CBS has made three series pick ups for the 2020-2021 season.
On the drama side, CBS has ordered the “Equalizer” reboot starring Queen Latifah and “Clarice,” which follows Clarice Starling in the aftermath of “The Silence of the Lambs.” On the comedy side, the network has picked up the multi-cam “B Positive,” which hails from Chuck Lorre.
The shows mark the first shows that were going through the normal pilot season process to get picked up for next season. Nearly all pilots were unable to complete filming before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a suspension of prodution. “B Positive” was one of the only pilots to complete filming before that happened. CBS had originally ordered 14 pilots this season, with both drama “The Lincoln Lawyer” and comedy “FUN” having been passed over in the past week.
CBS renewed the vast majority of its scripted lineup earlier this week, with 23 current shows now set to return next season. Several straight-to-series orders have already been handed out for next season, including “Young Rock” starring Dwayne Johnson at NBC and the “Walker, Texas Ranger” reboot starring Jared Padalecki at The CW. Beyond that, sources say the networks may pick up very few unfinished pilots to series, but exactly how many remains to be seen.
In “The Equalizer,” Latifah stars as an enigmatic woman with a mysterious background who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn. Chris Noth, Lorraine Toussaint, Tory Kittles, Liza Lapira and Laya DeLeon Hayes also star. The show received a pilot production commitment at CBS back in November.
The original “Equalizer” starred Edward Woodward and ran for four seasons on CBS between 1985 and 1989. It was co-created by Richard Lindheim and Michael Sloan. It was then adapted into two feature films starring Denzel Washington in the title role, with the first debuting in 2014 and the second in 2018.
Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller wrote the reboot pilot and will executive produce. Queen Latifah will also serve as an executive producer in addition to starring. John Davis and John Fox of Davis Entertainment, Debra Martin Chase of Martin Chase Productions, Lindheim, Shakim Compere of Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit Entertainment, and pilot director Liz Friedlander will also executive produce. Universal Television will produce in association with CBS Television Studios.
“Clarice” stars Rebecca Breeds as the titular FBI Agent as she returns to the field in 1993, six months after the events of “The Silence of the Lambs.” Kal Penn, Nick Sandow, Michael Cudlitz, Lucca De Oliveira and Devyn A. Tyler also star.
The project received a series commitment at CBS back in January. Breeds is now the third actress to portray Starling onscreen, after Jodie Foster in “Silence of the Lambs” and Julianne Moore in “Hannibal.” Foster won the Academy Award for best actress for playing the character.
“Clarice” hails from writers and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet. Kurtzman will executive produce under his Secret Hideout banner, which is currently under a five-year deal at CBS Television Studios. Heather Kadin of Secret Hideout will also executive produce with Aaron Baiers co-executive producing. MGM And CBS Television Studios will serve as the studios.
“B Positive” stars Thomas Middleditch and Annaleigh Ashford. The comedy is about a therapist and newly divorced dad (Middleditch) who is faced with finding a kidney donor when he runs into a rough-around-the-edges woman from his past (Ashford) who volunteers her own. Together they form an unlikely bond and begin a journey that will change both of their lives. Kether Donohue, Sara Rue and Kamryn Kunody also star.
“B Positive” hails from writers and executive producers Marco Pennette and Chuck Lorre. Lorre will executive produce via Chuck Lorre Productions Inc. Pennette already works with Lorre on the Anna Faris and Allison Janney CBS sitcom “Mom.” Warner Bros. Television, where Lorre is under a rich overall deal, will produce. James Burrows directed the pilot.
(Pictured: Queen Latifah)