After years of creating, writing and/or producing such acclaimed network series as Parenthood and Friday Night Lights (among others), Jason Katims is taking a step away from the boob tube to head for streaming pastures. Katims’ latest project, the drama The Way, is headed to Hulu, as the service aims to bolster its drama profile.
The Way, according to THR, will have at its center a faith-based movement that causes all manner of controversy. The story will follow a family caught up in the middle of it, and viewers will see how it affects their relationships, marriages and power dynamics. Each of the ten episodes will hone in on the struggle between the reality that we make for ourselves and the reality that we want for ourselves.
For this new drama, which is something of a passion project for its creators, Katims is teaming up with Parenthood writer/producer Jessica Goldberg, who created the concept with True Jack Productions’ Michelle Lee. Goldberg will be responsible for writing the script, and this will be the first deal made between Universal TV and Hulu. And since it was ordered straight to series, Katims won’t have to worry about getting pulled from the schedule similarly to what happened with his NBC series About a Boy, which doesn’t seem to have a very solid future at this point.
Casting is currently in motion on The Way, and Hulu is hoping that they can land some big names for it like James Franco, who recently signed on for the limited series 11/22/63, based on Stephen King’s novel. The recent shift toward shorter seasons and anthology series has opened up the floor for a wider variety of thespians to get into (or stay within) the TV world where they might not have otherwise. Plus, Katims has worked with performers of all varieties on his shows over the years, so he’s got some pull when it comes to finding quality actors and actresses. (Fingers crossed for more Lauren Graham in our lives.)
Hulu has been mostly known for creating original programming of the comedy sort, with shows like Hotwives of Orlando, Deadbeat and The Wrong Mans serving as acclaimed flagship series. But none of them have made big strides in the cultural zeitgeist at large, so here’s hoping their dramas can make the leap to the same conversations as Netflix and Amazon series. If not, maybe Jason Reitman’s upcoming comedy Casual can do it.
Production on The Way is set to begin this summer. It’s unclear when Hulu is planning on putting it out there to viewers, though, since they don’t rely on the same seasonal approach as TV does.