×

CBS Re-Piloting Comedy ‘Superior Donuts’ with Midseason Plans

CBS is giving another go at “Superior Donuts.”

Variety has learned the network is officially re-piloting the comedy, which is based on the play of the same name. “Superior Donuts” is expected to shoot again this summer, eyeing a potential midseason debut.

Rising star Jermaine Fowler leads the multi-camera sitcom and also serves as an exec producer. He was attached to the project from the beginning, but his original co-star Brian d’Arcy (“Spotlight”) will be re-cast. “Superior Donuts,” based on the play by Tracy Letts, follows the relationship between the owner of a donut shop (to be re-cast), his new young employee (Fowler) and their patrons in a gentrifying neighborhood of Chicago.

Aside from “Superior Donuts,” insiders tell Variety that “Furst Born” is also still in contention, perhaps for a midseason pickup, though CBS declined to comment. The comedy pilot that stars Poppy Montgomery was not ordered to series during the typical cycle, but still remains on CBS’ radar.

An early favorite among CBS execs during pilot season, “Superior Donuts” fell off once cuts rolled in and cooled down considerably nearing upfronts. Fowler received rave reviews from execs who screened the pilot. CBS has been hot on the comedian for quite some time now — he previously sold a comedy project that he wrote and was set to star in, and also headlined his own comedy special on the CBS-owned Showtime.

It’s not surprising that CBS is considering additional comedies for its new season. The network is airing three new half-hours this fall — “Kevin Can Wait,” “Man With a Plan” and “The Great Indoors” — but has no new or returning comedy currently available to come off the bench.

Should “Superior Donuts” go all the way, it would add a splash of diversity to CBS’ comedy schedule, which currently is home to new shows starring Kevin James, Matt LeBlanc and Joel McHale.

Last week during upfronts, the network was criticized for the lack of diversity on the fall schedule to which CBS president Glenn Geller said, “Our new series are more diverse this year than last year.” Geller also noted also the new legal drama “Doubt,” which stars Katherine Heigl and transgender actress Laverne Cox. He said, “‘Doubt,’ I’m happy to say, is the first broadcast series to feature a transgender series regular. I think that’s phenomenal.”

Similarly, last year “Doubt” also re-shot after not being picked up during the 2015-2016 pilot season. After much re-casting, the series was picked up and will debut midseason during the 2016-2017 season.

Neil Goldman, Garrett Donovan and Bob Daily penned the pilot. Along with Fowler, Mark Teitelbaum, John Montgomery, Michael Rotenberg and Josh Lieberman are exec producers. CBS Television Studios is producing.

More TV

  • Christopher Cross Grammys 1981

    Christopher Cross' 1981 Grammy Sweep Was the Best That He Would Do

    In the history of the Academy Awards, only three films have won the Hollywood equivalent of the royal flush — collecting statues for best picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay — and it’s safe to say all have held up fairly well: “It Happened One Night,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “The Silence [...]

  • Black Pumas Billie Eilish Lizzo

    The Race Is On: Sizing Up the Grammys' Best New Artist Nominees

    The race is on for the Grammys’ best new artist with Lizzo and Billie Eilish positioned as frontrunners in an exceptionally exciting 2020 category. Survey the odds for all eight of the year’s contenders below. Black Pumas Eric Burton and Adrian Quesada have been a duo only since 2017, but they sound as if they’ve [...]

  • Netflix backed animated films “Klaus,” left,

    'Klaus,' 'I Lost My Body' Top 47th Annie Awards as Netflix Dominates

    Netflix dominated the 47th Annie Awards on Saturday, Jan. 25, picking up 19 trophies, including the top prizes of best feature (“Klaus”), best feature-independent (“I Lost My Body”), best TV/media production for preschool children (“Ask the Storybots”) and best general audience TV/media production (“BoJack Horseman”). Disney TV Animation’s “Disney Mickey Mouse” won best TV/media production [...]

  • 'SNL': Watch Adam Driver Deliver 'Star

    'SNL': Adam Driver Delivers 'Star Wars' 'Undercover Boss' Sequel (Watch)

    When Adam Driver hosted “Saturday Night Live” in 2016 he went viral for a “Star Wars”/”Undercover Boss” mashup sketch that saw his Kylo Ren put on a disguise in order to observe his employees ala the CBS reality show. Four years later, he has done it again. While hosting the Jan. 26 episode of “SNL,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content