It’s been five years since Friday Night Lights had its final season, and CMT is apparently looking to fill that high school football drama void. The network has ordered a pilot for a series based on the 1999 film Varsity Blues, as first reported by Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva.
Paramount TV will be developing the show, spinning off a property originally released by Paramount’s film studio. The pilot script will be written by W. Peter Iliff, who wrote the script for the original movie (and has the 1991 version of Point Break on his résumé).
For CMT, this continues their entry into the scripted television business, which began with the Billy Ray Cyrus sitcom Still the King and rescuing country music drama Nashville after it was canceled by ABC.
If it’s picked up as a series, Varsity Blues would also join several movies that are being rebooted as TV shows for the upcoming season. Those shows include Lethal Weapon, Training Day, The Exorcist, Frequency and Taken.
We’re talking about a 17-year-old movie here (just to make you feel old), so some might not be familiar with the original film. Varsity Blues followed a small-town high school football team in Texas, run by a legendary, but verbally abusive coach. The main character, Mox (played by James Van Der Beek), is a quarterback who would rather study than live out his father’s football dreams. But he’s put into position to save his team when the star quarterback (pushed too far by the coach) goes down with an injury. Eventually, the players revolt against the coach when he continues to push them through serious injury, resulting in a sideline takeover.
Will scenes such as Mox standing up to his father or being seduced by a cheerleader wearing a whipped-cream bikini make it into the series?
More importantly, will the scene that our Ben Koo named the most ridiculous scene ever in a sports movie somehow make it into the Varsity Blues pilot or play out later in the season? We’ll just have to wait until that pilot gets filmed and CMT decides whether or not to pick the show up.