Josh Radnor to Star in NBC's Jason Katims Pilot 'Drama High'

The news comes after PBS announced 'Mercy Street,' starring the 'How I Met Your Mother' grad, would end after two seasons.
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Josh Radnor

How I Met Your Mother grad Josh Radnor is returning to broadcast.

The actor has been tapped to topline NBC's Jason Katims pilot Drama High, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Based on the book by Michael Sokolove and life rights of Lou Volpe, the project is inspired by a true story and revolves around a working-class high school drama department and the students who come alive under a passionate teacher and family man whose dedication to the program galvanizes the entire town.  

Radnor will star as Lou, a left-of-center leading man who has to discover his own passion, drive and charisma. Lou is a father of three, a husband to Gail and an English teacher at a school in a Rust Belt town in Pennsylvania. He decides to take a leap on taking over the drama department and it ignites an excitement in him which surprises him and spreads to his students.

The casting marks Radnor's follow-up role to Mercy Street, the Civil War drama in which he co-starred. PBS announced Thursday that the drama would not return for a third season due to the complicated nature of production timelines and funding commitments. Drama High brings Radnor back to broadcast television following his nine-season run as Ted on CBS' How I Met Your Mother.

Friday Night Lights and Parenthood alum Katims will pen the script and executive produce the drama alongside his Universal Television-based True Jack Productions topper Michelle Lee. Hamilton's Jeffrey Seller and Flody Suarez will also exec produce.

Radnor joins a Drama High cast that includes Rosie Perez as Tracey, the current drama teacher; Aussie Newton as Maashous, the lighting technician for all the musicals; Moana breakout Auli'i Cravalho as one of the school's students, Lilette; and Stranger Things breakout Shannon Purser as Annabelle, another student.

Radnor is repped by UTA and Frankfurt Kurnit.

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