Jason Katims is the creator, showrunner and executive producer of NBC’s new show “Rise” that follows seven theatre students in a low-income town. The show premieres tonight after NBC’s “This Is Us”. Josh Radnor and Rosie Perez are starring alongside a bunch of teens. Most of them are unknown talents but they are about to become household names.
During a Twitter Q&A, Josh Radnor was asked today what’s his favorite thing about “Rise” and he replied: “It’s moving, authentic, smart, and inspiring.”
Catch the series premiere of “Rise” tonight at 10/9c on NBC!
Casting ‘Rise’: How Jason Katims Found His High School Musical Ensemble, The Hollywood Reporter
[…] Katims himself compared casting Rise to FNL: “It felt a little bit similar to Friday Night Lights, in that we were able to cast people who, a lot of them were largely unknown young actors. And it’s been a wonderful experience to watch them grow,” he tells THR. “I do feel there was a little pixie dust on this show, both in the casting process and everything about it. There was a little bit of magic.” […]
When you read the synopsis for Rise your first instinct might be to think, “Ugh, a more serious Glee?” Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.
This show has much more in common with Friday Night Lights than Smash (which makes sense, seeing as Jason Katims, the series creator, served as executive producer for the football-centric drama). The passion and dedication that Coach Taylor had for his team can be felt in Josh Radnor’s portrayal of Lou Mazzuchelli. The subtle uses of soundtrack, the feeling of realism, and the varied challenges facing each member of the theater department in the show lend themselves to the same type of storytelling we experienced in FNL. […]
“A really important thing to me about ‘Rise’ is it’s not a show about a drama program,” Katims says. “It’s a show about this community, about these characters, about these people’s lives. It’s what I’m invested in, and I’m hoping that that’s what the audience gets invested in as well.”
The show has widely been billed as “Friday Night Lights” meets “Glee,” but while there are plans to release a cast album, stylistically it is much closer to the former show. No one breaks into song spontaneously, and “Rise” is full of the signature Katims flourishes: a moody, contemporary soundtrack and lots of handheld camerawork “to make you feel like you were dropped down into this world,” he says.