We have the first newly picked up broadcast series from Pilot Season 2017. NBC has given two drama pilots — Rise, from former Friday Night Lights showrunner Jason Katims and Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller; and For God & Country, from writer Dean Georgaris — series orders. They come two weeks after the two pilots — both from sibling studio Universal Television — received permission by the network to start making firm offers to writers. NBC traditionally kicks off the new series pickups as it is the first broadcast network to present its 2017-18 schedule on Monday morning of upfront week.
Rise (fka Drama High), starring How I Met Your Mother‘s Josh Radnor, has been a very early favorite at NBC, which aired the Broadway-themed drama Smash and launched an annual live musical franchise under chairman Bob Greenblatt, a long-time musical theater buff, producer and investor.
Written by Katims, Rise was inspired by the story of groundbreaking high school drama teacher Lou Volpe as chronicled in the book Drama High. In the hourlong project, when dedicated teacher and family man Lou Mazzuchelli (Radnor) sheds his own self-doubt and takes over the school’s lackluster theater department, he galvanizes not only the faculty and students but the entire working-class town.
The series stars Radnor, Rosie Perez and Marley Shelton, with a young cast featuring Moana star Auli’i Cravalho. Damon J. Gillespie, Amy Forsyth, Rarmian Newton, Ted Sutherland, Casey Johnson, Taylor Richardson, Joe Tippett and Shirley Rumierk also-co-star, while Stranger Things standout Shannon Purser (aka Barb) has a recurring role. Katims and Michelle Lee executive produce via True Jack Productions. Seller and Flody Suarez also executive produce via Seller Suarez Productions. Mike Cahill is director/executive producer.