Sources had previously told Variety that the show had support within the network, but that it was not seen as a good fit for CBS. The drama had tested “through the roof,” they said.
The series is described as a “complex and timely spy thriller (about) the head of communications for the NSA (Bush), a charming operative who finds her loyalties torn between protecting the government’s secrets and her own.”
The pilot, penned by David C. White, was produced by CBS Television Studios, 20th Century Fox Television and 6th and Idaho, and also starred Raphael Acloque, Dennis Haysbert, Allen Leech, Matthew Modine and Catalina Sandino Moreno. Russell Ackerman, Matt Reeves, John Schoenfelder and director Patricia Riggen were listed as executive producers.
White said back in April on Twitter that he had originally written the script on spec in 2014, that it had gained traction shortly after, and led to meetings with Reeves and Bush. They filmed the pilot in Vancouver with a “bonkers” cast and Riggen, the “world’s greatest director.” He added that at the time, “CBS execs (were) blowing up my phone loving the dailies.”
On Thursday, White tweeted that he was “super bummed” that “Surveillance” wouldn’t be going forward at CBS, but said it was “an absolute dream” working with CBS and 20th Century Fox TV.
I can genuinely say it was an absolute dream working with the development teams at @CBS & @20centuryfoxTV, who always knew exactly what this show could be and pushed us to make it the best possible version of itself.
— David C White (@davidcwhite) June 27, 2019