- By Ken Werther
- Photo Courtesy of NBC
Start with Jason Katims (executive producer of TV’s Friday Night Lights and Parenthood) along with Jeffrey Seller (producer of Hamilton on Broadway). Add in Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother, Disgraced); Rosie Perez (Do the Right Thing, White Men Can’t Jump); Auli’i Cravalho (Moana); and Damon J. Gillespie (Newsies) … and what do you get? It’s called Rise, a heartening new TV drama on NBC about finding inspiration in unexpected places. Radnor portrays teacher and family man Lou Mazzuchelli, who sheds his own self-doubt and takes over the school’s lackluster theatre department. He galvanizes not only the students and faculty but the entire working-class town.
Inspired by a true story chronicled in the book “Drama High” by Michael Sokolove, Rise is a powerful look at the way a dynamic and dedicated teacher can change lives. What happens when the status quo of an entire community is upended and it suddenly has change raining down all around it? A high school production of Spring Awakening causes conflicts and controversies between the students, their parents, and elected officials in a struggling Pennsylvania steel town. How will the issues be resolved? While viewing the first couple of episodes I found myself transfixed! The large cast also features Ted Sutherland, Rarmian Newton, Stephanie J. Block, Amy Forsyth, Casey W. Johnson, Joseph Tippett, Shirley Ryumierk, and more. I’m hooked, and I think you will be too!
“Rise” premieres March 13th on NBC.