12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Autism Comedic Drama From Jason Katims Nabs Amazon Series Pickup
Amazon is officially in the Jason Katims business.
The retail giant/streamer has handed out a series order to a coming-of-age comedic drama formerly titled On the Spectrum, from the Parenthood and Friday Night Lights alum.
The half-hour project, which was picked up to pilot in March 2019, revolves around three 20-something roommates on the autism spectrum, striving for the same things that we all desire: To get a job, keep a job, make friends, fall in love and navigate a world that eludes them. Rick Glassman, Sue Ann Pien and Albert Rutecki — who each identify as living on the autism spectrum — star in the series alongside Sosie Bacon, Chris Pang and Joe Mantegna.
The series is a co-production between Amazon Studios and Universal Television. Katims and his True Jack banner were previously housed at the latter company before moving his overall deal last year to Apple. The project reunites Katims with Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke, with whom he worked on multiple series, including FNL, Parenthood and About a Boy.
"Having a 23-year-old son on the spectrum, it is deeply personal for me to get to tell this unique story of what it’s like to come of age as someone with autism," Katims said. "I'm grateful to Jen Salke, Vernon Sanders and the entire Amazon team, along with my friends at Universal Television, who share my passion for this project, and who are incredibly supportive creative partners."
Katims, who penned the pilot, serves as showrunner and exec produces alongside his True Jack topper Jeni Mulein and Dana Stern. The half-hour comedic drama is based on the Israeli format On the Spectrum, created by Dana Idisis and Yuval Shafferman. That series won multiple awards there, including best drama series.
"Jason Katims is exceptional at creating beautiful and relatable stories about deeply authentic characters, and this new series continues in that tradition,” said Salke. “This series is honest, touching and incredibly entertaining, with casting that delivers a unique and genuine perspective on universal themes that we know our global Amazon Prime Video customers will love.”
Katims is now in line to have series on at least three different streamers. He currently is executive producing Netflix's straight-to-series space drama Away (which he co-writes with Andrew Hinderaker, his collaborator on Hulu's The Path) and, eventually, at Apple as part of his overall deal there.