You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

How CBS Drama ‘Evil’ Keeps Its Set Fully Green

No paper scripts or call sheets. Only hybrid cars for transportation to set. Biodegradable eating utensils. The set of Robert and Michelle King’s new fall drama “Evil,” like many of its CBS brethren, is a fully green production, working with sustainability consulting firm Earth Angel to assess the production’s waste levels and ultimately lower its carbon footprint.

The CBS Green Production program, as it’s known, is part of the greater CBS Eye on the Environment corporate sustainability initiative. Water stations are on set in lieu of single-use plastic bottles, and untouched food is donated to food banks or nonprofits. When the production wraps, set decorations and furniture will be given to organizations like Habitat for Humanity.

The decision to participate in such efforts come from the showrunner. “It was really never a question,” says Michelle King, who adds that everybody involved in the production of “Evil” believes recycling and sustainability are “critical.”

The show also has a production assistant who has eco-training, she says, to make sure leftover food gets composted, the appropriate items are recycled and donated, and so on.

CBS-produced “Elementary,” “Madam Secretary,” “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” “The Talk” and “Bull” were all-green in the most recent season.

For the 2019-20 season, the studio’s “Twilight Zone,” “Charmed,” “Nancy Drew,” “The Stand,” “BH90210” and “Evil” join the list.

That’s up from one or two sustainability-conscious productions just a few years ago, starting with “Madam Secretary,” says CBS chief procurement officer Mike Smyklo.

(The Kings’ “The Good Wife” had gone green well before the 2016 launch of the CBS initiative.) While the decision to shrink an on-set carbon footprint is made at the showrunner level — showrunners are presented the option at the start of production — Smyklo says he wouldn’t be surprised if in the future that decision is made at the studio-head level.

It’s a choice that makes financial and environmental sense, he explains. “If you would’ve asked [about financial impact] five years ago, most people would tell you that lowering your waste and your carbon footprint costs money,” says Smyklo. “We find that not to be the case anymore. We can do good and do well at the same time. … We’ve found that cost savings and positive environmental impact can go hand in hand.”

King says there is “zero pushback” from cast and crew. “Everyone is entirely on board for making it a greener set — we’re all aware of what a big company we are, and everyone is interested in doing it better.

“To be able to nudge a company toward being environmentally friendly,” she adds, “is the greatest thing in the world.”

Consulting firm Earth Angel helps “Evil” set up recycling stations on set.
Elizabeth Fisher/CBS
Single-use water bottles are discouraged in favor of reusable bottles filled at water stations.
Elizabeth Fisher/CBS
Trash bags on the “Evil” set are made from compostable corn-based plastic.
Elizabeth Fisher/CBS

More TV

  • Richard Plepler HBO

    Former HBO Chief Richard Plepler Close to Signing Apple TV Plus Production Pact

    Former HBO chief Richard Plepler is close to signing an exclusive production pact with Apple TV Plus. Apple declined to comment and Plepler could not immediately be reached for comment. It’s understood that Plepler plans to launch a boutique production company designed to focus on a handful of high-profile projects. Among his advisors in pulling [...]

  • Byron AllenVariety Inclusion Summit, Inside, Los

    Byron Allen, Comcast to Square Off in Supreme Court on Racial Discrimination Case

    Byron Allen’s racial discrimination case against Comcast Corp. on Wednesday heads to the Supreme Court, where justices will consider Comcast’s argument that the case should hinge on two words: “but for.” Allen filed a $20 billion lawsuit against Comcast in February 2015, arguing that the nation’s largest cable operator was discriminating against his company, Entertainment [...]

  • Point Horror Books

    HBO Max to Develop Anthology Series Based on 'Point Horror' Books (EXCLUSIVE)

    HBO Max is developing a series based on Scholastic’s “Point Horror” books by R.L Stine, Variety has learned exclusively. The project hails from Picturestart and Lionsgate Television. The show, which is currently titled “Point Fear,” is described as an anthology series that exposes the horrors of being a teenager. Each episode of the show will [...]

  • The Mandalorian

    TV Review: 'The Mandalorian' on Disney Plus

    SPOILER ALERT: This review discusses some spoilers for the first episode of Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian.” A vicious killer with a tragic past and the faint glimmers of a beating heart is no stranger to television, a medium particularly suited to telling winding stories about rises, falls and redemptions. And yet it’s still something of [...]

  • Roger and Cowan Promotions

    Rogers & Cowan/ PMK Promotes Executives in Entertainment Division

    Rogers & Cowan/PMK has promoted Lindsay Galin, Jeff Raymond, Dennis Dembia, Michael Donkis, and Marian Koltai-Levine to executive positions in its entertainment division. Galin and Raymond have been named co-presidents of talent. Dembia and Donkis have been promoted to co-presidents of entertainment and business strategy, and Koltai-Levine will serve as president of film, content and [...]

  • Laura Dern Actors on Actors

    Laura Dern's Mother, Diane Ladd, Didn't Want Her to Act

    Laura Dern has wanted to act since she was seven years old, and, coming from acting parents including father Bruce Dern and mother Diane Ladd, one may think her parents encouraged the propensity. But according to Dern, that wasn’t the case. “They didn’t want me to,” the “Marriage Story” actress told Sterling K. Brown during [...]


    TV Ratings: 'Dancing With the Stars' Boosted by Sean Spicer Exit

    Sean Spicer waved goodbye to “Dancing With the Stars” last night, but ABC waved hello to a pretty big bump in the show’s rating and total viewership. Monday night’s episode scored a 1.0 rating and 7.2 million total viewers, up roughly 25% from last week’s 0.8 and 6.2 million. The former White House press secretary’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content