I had the incredible pleasure of chatting with the incomparable Rosie Perez and the cast of NBC’s new drama, “Rise,” during aTVfest in Atlanta.

Here’s the scoop on the show:

A working class high school drama department and the students come alive under a passionate teacher and family man (Josh Radnor) whose dedication to the program galvanizes the entire town.

At first glance you may think the show is “Friday Night Lights” meets the drama club, but that couldn’t be more off base.

Rosie explained why “Rise” is like nothing you’ve ever seen on TV before.

I don’t ever remember a TV show that ever tackled the politics of the sports program and the arts program inside of a school in a small town.

That’s why I say that ‘Rise’ is it’s own thing. Also, in regards to the theater aspect of it…it respects the theater process in showing that it doesn’t happen overnight.

It’s difficult and it’s hard and challenging and people stumble and they fall. Then, they try and they fall again.

That drama that exists on the stage and behind-the-scenes…there’s a real seriousness to this program that I really appreciate and it incorporates an entire community.

This show is less about musical theater and more about art.

Watch the trailer below.

Rise” premieres tonight at 10/9c following the “This Is Us” season finale and will air at 9/8c on Tuesdays for the rest of the season.

Will you be watching?