In the series, spirited young black teacher Amarie Baldwin scores the principal job at an Akron, Ohio, public high school. She must dig deep to transform a failing campus into an urban oasis. In a time when education and school safety have life-or-death stakes, Amarie will take on a broken system that tests her mettle, love life and family.
The series hails from Wendy Calhoun, who will serve as the writer and executive producer on the project. Calhoun most recently served as a consulting producer for ABC’s “Station 19.” She has developed new series pilots with Netflix, FBC, 20th Century Fox Television, FX, with ABC Signature. Her past credits include “Empire,” “Nashville,” “Justified,” and “Revenge.”
James, an Akron native, will executive produce alongside Maverick Carter through their production company, SpringHill Entertainment. Legend will executive produce via his Get Lifted Film Co. along with Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius. SpringHill and Get Lifted will produce in association with Warner Bros. Television, where SpringHill and Calhoun are under overall deals.
The news comes on the same day as other big news for both James and Legend. As Variety previously reported, James is also attached to executive produce a female-led basketball drama at NBC alongside Elizabeth Banks. Legend, who just completed his EGOT with an Emmy win last weekend, has joined “The Voice” Season 16 as a coach, taking over for Jennifer Hudson.
The “Lean on Me” film was released in 1989. It starred Morgan Freeman and was loosely based on the true story of high school principal Joe Louis Clark, who became infamous for his disciplinary methods at Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey.
SpringHill is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham LLP. Get Lifted is repped by WME. Calhoun is repped by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, and Morris Yorn.