NBC’s heartwarming new drama Rise follows dedicated teacher Lou Mazzuchelli (Josh Radnor, How I Met Your Mother) as he revives his high school theater program. After the screening, hear from executive producers Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and Flody Suarez about creating this musical drama. RSVP
JASON KATIMS, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, RISE
Jason Katims serves as creator, executive producer and showrunner of the new NBC drama series, “Rise.” In addition, Katims serves as executive producer of the drama series “The Path,” which returns for a third season on Hulu in January, 2018.
Katims most recently created and executive produced “Pure Genius” on CBS. Prior to that, he developed and served as executive producer and showrunner on the critically acclaimed drama series “Parenthood,” which ended its six-season run in 2015, along with comedy series “About a Boy” on NBC. Katims was also executive producer and showrunner of “Friday Night Lights,” for which he received numerous accolades, including the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series, the Peabody Award, and Humanitas Prize.
Katims started his career in television on the cult hit “My So-Called Life.” He then created and served as showrunner on “Relativity,” along with “Roswell,” which he also developed for television, and “Boston Public.”
His film credits include “The Vow,” starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, and “The Pallbearer,” starring David Schwimmer and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Katims began his writing career as a playwright. His plays include “The Man Who Couldn’t Dance” and “Who Made Robert De Niro King of America.”
FLODY SUAREZ, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, RISE
Flody Suarez is an executive producer on NBC’s new midseason drama “Rise.” For the stage, Suarez is currently producing “The Cher Show” for Broadway and “What’s New Pussycat, A Tom Jones-ian Musical” on London’s West End.
On the TV side, Seller/Suarez is currently developing two comedies, a Neil Gaiman drama project based on the bestselling novel “Interworld” and the drama “The Role” through his Seller/Suarez TV production company at NBCUniversal.
After moving back to New York in 2013, Suarez consulted on NBC’s “The Blacklist” and “The Michael J. Fox Show.” He also consulted on the launch of the Emmy Award-winning “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” for TBS.
Suarez was previously executive producer of NBC’s drama “The Book of Daniel,” which chronicled the life of an unconventional Episcopalian minister (Aidan Quinn) who struggles with the weight of doing the right thing for his family and his parishioners. Prior to “The Book of Daniel,” Suarez served as executive producer of “8 Simple Rules,” which won a People’s Choice Award for Favorite New Comedy Series.
Before starting his own company, Suarez was president of Barry Sonnenfeld’s TV production company that was under an overall deal at Sony Pictures Television. While there, he developed and produced the live-action comedy series “The Tick,” "Partners" and “Secret Agent Man.” In his two years with Sonnenfeld, Suarez developed projects for broadcast and cable.
Previously, Suarez was Vice President of Development at NBC, where he oversaw production on the Emmy-winning series “ER,” Emmy-nominated series “3rd Rock From the Sun,” “Just Shoot Me” and “Men Behaving Badly.” He segued to primetime series from NBC’s communications department, where he spearheaded launch campaigns for “Friends,” “NewsRadio” and “The Screen Actors Guild Awards,” as well as directing campaigns for “Seinfeld,” “Frasier,” “Law & Order,” “Homicide: Life on the Street,” “The Laugh-In 25th Anniversary Special,” “Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story” and more than 100 television movies and specials.
Suarez received his B.A. in communications from the University of Florida.
MODERATOR: SHRUTI GANGULY, FILMMAKER
Shruti is an award-winning filmmaker based in New York City. She has made several feature films that have gone to Sundance, Venice, Berlin, Telluride and AFI.
Shruti recently launched her own production and media company, honto88, which focuses on scripted film and television, narrative features and videos and VR, with strong female voices and crafted through a socially responsible lens. She recently wrapped production on a feature with Keanu Reeves called Green Dolphin, and is developing several other scripted films and TV series, including Girly with Refinery29 and Rashida Jones, and Chain Reaction with First Look Media. She will be directing her first feature, Eternal Buzz, next year.
She was a founding partner at Fictionless, a production company that focuses on documentaries, TV series, and branded content. Prior to Fictionless, she ran the video departments and developed the video strategy at NYLON, MTV, and Conde Nast (crafting the CLIO-winning 73 Questions series for Vogue).
Shruti is a member of Obama’s ECCO committee and is on the Creative Council for Emily's List. She was a TED India (Ink) Fellow, a Global Economic Symposium Young Fellow, a Kenshin Oshima Scholar and a Wayfare Fellow. Shruti received her Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University, and was the first graduate of NYU's dual MFA/MBA program at Tisch and Stern. She hails from India, by way of Oman.