By Michael Ausiello
August 08, 2010 at 03:00 PM EDT

Image 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!