Courtney Smith, Writer 

Sloan Grant(s) Received: 2020, Sloan Episodic Fellowship, Sundance Institute 

Project Type: TV Pilot 

Genre: Historical Drama 

Length: 60 minutes 

Field of Science: Engineering 

Stage: Development 


This is the true, boom-to-bust story of the Empire State Building, an American dream that nearly was lost. Higher, an upstairs/downstairs drama, will take us into “The Great Race to the Sky,” where we’ll meet homesick and hopeful, immigrant brothers Taidgh and Michael Dailey. They’ve come to 1920s New York City to take part in a building boom led by political and financial giants Alfred E. Smith and John J. Raskob. Smith and Raskob have dedicated themselves to besting their rivals at General Motors and Chrysler via the construction of the tallest building in the world. It’s a high-stakes adventure, that will bring our characters together while launching them squarely into the economic freefall of “The Wall Street Crash of 1929.”