NBC's new musical drama Rise has an incredible team working in front of — and behind — the scenes, from Executive Producer Jason Katims (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) and Hamilton's Jeffrey Seller and Flody Suarez, to stars Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) and Auli'i Cravalho (Moana).
You can add one more name to the mix, as TVGuide.com discovered while talking to Cravalho on the NBC Upfront red carpet: Hamilton creator and former star Lin-Manuel Miranda.
"I will let you know that Lin-Manuel had a special part in our show," Cravalho teased. "So, whether or not you'll see him? You'll definitely hear him, and feel his influence."
You can draw an obvious connection between producers Seller and Suarez, and their Hamilton cohort Miranda. But the other connection? Miranda wrote the songs, and provided an occasional voice for Cravalho's debut in Disney's Moana.
The show, based on the book Drama High by Michael Sokolove, is about a teacher who rejuvenates his high school's fizzling drama program by making some unorthodox choices straight out of the High School Musical playbook, including casting the school's sports star as his lead.
As the trailer — which debuted at upfronts — shows, though, the series is anything but Zac Efron prancing through a golf course. Instead, it seems to be channeling a modern day Fame, more Friday Night Lights for high school drama than the candy-colored wonderland of Glee.
Also: Barb from Stranger Things (Shannon Purser) sings! That'll turn your frown... Wait for it... Upside down.
While Miranda may not show up as a substitute teacher any time soon, avid fans will want to keep their ears perked and feelers out to see how exactly the almost-EGOT winner shows up. And as for Cravalho's Moana costar Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson? When prompted, she joked that she had his number and would make it happen, but was quick to clarify it was, in fact, a joke.
If he does show up, though, what could we say except... You're welcome.
Rise debuts midseason on NBC.