Bill Lawrence, who created shows like Scrubs, Spin City, Clone High, and Cougar Town, is heading to HBO Max.
Lawrence will executive produce a reboot of the ABC series Head of the Class, the sitcom which originally aired from 1986-1991, for the new streaming service, and some of his Scrubs colleagues will serve as the co-showrunners.
The Hollywood Reporter brings word about this Head of the Class reboot. HBO Max has picked up the pilot and ordered five additional scripts. Amy Pocha and Seth Cohen, who were writer/producers on Netflix’s American Vandal and are currently writers of Bill Lawrence’s ABC series Whiskey Cavalier, co-wrote the Head of the Class reboot pilot and will serve as co-showrunners alongside Scrubs veterans Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley.
Head of the Class centered on a group of exceptionally smart New York high school honors students who get a substitute teacher who tries to expand their horizons beyond studying and encourages them to actually live their lives. Howard Hesseman played the sub, a history teacher and aspiring actor who makes an impact on his students, which included: Dan Frischman (the math expert), Dan Schneider (the wisecracking computer nerd), Tony O’Dell (the conservative preppy political student), Robin Givens (the spoiled, self-centered rich girl), and Kimberly Russell (the well-liked one), and several others. (Brad Pitt even guest-starred at one point.)
The original show aired on ABC, but Warner Bros. TV produced it, so the rights to the intellectual property are in the Warner family, making it a good fit for WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, which launches later this month.
Like its predecessor, this reboot is being designed as a half-hour multi-camera series aimed at kids and families. “Kids and families” aren’t the first things I think of when I think of the HBO brand, but it seems as if HBO Max is making a concerted effort to benefit from its premium channel legacy content while also reaching out to younger audiences to try to become a more well-rounded service which can truly compete with Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video.
HBO Max will include more than 1800 titles at launch, including the biggest selection of recent blockbusters available on any streamer. HBO Max will pull from Warner Bros.’ 100-year content collection, as well as New Line, library titles from DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes, a selection of classic films curated in partnership with Turner Classic Movies, and more. It officially becomes available on May 27, 2020.
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