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Why the gay inspiration for NBC’s musical theater series Rise was rewritten as a straight man

  • Josh Radnor plays a straight male teacher, even though his NBC series is based on Michael Sokolove’s book Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater, about a closeted gay teacher. As Hanh Nguyen reports, Rise showrunner Jason Katims “explained he changed this aspect of his main character to be able to connect with the story, but that he didn’t want to ‘shy away from issues of sexuality.’ He pointed out that Rise will still have LGBT elements, particularly focusing on its young characters — including a trans character and another character who is grappling with his sexuality.” ALSO: How Katims' Friday Night Lights influenced Rise.

    TOPICS: NBC, Friday Night Lights, Rise, Jason Katims, Josh Radnor, LGBTQ