Former How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor will play the lead of NBC’s drama pilot Drama High, from Friday Night Lights executive producer/showrunner Jason Katims and Jeffrey Seller, producer of the smash Broadway hit Hamilton. Also cast as a regular in the project is Damon J. Gillespie (Aladdin).
Written by Katims, Drama High was inspired by the story of groundbreaking high school drama teacher Lou Volpe (Radnor) 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.
Radnor’s Lou is a left-of-center leading man who has to discover his own passion, drive and charisma. He is a father of three, a husband and an English teacher at a school in a Rust Belt town in Pennsylvania, and decides to take a leap on taking over the drama department, igniting an excitement in him that surprises him.
Gillespie plays Robbie, the town’s star football player, who balances his life on the field and caring for his sick mother at the nursing care facility. Every day he is told what he must do, never breaking away until he surprisingly finds his true talent on the stage. They join previously cast Shannon Purser, Rosie Perez, Moana star Auli’i Cravalho and Rarmian Newton.
Radnor is coming off a two-season run as Dr. Jedediah Foster on the PBS period drama series Mercy Street. He is best known for his starring role as Ted Mosby on CBS’ long-running comedy series How I Met Your Mother. He is repped by UTA and attorney Andrew Hurwitz. Gillespie is repped by Gray Talent Group.