August 04, 2014 6:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Nickelodeon Orders Live-Action 'School of Rock' Series (Exclusive)
Nickelodeon is ready to rock.
More than 10 years after Paramount's Jack Black and Mike White starrer, the kid-focused cable network is teaming with its fellow Viacom-owned studio's TV unit to revive School of Rock as a live-action series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The new School of Rock, which has secured a 13-episode straight-to-series pickup, will follow the same premise and revolve around the adventures and misadventures of Dewey Finn (Black's role), a down-on-his-luck rocker who poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school as he teaches his eccentric, unconventional and overachieving students to play and love rock 'n' roll.
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Casting for the series will be announced shortly, with production set to begin in the fall for a spring 2015 premiere. Jim and Steve Armogida (Crash & Bernstein, My Family) are on board as writers, executive producers and showrunners. Original School of Rock director Richard Linklater and producer Scott Rudin will return to exec produce the Nick series.
The series marks Paramount TV's first foray into kids programming. The studio, which returned to TV production with 2013's ill-fated Beverly Hills Cop CBS pilot, also is tapping into its feature library for small-screen takes on Ghost, Terminator and The Truman Show, among other original fare including Fox's live production of Grease.
"With Dewey's outrageous personality and rock star sensibilities taking center stage, School of Rock will be an irresistibly fun show for the whole family," said Paramount TV president Amy Powell.
For Nick, meanwhile, School of Rock marks its second live-action series order in a week, following the 26-episode pickup for 100 Things to Do. Both series join a roster of original live-action fare that includes Henry Danger; Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn; and Bella and the Bulldogs. The pickup arrives less than a month after Sam & Cat was canceled following a clash between stars Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande.
"School of Rock is one of those great movies that always felt quintessentially Nickelodeon in its tone and humor, and we jumped at the opportunity to partner with Paramount Television and bring it to life as a TV series," said Russell Hicks, president of content and development at Nick.
School of Rock has grossed more than $131 million worldwide since its release in October 2003. Andrew Lloyd Webber also is prepping a stage musical based on the feature film that is likely headed for Broadway and London.