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Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose?
Friday Night Lights creator Jason Katims is reuniting with his former leading lady, Connie Britton, for a new Apple series based on author Ann Napolitano’s best-seller, Dear Edward. The drama, which has been picked up with a 10-episode series order, also stars Orange Is the New Black grad Taylor Schilling and Colin O’Brien (Wonka).
Dear Edward revolves around Edward Adler (O’Brien), a 12-year-old who survives a commercial plane crash that kills every other passenger on the flight — including his family. As Edward and a diverse ensemble of others affected by the tragedy try to make sense of life after the crash, unexpected friendships, romances and communities are formed. Like Katims’ FNL and Parenthood, Dear Edward is described as a “heartbreaking, life-affirming and uplifting story about survival, resilience, connection and the examination of what makes us human,” per Apple’s description.
FNL and Parenthood creator Katims will pen the script for the series and serve as showrunner. Dear Edward is the first show to stem from Katims’ overall deal with Apple, after he moved his True Jack Productions banner from his former home at Universal Television. True Jack’s Jeni Mulein and author Napolitano also executive produce alongside pilot director Fisher Stevens (Palmer). David Boyd will serve as producing director. The series is produced in-house at Apple Studios as the tech giant and streamer looks to own more of its pricey scripted originals.
Schilling, who next appears in Hulu’s Pam & Tommy, will play Lacey, Edward’s aunt who takes in the young boy after the crash. Britton, who sources say has a one-season deal for Dear Edward, will portray DeDe, a woman whose husband dies in the crash and who befriends Lacey in a support group.
Britton spent five seasons starring as Tami Taylor on NBC/DirecTV’s Friday Night Lights, earning an Emmy nomination for her leading role opposite Emmy winner Kyle Chandler. The series remains a critical darling for its open and honest portrayal of marriage, with both stars remaining fan favorites for their respective performances. Dear Edward marks the first time Britton and Katims have reunited onscreen since FNL ended its run more than a decade ago.
Katims recently debuted the deeply personal comedy As We See It on Amazon. The well-reviewed series, inspired by his son who is on the autism spectrum, is his last show for his former home at Universal Television and is expected to return for a second season. Katims left Universal TV for a deal with Apple in early 2019. At the iPhone-maker, he reunites with his former True Jack topper Michelle Lee, who serves as the exec on Dear Edward.
Dear Edward joins a roster of scripted originals at Apple that also includes the upcoming Pachinko, WeCrashed, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, Masters of the Air, High Desert, Manhunt and City on Fire, among others, as well as returning series like The Morning Show, For All Mankind, Mythic Quest, Physical and Emmy darling Ted Lasso.
Katims is repped by CAA and Ira Schreck; Britton is with WME, Untitled Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson; Schilling is with Untitled and Gersh; O’Brien is with Atlas Artists and Hansen Jacobson; and author Napolitano is with CAA and The Book Group.
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