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NBC Orders High School Drama Pilot From ‘FNL’ Showrunner & ‘Hamilton’ Producer

Deadline logo Deadline 1/31/2017 Nellie Andreeva
© Provided by Deadline

Friday Night Live executive producer/showrunner Jason Katims is returning to high school for a new drama at NBC, Drama High, on which he has teamed with Jeffrey Seller, producer of the smash Broadway hit Hamilton. Katims’ script, which was a late entry into the pilot race, has received a pilot order by the network.

Written by Katims, Drama High was inspired by the story of ground-breaking high school drama teacher Lou Volpe as chronicled in the book Drama High, written by one of Volpe’s students, Michael Sokolove. The hourlong project revolves around an extraordinary working class high school drama department and the incredible students who come alive under a passionate teacher and family man whose dedication to the program galvanizes the entire town.

Katims and Michelle Lee executive produce via True Jack Productions. Seller and his producing partner, Flody Suarez, also executive produce via Seller Suarez Productions. Universal TV, where both True Jack and Seller Suarez are under overall deals, is the studio.

For 44 years, until he retired in 2013, Volpe ran the renowned drama program at Harry S Truman High School in Levittown, a low-income, working-class town in Pennsylvania.

In addition to Friday Night Lights, which started on NBC before moving to DirecTV, Katims also served as showrunner on the NBC/Uni TV drama Parenthood. He is the creator/executive producer of the freshman CBS medical drama series Pure Genius, which completed its 13-episode order. True Jack also produces Hulu’s The Path, now in its second season.

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