4:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Jason Katims to Explore Autism With Amazon Comedic Drama 'On the Spectrum'
Jason Katims is ready to explore autism again.
The Friday Night Lights and Parenthood grad — who explored the topic in the latter NBC drama — has landed a pilot order for On the Spectrum, a coming-of-age comedic drama, at Amazon.
Based on the Israeli format created by Dana Idisis and Yuval Shafferman, the potential half-hour series explores three twenty-something roommates on the autism spectrum, striving for the same things we all desire: to get a job, keep a job, make friends, fall in love and navigate a world that eludes them.
Katims will pen the script for the Universal Television-produced entry, marking one of his last projects for the studio before the showrunner exits for his overall deal with Apple. On the Spectrum will be produced in association with Katims' True Jack banner and yesStudios, the latter of which was behind the Israeli take. True Jack president Jeni Mulein will executive produce alongside yesStudios' Danna Stern, who also oversaw the original. Idisis and Shafferman will also exec produce alongside Sumayoko's Udi Segal and yesTV's Dganit Atias Gigi and Koby Gal Raday.
The project reunites Katims with former NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke, with whom he worked on multiple series, including Friday Night Lights, Parenthood and About a Boy.
Autism is a subject near and dear to Katims. The showrunner has spoken openly about having a son with Asperger's, with his experience informing the Max character on Parenthood. The later seasons of the family drama also explored the subject via a storyline with Ray Romano's character.
For Katims, the Amazon pilot order arrives as he's set to move his overall deal to Apple starting in the summer. 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 Fox's Sisters, which is in in the pilot stage at Fox (with The Path's Annie Weisman penning the script) and has Brittany Snow attached to star. The latter project is based on the Endemol Shine Australia series.
On the Spectrum has won multiple awards in Israel, including best drama series.
Katims is repped by CAA and attorney Ira Schreck. YesStudios is with CAA and attorney Bob Myman.