Nickelodeon Turning Richard Linklater’s ‘School of Rock’ into a TV Series

By August 4, 2014

As Richard Linklater’s coming-of-age epic Boyhood keeps expanding into more theaters, one of the filmmaker’s older films is being prepared for an adaptation for the small screen at Nickelodeon.

The kids cable network, injected with new life from Paramount’s rising TV division, is reaching back into the film studio’s library for a new comedy series. Deadline has word that Nickelodeon has given a 13-episode straight-to-series order to “School of Rock,” based on the 2003 film of the same name that starred Jack Black.

Richard Linklater and Scott Rudin, respective director and producer of the film, will both executive produce the series, which will also be executive produced and written by Jim & Steve Armogida (“Crash & Bernstein”) with an eye towards starting production this fall for a premiere in the spring of 2015.

It doesn’t sound like the film will change up the formula of the film very much as the series is still said to focus on Dewey Finn, a down-on-his-luck rocker who poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school as he teaches his eccentric, unconventional, and overachieving students to play and love rock ‘n’ roll. The series is said to be a live-action musical comedy, which makes this sounds like a rock ‘n’ roll version of “Glee” but for younger kids.

School of Rock - Jack Black

Paramount TV is a new division at the studio and this is their first project for kids, not to mention their second greenlit project following “The Alienist” (they’re also behind the live television musical version of Grease). It’s not hard to see how this could be a successful foray into children’s entertainment after “Glee” became a huge hit, though that series sputtered out towards the end of its run, becoming nothing more than a machine regurgitating higher quality karaoke versions of pop hits by up-and-coming actors and singers.

Nickelodeon president of content Russell Hicks says, “School Of Rock is one of those great movies that always felt quintessentially Nickelodeon in its tone and humor, and we jumped at the opportunity to partner with Paramount Television and bring it to life as a TV series.” The question is who has the charisma, energy and singing voice to step into the shoes filled by Jack Black?

And in case that’s not enough School of Rock porting for you, there’s a stage musical version of the film coming up with help from musical legend Andrew Lloyd Webber. Rock on!

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.