“Head of the Class” could be back in session.
HBO Max has issued a pilot production order (plus five additional scripts) for a potential series based on the classic ABC sitcom from the 1980s.
Here’s the logline for the updated version: “Head of the Class” is about a group of overachieving high school students who meet their greatest challenge — a teacher who wants them to focus less on grades and more on experiencing life.
The project hails from Doozer Productions in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. “American Vandal” alums Amy Pocha and Seth Cohen serve as writers, co-showrunners and executive producers on the prospective half-hour, multi-camera family comedy. Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley are also co-showrunners and exec producers.
“Head of the Class” was created by Rich Eustis and Michael Elias, and ran for five seasons and 114 episodes on ABC, premiering in 1986 and ending in 1991. It centered around a group of academically gifted high school students at the Millard Fillmore school in New York City, and their eccentric substitute history teacher Charlie Moore (Howard Hesseman). Hesseman’s character exited the series after season 4, giving way to a new unorthodox teacher Billy MacGregor, played by Scottish comedy legend Billy Connolly.
Some of the actors who played the original bevy of students include Dan Frischman, Dan Schneider, Tony O’Dell, Robin Givens, Kimberly Russell, Leslie Bega, Tannis Vallely, Khrystyne Haje and Brian Robbins. “Head of the Class” spawned a spinoff “Billy,” centered around Connolly’s character, which also starred a young Johnny Galecki and lasted only a single season on ABC.
HBO Max’s version will see Bill Lawrence and Jeff Ingold executive produce on behalf of Doozer, with Liza Katzer on board as a co-EP.
The development news comes almost exactly two weeks before the WarnerMedia streaming service is set to launch. HBO Max is mining several other classic titles, including “Gossip Girl” and “Grease,” for new content.