10:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Jason Katims Romantic Drama 'Us' Scores HBO Pilot Order
Jason Katims is inching closer to mega-producer status.
The Parenthood and Friday Night Lights mastermind has landed a pilot order at HBO for a romantic drama titled Us, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Based on an original idea from Katims, the drama is described as a sweeping examination of the often baffling, sometimes unexpected but ultimately heart-wrenching ways love and human connection can be found today through a vast web of seemingly unconnected people.
Katims will pen the script and executive produce alongside his True Jack Productions topper Michelle Lee. The drama hails from Universal Television, giving the studio a key off-network sale and its first at HBO, which has shown an increased willingness to experiment with its business model by adding programs from outside studios. (The premium cable network also has Warner Bros. Television's The Leftovers and upcoming drama Westworld).
"Jason is one of the most gifted writers working in television or any other medium, and we are thrilled that he will be bringing his unique storytelling talents to HBO," HBO programming president Michael Lombardo said.
For Katims, the pilot pickup brings the beloved producer a possibility of having two shows on the air next season after Parenthood ended its run at NBC after six seasons, and sophomore comedy About a Boy was canceled. Hulu recently handed out a straight-to-series order for the Katims-produced drama The Way, starring Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan. The HBO drama comes as True Jack has been making a concerted effort to push into cable that began last year with a dating comedy at Showtime.
"Considering HBO's incredible legacy, the opportunity to write my first premium cable show for Mike Lombardo, as well as his amazing and supportive team, is a dream come true," Katims said.
For HBO, the Katims entry joins fellow drama pilots including Laughs Unlimited and Jenji Kohan's Salem drama formerly known as New World.
Katims, who won a Peabody, Humanitas and Emmy for writing the series finale of FNL, and True Jack are repped by CAA.