ABC has made another early comedy pickup, greenlighting An American Education, a single-camera project based on the BBC Three series Bad Education. Film and TV writers Peter Huyck and Alex Gregory wrote the script from a story they co-wrote with the original series’ creator/star Jack Whitehall and executive producer Ben Cavey through Tiger Aspect, which produces the British show. All four executives produce. 25-year-old British actor/comedian Whitehall is set to reprise his role as Alfie Wickers in the U.S. version where Wickers, a British transplant, is an unorthodox young teacher in the San Diego public school system. Alfie loves his students but his youthful, often naive enthusiasm and unconventional methods put him at odds with the test-obsessed administrators. He juggles his time between mentoring his students, bucking the system and pursuing the attractive new chemistry teacher. ABC Studios is producing, with filming slated for January in Los Angeles.
It is not unusual for the stars of overseas series to also star in the U.S. version, with examples including Wilfred‘s Jason Gann, Low Winter Sun‘s Mark Strong and Free Agents‘ Anthony Head. But all those shows had completed their runs by the time the U.S. series took flight. Meanwhile, Bad Education is still a hot series (watch a trailer below). It posted a BBC Three series premiere ratings records with its launch last year, recently wrapped a highly rated second season and has a Christmas special in the works.
It has been a very strong first development season for WME/Mosaic-repped Huyck and Gregory, who returned to TV last fall with an overall deal at ABC Studios. They are on track for two pilot orders as their workplace comedy The Pro starring Rob Lowe has a pilot production commitment at NBC. The Larry Sanders, Frasier and King Of The Hill alums spent the last few years in features, primarily consulting with Judd Apatow. An American Education joins ABC’s other early comedy pilot orders, Galavant and Strange Calls, now casting. Whitehall and Tiger Aspect are with CAA.