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‘How I Met Your Mother’ Alum Josh Radnor to Star in NBC’s ‘Drama High’ Pilot

Variety logo Variety 3/10/2017 Elizabeth Wagmeister
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Josh Radnor will topline NBC’s buzzy “Drama High” pilot, Variety has learned.

The “How I Met Your Mother” alum will play the head of the drama department, based on real-life high school drama teacher Lou Volpe. The pilot is inspired by Volpe’s life, centering around the incredible students who come alive under a passionate teacher and family man whose dedication to the program galvanizes the entire town.

Radnor’s character is named Lou Mazzuchelli, described as a left of center leading man who has to discover his own passion, drive and charisma. He is a father of three, husband and an English teacher at a school in a rust belt town in Pennsylvania, who decides to take a leap on taking over the drama department and it ignites an excitement in him which surprises him and spreads to his students.

“Drama High” is based on the book of the same name by Michael Sokolove, and has been described as “Glee” meets “Friday Night Lights.”

The pilot hails from “Friday Night Lights” alum  and “Parenthood” creator Jason Katims, who will executive produce with “Hamilton” producer Jeffrey Seller, Flody Suarez and Michelle Lee of Katims’ shingle True Jack Productions. Universal Television is the studio.

So far, the cast of students includes “Moana” Auli’i Cravalho, Rarmian Newton and “Stranger Things” fan-favorite “Shannon Purser. Rosie Perez will also star.

“Drama High” marks Radnor’s return to broadcast television, after starring on “How I Met Your Mother” for nine seasons on CBS. He most recently starred on PBS’s “Mercy Street,” which was cancelled earlier today after two seasons. He is repped by UTA and attorney Andrew Hurwitz.

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