For eight seasons, Walking Dead fans watched as Carl Grimes grew from a squeaky-voiced kid to a selfless and hardened teenager who wasn't afraid of making sacrifices for others. Star Chandler Riggs had to vacate the role in Season 8 when Carl was shockingly killed off, and hadn't landed any major TV roles in the meantime. That's now changed, though, with Riggs signing on to join the hit ABC freshman drama A Million Little Things.
Chandler Riggs won’t be making a permanent stop when he arrives on A Million Little Things, and has currently only been tapped for a two-episode arc. That, of course, could certainly change, assuming his character doesn’t get killed off by being blown to smithereens. This is a show, after all, that could easily drop a non-death twist on fans, with some viewers wondering if Jon’s own suicide will somehow be reversed in the future.
When he shows up on A Million Little Things, Chandler Riggs won't be handling big guns and rocking an eyepatch. Instead, he will be portraying a young man named PJ, as confirmed by ABC. PJ is set for a chance encounter with Rome, and the two characters will discover they have quite a bit in common. As an example, both men have gone through some especially dark times that led them to be who they are.
Both Rome and PJ will be highly impacted in various ways by their meeting, although neither one of them will be quick about realizing how meaningful it was. That’s an interesting detail to note within PJ’s character description, since it’s not clear how the conversation (assuming it’s just a conversation) will end up affecting their lives in the bigger picture.
One way to ramp things up, of course, would be to have PJ serving as someone important linked to Rome’s past, or the backstories of any of the other main characters. PJ could be holding onto some major secret tied to Jon or Delilah, or more likely to the newly introduced Barbara Morgan, and possibly Ashley. I suppose those reveals wouldn’t exactly make Rome the best person for PJ to make a connection with, but it’s certainly plausible that PJ could get Rome to introduce him to the others in the group.
Maybe, just maybe, Chandler Riggs’ introduction won’t quite be so conspiratorial in nature. However, this is A Million Little Things, where viewers have conditioned themselves to take little for granted, and that each character has roughly 17,000 secrets being guarded away from other characters. So I’d probably be more shocked if PJ ended up truly being a random stranger without any pressing reveals to drop on Rome’s plate. (Maybe he’ll pretend to be Lawrence Kasdan and will invite Rome to dinner, which would be a bizarre callback.)
Even though he’s been a gigantic TV star ever since 2010, when he was just ten years old, Chandler Riggs has never starred in any other live-action shows beyond The Walking Dead. He’d been in a TV movie called The Wronged Man back in 2010, and he also voiced a stop-motion Carl Grimes for The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who’s Walking, which was quite hilarious.
Riggs has appeared in a couple of films over the years, 2014’s Mercy and 2017’s Keep Watching. It seemed like he might have continued developing his big screen career, what with upcoming roles in the crime thriller Inherit the Viper and the sci-fi thriller Only. He's also talked publicly about having tried out for Spider-Man and losing it to Tom Holland, something that still bums him out.
However, Chandler Riggs' Million Little Things casting implies that he’s more than comfortable finding more work on the medium that turned him into a household name. That name, of course, is “Coral.” Here's hoping AMC finds a way to bring him back somehow for the upcoming Rick Grimes standalone movies or any of the many other projects that are on the way.
A Million Little Things now airs every Thursday night on ABC at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what other exciting new additions are coming to primetime in the near future, head to our midseason TV premiere schedule.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.