The curtain’s going down for NBC’s musical drama Rise.
The series that was loosely inspired by Michael Sokolove’s book Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater struggled to gain footing after debuting in March, averaging 5.9 million viewers and a 1.2 rating.
It was also dogged with pre-debut controversy when showrunner Jason Katims was accused of “straight-washing” the main character. The book on which the series was based explores the true story of a then-closeted high school teacher Lou Volpe. In Rise, the teacher is a straight man named Lou Mazzuchelli, played by Josh Radnor.
After Katims and NBC were hit with online criticism, he released a statement that said, in part, “The misinterpretation by some of what we’ve done with this show goes against what we fundamentally believe and who we are as individuals. We are firmly committed to LGBTQ inclusion, and most of all, are excited for the community to see Rise, which we believe portrays positive depictions of LGBTQ characters and stories on broadcast television with honesty and sensitivity. To that end, we worked with GLAAD on the show’s LGBTQ storylines to ensure they are told with respect and authenticity.”
NBC has also canceled Shades of Blue, Great News, Taken, and The Night Shift. The network will announce its fall lineup to advertisers this Monday in New York City.