American High Website at:

"This past year, two camera crews followed 14 students at a High School outside of Chicago.
The students were also given cameras and kept "video diaries" of their lives.
These are their stories."

"The original vision of the show was to do the non-fiction version of My So-Called Life. To find a way to tell the story of what it's like to be coming of age in America right now." -R.J. Cutler, Creator of American High

American High premiered in the summer of 2000 on FOX. After four episodes, FOX cancelled the future emmy-winning show due to poor ratings. The whole season was then picked up by PBS, and all 12 episodes were aired. In 2001, American High won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Reality). The show is a perfect reflection of the true lives of these High School students. There were many concerns and arguments on the American High message boards and elsewhere about the fact that the students on the show and in the High School were predominantly white. It was accused of sending out a biased message with the title, American High. When it comes to racial representation in television shows about youth, American High wasn't very different. It is true that dramatic fiction TV shows about High School students have predominantly white casts. American High showed a different side of the white High School students of America. These were real students who lived under the reputation of today's youth. The reputation that was put out by shows on the WB, ect. American High told the same sort of stories that fictional shows did, but the students were finally given a chance to tell their real stories. These were not only stories about the two extremes of high school cliques-populars and outcasts, but about the rest of the vast population of students. People who couldn't be placed into any stereotype, because they are individuals.
American High showed the television world how important it is to let youth tell their own stories, without rules or judgement.