Paramount’s up-and-coming TV division continues to mine the studio’s movie library. The company has landed its first series order with a 13-episode, straight-to-series pickup by sibling cable network Nickelodeon of a live-action musical comedy based on the well-received 2003 Paramount feature School Of Rock. The film’s director Richard Linklater and producer Scott Rudin will executive produce the series, which is being written and executive produced by Jim and Steve Armogida (Crash & Bernstein).
Like the movie, the show, which is slated to begin production in the fall for a spring 2015 premiere, will center on Dewey Finn — the character played in the film by Jack Black — a down-on-his-luck rocker who poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school as he teaches his eccentric, unconventional and overachieving students to play and love rock ‘n’ roll. “With Dewey’s outrageous personality and rock star sensibilities taking center stage, School of Rock will be an irresistibly fun show for the whole family,” Paramount TV president Amy Powell said.
This marks the first kids project, first collaboration with Nick and second green light for the year-old Paramount TV, which also is producing a live staging of Grease for Fox. The company’s inaugural development slate includes other projects based on movie titles in the Paramount library, including a crime drama with roots in Joe Carnahan’s Narc, a re-imagination of the Jim Carrey starrer The Truman Show, and an adaptation of hit feature Ghost. Paramount TV has signed first-look deals with Anonymous Content, developing a drama series inspired by the best-selling novel, The Alienist, and with Robert Zemeckis.
The School Of Rock pickup follows Nickelodeon’s 26-episode order last week of 100 Things to Do. “School Of Rock is one of those great movies that always felt quintessentially Nickelodeon in its tone and humor, and we jumped at the opportunity to partner with Paramount Television and bring it to life as a TV series,” said Nick president of content Russell Hicks. In addition to the TV series, there is also a stage musical adaptation of School Of Rock in the works, shepherded by Andrew Lloyd Webber.