accident, he passed away while attempting to save his players.

The following is what Nkechi Okoro Carroll, the showrunner for All American, had to say regarding the decision to write out the character in such a fashion in a recent interview she gave to TVLine:

 I was like, “Listen, there’s only one way Billy leaves the show.” He would never leave his kids. He would never leave his wife after fighting to get his family back together and go take a coaching gig in Florida. I was like, “Just so we’re all clear, when it is time for Billy to go, there’s only one way he goes.” And I think that part was a surprise to Taye. He was like, “Huh!” But I’d always had that vision in my head, and even though we hadn’t even started Season 5, I knew what it would be, and I knew where it would fall if we did it that season. So I pitched him a whole episode, almost act by act. And there was a moment of silence. I was like, “Oh my God, did I lose him? Did he drop the call? Is he cursing me out in his head?” [Laughs] And then I realized he was actually really emotional. He said, “I never, in a million years, imagined it would be that kind of heroic sendoff.” And I was like, “It’s Billy Baker. Of course, it is!” This is a man who takes in other people’s kids as his own. There’s only one way for him to go.

…God bless the cast. It’s their best work. They gave it everything, and did it with that layer [of knowledge] from Episode 1 of Season 5, knowing where it was going. If you go back, you’ll see pockets of moments. You’ll see a moment where Billy’s sitting down with Jordan in a very early episode — it’s Episode 1! — and he says to him, “You need to learn to make these decisions for yourself, because I’m not always gonna be here.” And you see that hit Jordan. It is such a fleeting moment, and it’s not until you go back and watch it that you’re like, “Oh my gosh. They knew.” In some way, it was almost like in his gut, Billy knew he’s not going to be here for long.

Diggs, meantime, has a vast film, TV, and stage resume that includes roles in Rent on Broadway and the feature film How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and he just reprised his role in Peacock’s The Best Man: The Final Chapters. Back in the Groove, a Hulu dating competition series recently featured him as a host.

Did Billy Baker actually play in the NFL?

Daniel Ezra and Spencer Paysinger discussed the true story behind All American in a 2019 interview with TV Guide. Coach Billy Baker was revealed to be based on Paysinger’s own uncle, Carter Paysinger. While Paysinger was a student at Beverly Hills High, Carter coached the football team.  Just like Spencer, he attended both Crenshaw High and Beverly Hills High and was drafted into the NFL as a second-round choice before knee injuries ended his playing career.

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Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilson is the senior news writer for TV Acute. She spends too much money on collectables and is enamored with movies, comics, and television series. She loves binge-watching and can spend hours talking about movies and TV shows. She can immerse herself into a good story no matter the genre or form and only come out from it when she's had her fill. When she's not writing, she's probably cooking or exploring new places. You can follow her daily exploits on Twitter and Facebook.

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