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What Happened To Santiago Herrera On Friday Night Lights? An Unfortunate Event

Santiago Herrera, Jack St-James, Benny Ciaramello
Santiago Herrera(left), played by Benny Ciaramello (Right)

What Happened To Santiago Herrera On Friday Night Lights? The character appeared in Season 2 of the series, won hearts, and disappeared at the end of the season. Fans have numerous questions regarding his sudden exit, like why did he leave? Where is he now? Worry not, since you are in the right place for answers, and we will try our best to satisfy all your doubts.

The sports drama Friday Night Lights follows the story of the Dillon Panthers, the best football team in Dillon and one of the best in the nation. The story is fictional and was inspired by a 1990 book, Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream. However, the book contains the story of Permian Panthers from Odessa, so the story’s different at times.

Friday Night Lights took everyone into a different league. And Benjamin Ciaramello (as Santiago Herrera) also got the chance to put his skills to use. Santiago first appeared in Season 2 Episode 4, “Backfire.” In the episode, he gets out of the juvenile and meets Lyla Garrity (played by Minka Kelly).

Thereupon, he meets a father-like figure Buddy Garrity (played by Brad Leland), and joins the football team as a defensive player. He was supposed to be a part of the show after Season 2. But due to one of the most unfortunate events in entertainment history, his story didn’t proceed; neither was he given a proper ending, just left hanging. 

What Happened To Santiago Herrera On Friday Night Lights?

Santiago Herrera got caught in the 2007-08 Writers Strike started by the Writers Guild of America. He was one of those unfortunate actors who got caught in the crossfire. Due to the Writer’s Strike, the second season only had 15 episodes out of the originally planned 22 episodes. Many things got disrupted in the series, and the director and producers had no idea what to do next.

Santiago Herrera

Still Of Benny Ciaramello as Santiago Herrera in Friday Night Lights, Credit: Universal Television

The confusion led to an unexpected twist – a fresh start amid the ongoing story. In an interview with Uproxx, Jason Katims mentioned that many things went wrong with Season 2, and they were at the edge of closing. Given so many flaws, the ultimate decision was to continue the show with a time leap and erase some characters like they never existed. Though they were able to save the show, the decision led to its declining popularity.

In a podcast interview on Uproxx, Benny answers the questions in his own words. Benny was in Austin when the strike disrupted the series, and he said that sometimes things happen in the real world, which affects the fictional world they shoot. He didn’t have the slightest idea that something like this would happen.

Nonetheless, he accepted it, put it in his “yesterday,” and moved on. Because of the situation, the Dillion Panthers’ defensive player, No. 53, Santiago Herrera vanished, after Season 2, Episode 14, Leave No One Behind.

Benjamin Ciaramello’s Entertainment Industry Career

After Santiago’s end, his first lead role project was The Fall, in 2008. Other than that, he only got supporting roles in movies and series. Some of the major shows in which he got supporting roles were – CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, NCIS: Los Angeles, CSI: NY, Secret and Lies, and Mosquito, among others.

His most recent work was Mosquito, which came out in 2022. Benjamin is an underrated gem; his career isn’t where it should be. We can see if not for Santiago, we wouldn’t even bother knowing who he was. 2007-08 was a drastic year for him, he got the role to prove his skills, but luck couldn’t keep up, and he lost it.

We don’t know when we will ever see Benny on the screen, and the chances are little that he is coming as the main lead anytime soon. But “Hope never dies,” and we wish that he gets what he deserves, one good performance. Fact: Benjamin Ciaramello has another name, Jack St-James, and the history behind a secret. Meanwhile, listen to the podcast to know what else he said in the interview.

Also Read: What Happened To Chris Harrison From The Bachelor? Reason Behind His Sudden Official Exit

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