ABC is remaking British comedy Bad Education with Jack Whitehall on board.
The network has handed out a pilot order to An American Education, a single-camera comedy based on the British series created by and starring Whitehall, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The ABC take centers on British transplant Alfie Wickers (Whitehall), an unorthodox teacher in the San Diego public school system. Alfie loves his students, but his youthful, often naive enthusiasm and unconventional methods puts him at odds with the test-obsessed administrators. He juggles his time between mentoring his students, bucking the system and pursuing the attractive new chemistry teacher.
Peter Huyck and Alex Gregory (King of the Hill, Frasier) will pen the script and executive produce the comedy, with Whitehall crafting the story. Tiger Aspect’s Ben Cavey, who produced the original series, is also on board as an EP. ABC Studios, where Huyck and Gregory are under an overall deal, will produce the pilot, which begins production in January in Los Angeles.
Huyck and Gregory recently returned to television after years working in features, where they consulted on Judd Apatow‘s Bridesmaids and Wanderlust. They made their feature directing debuts on 2011’s A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy, based on their own script. Repped by WME, Mosaic and Ziffren Brittenham, the duo’s credits also include The Larry Sanders Show. The two also have NBC’s The Pro in the mix, with Rob Lowe attached to star. The comedy received a production commitment from the network in October.
The British series launched to record ratings in 2012 for BBC Three, marking the highest-rated first episode of a comedy — a record that is now held by Cuckoo. The second season wrapped in October, with a Christmas special set for this year.
For the network, An American Education comes as ABC’s British-born entertainment group president Paul Lee continues to mine U.K. series. Last year, the network picked up Family Tools — based on Brit comedy White Man Van — to series. This past pilot season, the network gave a series order to Lucky 7, an adaptation of British drama The Syndicate, which was canceled after two episodes. The network had a total of three British remakes ordered to pilot last year (Lucky 7, Pulling and Spy).
An American Education becomes ABC’s third comedy pilot order of the 2014-15 season, joining Galavant and Israeli adaptation Irreversible. Check out the pilot episode, below.