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Rodney Dangerfield’s ‘Back to School’ Inspires Unscripted Series From MGM

Docu-series feature parents who surprise their kids by enrolling in college alongside them

MGM Television is developing an unscripted series inspired by the Rodney Dangerfield movie “Back to School,” the company announced on Monday.

Inspired by the ’80s comedy starring Dangerfield and Keith Gordon, the docuseries features parents who surprise their kids by enrolling in college alongside them. According to MGM, the untitled series “will allow parents who missed out on their own college years to experience everything university life has to offer, including sharing a classroom with their kids — who may be less than thrilled by the idea.”

“I am so excited to take the premise of one of my favorite films into the unscripted world,” said MGM’s Barry Pznick, president of unscripted television. “Rodney was a comedic genius and his spirit is very much in the DNA of our show’s approach to a dual fish-out-of-water comedic format for audiences to experience along with our parents and kids. I love that grown-ups are going back to school and we are able to capture this with our new series.”

MGM Television chairman Mark Burnett will executive produce the series with Poznick along with Joan Dangerfield, Rodney Dangerfield’s widow. MGM Television will produce, and MGM will distribute the series internationally.

In the 1986 film directed by Alan Metter, self-made millionaire Thorton Melon (Dangerfield) enrolls in college to support his son (Gordon) and keep him from dropping out. Thorton’s invasion quickly turns the campus upside-down, and he and his son must deal with the consequences. Sally Kellerman, Burt Young, Terry Farrell, William Zabka, Ned Beatty, Sam Kinison, Paxton Whitehead and Robert Downey Jr. also starred.