The CW Plans Female-led Lean On Me TV Series, Based On the 1989 Film


The CW plans female-led Lean On Me TV series, based on the 1989 film

The CW is retooling the 1989 film Lean On Me starring Morgan Freeman as a female-led hourlong TV series to be produced by none other than NBA great LeBron James, according to Deadline.

Wendy Calhoun will write and produce the show alongside James & Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment, John Legend, Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius’ Get Lifted, and Warner Bros. TV.

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The new series is officially described as follows: “When a spirited young black teacher Amarie Baldwin scores the principal job at an Akron, Ohio, public high school, she must dig deep to transform a failing campus into an urban oasis. In a time when education and school safety have life-or-death stakes, Amarie will take on a broken system that tests her mettle, love life and family. But can she keep her moxie in check in order to embody the aspirational educator that motivates and uplifts an entire community?”

The original film was directed by John G. Avildsen (Rocky) and starred Freeman as real life inner city high school principal Joe Louis Clark, who had to help his students improve their test scores in order to avoid the school being taken over by the New Jersey state government. The film’s title is based on the Bill Withers song of the same name. Lean On Me received mostly positive reviews upon its release (69% on Rotten Tomatoes), but has gained a strong reputation as a powerful inspirational drama.

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Freeman won the 1991 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture, while the film itself collected the main prize for Outstanding Motion Picture.