“CODA” star and Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Troy Kotsur will star and executive produce in a Disney+ series inspired by the California School for the Deaf Riverside football team’s undefeated 2021 season.
The series not only recounts the football team’s historic run, but is a groundbreaking story about the Deaf community, both on and off the field. The untitled show will portray students, teachers and families, the challenges they face and the successes they achieve in this world. Kotsur will play the team’s head coach.
The series draws inspiration from the 2021 CSDR Cubs’ real-life undefeated football season that earned them a spot in the California State Championship game for the first time in school history. Playing mostly hearing teams, the Cubs passed and ran through their league surprising everyone but themselves. Their success captured the hearts of the entire nation leading to their captains being on the field during the coin flip at Super Bowl LVI in February of this year.
ABC Signature has partnered with the California School for the Deaf Riverside, their football program and the California Department of Education, and secured the exclusive rights to the team’s story. ABC Signature and Disney Branded Television are developing the project for streaming service Disney+. Kotsur will be joined as an executive producer by his “CODA” co-star and fellow Academy Award-winner Marlee Matlin. The writing and production team, both in front of and behind the cameras, will include artists from the Deaf community.
Ron Shelton (“Bull Durham,” “White Men Can’t Jump,” “Tin Cup”) is attached to direct the pilot, executive producer, as well as write the pilot along with Ben Shelton (“Candy Jar”) who will write and executive produce. Kevin Falls (“This Is Us”) will executive produce and will serve as showrunner.
Additional executive producers include Bert Salke (“Percy Jackson”); Gary Foster (“Community”), Russ Krasnoff (“The Soloist”); Rainn Wilson (“The Office”); Jack Jason, Bill Horberg (“The Queen’s Gambit”), and Christina Lurie (“Persuasion”). John Maucere (“No Ordinary Here: The SuperDeafy Movie”), an alumnus of California School for the Deaf, Riverside, will consult and co-produce.
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