The “Parenthood” creator has landed a pilot order for “Drama High,” an hourlong series about the drama department at a working class high school, Variety has learned.
Based on the book by Michael Sokolove, “Drama High” is inspired by the true story of high school drama teacher Lou Volpe. The pilot centers around the incredible students who come alive under a passionate teacher and family man whose dedication to the program galvanizes the entire town.
The book on which the pilot is based has been described as “Glee” meets “Friday Night Lights.” Katims was an executive producer of the latter series.
The theater-based project has a Broadway vet on board as executive producer — “Hamilton” producer Jeffrey Seller. The pilot marks the first project to fall under Seller’s Universal Television deal with Flody Suarez.
Universal TV is the studio. Seller and Suarez are exec producing via their Seller Suarez Prods. Katims is exec producing through his True Jack Productions, along with his producing partner Michelle Lee.
For Katims, should “Drama High” be greenlit to series, it would mark his third current TV project, though his schedule may clear up a bit by the time the 2017-2018 season kicks off — he created “Pure Genius” at CBS, but the medical drama likely will not be renewed for a sophomore season. He’s also an executive producer on Hulu’s “The Path,” which recently began its second season.
For Seller, should the project be picked up to series, it would mark his first-ever scripted TV show.
“Drama High” is the latest pilot pickup at NBC. The network has ordered drama pilots for a high-stakes medical drama from former “Law & Order: SVU” showrunner Warren Leight and Paul Haggis; a military series “For God and Country” from Keshet; suburban crime drama “Good Girls” from Shondaland alum Jenna Bans; and a virtual reality project “Reverie” from the “Extant” producers. On the comedy side, NBC has an A-list slate with pilots from “Will & Grace” co-creator Max Mutchnick, Mindy Kaling; Tina Fey; Bill Lawrence; Seth Meyers; one inspired by the life of Kourtney Kang from “Fresh Off the Boat” showrunner Nahnatchka Khan and director Fred Savage; plus “What About Barb?” which is a female-led remake of the film “What About Bob?”