You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

How Scooter Braun Turned Luck With First Series ‘Scorpion’ Into Prolific TV Business

Nobody lands a long-running broadcast drama with their first scripted television project. But Scooter Braun did.

Scorpion,” starring “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee, is in its fourth season on CBS. The procedural drama grew out of a deal that Braun’s SB Projects cut for the life rights to computer expert Walter O’Brien, a government contractor who claims to have the fourth-highest IQ in the world. The result was the first series SB Projects ever put into development anywhere, one that Braun executive produces and that hails from CBS Television Studios and SB.  Scott Manson, chief operating officer of SB Projects, knows that such out-of-the-box success is a rarity.

“Scooter has incredible taste, but he has even more incredible luck,” Manson says.

Both Manson and Braun say TV has been a learning experience for the company. “It was a lot of work in the beginning, and now a brilliant team is going season four on a brilliant show,” Braun says of “Scorpion.” “And I learned a lot from CBS CEO Les Moonves. I think he’s one of the smartest people ever.”

Luck and an approach that is deferential to studio partners has yielded a full pipeline. SB Projects has scripted development in the works at CBS, ABC, FX, E!, Disney Channel, Netflix and Facebook. Much of it is in early stages, though E! has bought “Inspiration,” a musical drama from “Hidden Figures” writer Allison Schroeder.

The vision for scripted programming at the company is the same one that guides it in music and other media.

“We’re not just being passive producers,” Manson says. “We have an eye for material and for worlds we think could resonate with broad audiences.” Another key element is “trusting Scooter’s gut the same way we do if we’re considering signing a musician — whether we’re going to align with a showrunner or creator on a particular project. He has really great instincts on what works, and he is extremely talent friendly.”

More TV

  • 9-1-1: L-R: Aisha Hinds, Peter Krause,

    TV Ratings: '9-1-1' Season 2 Premiere Hits Highs Thanks to Football Lead-In

    Nobody lands a long-running broadcast drama with their first scripted television project. But Scooter Braun did. “Scorpion,” starring “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee, is in its fourth season on CBS. The procedural drama grew out of a deal that Braun’s SB Projects cut for the life rights to computer expert Walter O’Brien, a government contractor […]

  • Writers Guild Awards

    Comedy Central Strikes Pact With All Things Comedy

    Nobody lands a long-running broadcast drama with their first scripted television project. But Scooter Braun did. “Scorpion,” starring “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee, is in its fourth season on CBS. The procedural drama grew out of a deal that Braun’s SB Projects cut for the life rights to computer expert Walter O’Brien, a government contractor […]

  • Luke Wade attends The Television Academy's

    'The Voice': Luke Wade Talks About His Transition From Competing to Casting

    Nobody lands a long-running broadcast drama with their first scripted television project. But Scooter Braun did. “Scorpion,” starring “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee, is in its fourth season on CBS. The procedural drama grew out of a deal that Braun’s SB Projects cut for the life rights to computer expert Walter O’Brien, a government contractor […]

  • Greg Lipstone

    Former All3Media America Chief Greg Lipstone Joins Propagate as President

    Nobody lands a long-running broadcast drama with their first scripted television project. But Scooter Braun did. “Scorpion,” starring “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee, is in its fourth season on CBS. The procedural drama grew out of a deal that Braun’s SB Projects cut for the life rights to computer expert Walter O’Brien, a government contractor […]

  • Lena Waithe Halle Berry

    Lena Waithe, Halle Berry to Produce BET's 'Boomerang' TV series

    Nobody lands a long-running broadcast drama with their first scripted television project. But Scooter Braun did. “Scorpion,” starring “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee, is in its fourth season on CBS. The procedural drama grew out of a deal that Braun’s SB Projects cut for the life rights to computer expert Walter O’Brien, a government contractor […]

  • James Lipton Inside the Actors Studio

    'Inside the Actors Studio' Heads to Ovation TV in New Partnership

    Nobody lands a long-running broadcast drama with their first scripted television project. But Scooter Braun did. “Scorpion,” starring “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee, is in its fourth season on CBS. The procedural drama grew out of a deal that Braun’s SB Projects cut for the life rights to computer expert Walter O’Brien, a government contractor […]

  • Game of Thrones - Northern Ireland

    'Game of Thrones' Filming Locations in Northern Ireland to Open as Tourist Attractions

    Nobody lands a long-running broadcast drama with their first scripted television project. But Scooter Braun did. “Scorpion,” starring “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee, is in its fourth season on CBS. The procedural drama grew out of a deal that Braun’s SB Projects cut for the life rights to computer expert Walter O’Brien, a government contractor […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content