Connie Britton is putting Dillon, Texas in her rearview mirror.
The actress, who played beloved matriarch, football wife and high school guidance counselor-turned-principal Tami Taylor on all five seasons of Friday Night Lights, reunites with FNL creator Jason Katims on Apple TV+'s Dear Edward—but don't expect Tami 2.0.
"When Jason reached out, I was so excited to hear from him," Connie exclusively told E! News. "I thought it was so inspired that this is what he envisioned for me after working with me on Tami Taylor for so long. I was like, ‘Yes!' Because of course we have to go to the other end of the spectrum."
On the other end of that spectrum is Dee Dee Cameron, a rich, over-the-top New York socialite whose husband is among those named dead in a plane crash. As Dee Dee's life unravels—in more ways than one—she's forced to pick up the pieces.
"This character gave me as much joy as Tami," Connie said. "She made me laugh all the time. I just think she's such a ballsy broad. Even when she loses everything, that's my favorite part. She has to break apart, but then she finds the courage to keep going and to know herself better."
When it came time to cast Dee Dee on the show, which is based on Ann Napolitano's 2020 novel of the same name, Katims knew exactly who he had to call—and it was precisely that deviation from Tami that appealed to Katims the most.
"Always in the back of my mind, I was thinking I wanted to work with her again," Katims told E! News. "The thing that was great about this was the character she's playing is so different than Tami Taylor. I think that freed us both up to really dive in together and work on this character. There was never a sense of, 'Wait a second, what are we doing? Are we doing something different here? Are we trying to capture the old magic?'"
While Tami and Dee Dee might be two very different women, Katims said working with Connie again was a familiar delight.
"The minute we started shooting and I saw what she did, I was in awe," he marveled. "She just makes me smile every time she comes on screen. We had a shorthand from working together years ago. It was like we stepped right back into it. We didn't miss a beat."
The first three episodes of Dear Edward are available to stream Feb. 3.