For those of us in need of something to fill the football-and-weeping niche vacated by the much-missed “Friday Night Lights,” AMC is developing a period football drama entitled “The Real All Americans” that looks like it could totally hit the spot.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series is based on Sally Jenkins’ book of the same name about Pennsylvania’s Carlisle Indian Industrial School (which operated from 1879–1918) and its football program, created by U.S. cavalry officer and abolitionist Richard Henry Pratt. The school’s legacy is, let’s say, a complicated one — Pratt was focused on assimilation, his motto “Kill the Indian and the save the man.” The football program, though, had an outstanding record and numbered among its participants coach Glenn “Pop” Warner and Olympic athlete Jim Thorpe.
Tommy Lee Jones — who played offensive tackle on Harvard’s undefeated 1968 varsity football team — is in talks to direct the pilot, and Nicholas Meyer (“Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,” “Sommersby”) is writing the script.
The Carlisle Indian Industrial School was also the subject of the 1992 PBS “American Experience” documentary “In the White Man’s Image” — take a look at a clip here. And here’s a short piece about the school and its football history produced by Tuxedo Press.