With many broadcast shows in disarray as a result of the coronavirus production shutdown, a trend is emerging of networks turning to streamers and international waters for content to fill their schedule.
Only hours after Fox announced it will air season 1 of the Spectrum series “L.A.’s Finest” this fall, the CW has gone three better by acquiring the broadcast rights to four different series, among them “Swamp Thing” from DC Universe and “Tell Me a Story” from CBS All Access.
In additional news, the Kevin Williamson-created anthology thriller has been canceled by All Access, Variety has confirmed, meaning that the show will end at two seasons, both of which will be heading to CW for a second-window run and will remain available to stream on All Access.
The other two shows that CW has picked up are “Coroner” (two seasons) and “Dead Pixels” (one season), which hail from Canada and the U.K. respectively. Both will be making their U.S. debuts. Premiere dates for all four shows will be announced at a later date.
“Swamp Thing,” like “Tell Me a Story,” was given the chop by its original home in the last year, as DC Universe canceled the series after a single season. The show follows Dr. Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed) as she investigates what seems to be a deadly swamp-born virus in a small town in Louisiana. However, when a mysterious creature emerges from the murky marsh, she finds herself facing the nightmares of a supernatural world where no one is safe. The series also stars Virginia Madsen, Andy Bean, Henderson Wade, Derek Mears, Maria Sten and Jeryl Prescott.
The show is produced by Atomic Monster in association with Warner Bros. Television, which already has a deep relationship with the CW, producing some of its biggest hits including “Batwoman” and “Riverdale.”
“Tell Me a Story” takes the world’s most beloved fairy tales and reimagines them as a dark and twisted psychological thriller. Set in modern-day New York City, the first season of this serialized drama interweaves “The Three Little Pigs,” “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Hansel and Gretel” into an epic and subversive tale of love, loss, greed, revenge and murder.
The cast of the first season includes James Wolk, Billy Magnussen, Dania Ramirez, Danielle Campbell, and Dorian Missick. From Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, “Tell Me a Story” season one was written and executive produced by Williamson alongside Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor and Liz Friedlander.
“Coroner” is described as a character driven one-hour drama about Dr. Jenny Cooper (Serinda Swan), a recently widowed, newly appointed coroner who investigates any suspicious, unnatural or sudden deaths in Toronto. Each death brings Jenny into a new arena in the city and sparks buzzworthy themes.
The show is a CBC original series produced by Muse Entertainment, Back Alley Films and Cineflix Studios.
Created by “Succession” and “Veep” alum Jon Brown, “Dead Pixels” follows Meg (Alexa Davies), Nicky (Will Merrick) and Usman (Sargon Yelda), who are obsessed with the online fantasy game “Kingdom Scrolls.” Meg would happily cut a date short to go home and defend Castle Blackfinger. Nicky thinks the miscasting of Vince Vaughn as Tanadaal in the “Kingdom Scrolls” movie is an international outrage. And Usman has made a plywood lid for his child’s playpen, so he can play the game in peace.
The series is split equally between the characters’ tragicomic real lives and their computer-animated misadventures in “Kingdom Scrolls.” Executive Produced by Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Phil Clarke and Jon Brown, “Dead Pixels” is a Various Artists Limited production for Channel 4 that airs on E4 in the U.K. and distributed by BBC Studios.