PREVIOUSLY: We have the first newly picked up broadcast series from Pilot Season 2017. NBC has given two drama pilots — Rise, from former Friday Night Lights showrunner Jason Katims and Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller; and For God & Country, from writer Dean Georgaris — series orders. They come two weeks after the two pilots — both from sibling studio Universal Television — received permission by the network to start making firm offers to writers. NBC traditionally kicks off the new series pickups as it is the first broadcast network to present its fall schedule on Monday morning of upfront week.
Rise (fka Drama High), starring How I Met Your Mother‘s Josh Radnor, has been a very early favorite at NBC, which aired the Broadway-themed drama Smash and launched an annual live musical franchise under chairman Bob Greenblatt, a long-time musical theater buff, producer and investor.
Written by Katims, Rise was inspired by the story of groundbreaking high school drama teacher Lou Volpe as chronicled in the book Drama High. In the hourlong project, when dedicated teacher and family man Lou Mazzuchelli (Radnor) sheds his own self-doubt and takes over the school’s lackluster theater department, he galvanizes not only the faculty and students but the entire working-class town.
The series, a potential companion piece for breakout ensemble family drama This Is Us, stars Radnor, Rosie Perez and Marley Shelton, with a young cast featuring Moana star Auli’i Cravalho. Damon J. Gillespie, Amy Forsyth, Rarmian Newton, Ted Sutherland, Casey Johnson, Taylor Richardson, Joe Tippett and Shirley Rumierk also-co-star, while Stranger Things standout Shannon Purser (aka Barb) has a recurring role. Katims and Michelle Lee executive produce via True Jack Productions. Seller and Flody Suarez also executive produce via Seller Suarez Productions. Mike Cahill is director/executive producer.
Written by Georgaris and starring Mike Vogel and Anne Heche, For God & Country is described as a heart-pounding journey into the complex world of America’s elite undercover military heroes. While D.I.A. Deputy Director Patricia Campbell (Anne Heche) and her team of analysts wield the world’s most advanced surveillance technology from Washington, D.C., Adam Dalton (Mike Vogel) and his heroic Special Ops squad of highly trained undercover specialists use their unbreakable bond and commitment to freedom to save lives of innocent people and execute missions in some of the most dangerous places in the world.
The cast includes Anne Heche, Mike Vogel, Sofia Pernas, Tate Ellington, Natacha Karam, Demetrius Grosse, Noah Mills and Hadi Tabbal. Georgaris executive produces with Keshet’s Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan. Brad Anderson is director/executive producer.
For God & Country is one of several military-themed pilots ordered by the broadcast networks this season and the first to get picked up to series.