Ahead of CBS’ upfront presentation to advertisers and the press on Wednesday, sources expect that “Evil” will join “SEAL Team” and “Clarice” on ViacomCBS’ streaming service, which relaunched in March. As the months have ticked by, “Evil” fans — and they are a passionate group — have fretted about the show’s lack of a premiere date, which was expected to be in the spring, and the timing of when “Evil” Season 2 will premiere on Paramount Plus is still being worked out, sources say.
The ratings for “Evil” were strong enough on CBS to merit an early renewal a month after it premiered in September 2019, but when the whole show dropped on Netflix in October 2020, it became a viral, buzzy hit.
Again and again in recent months, media conglomerates have demonstrated that streaming services are the priority in this landscape — including in the shocking blockbuster merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia that leaked Sunday and was officially announced Monday. CBS moving “Evil” to Paramount Plus in order to capitalize on its streaming success is another example of this new world order. (Because “Evil” is produced by CBS Studios, Season 1 is already on the platform.)
Representatives from CBS declined to comment.
“Evil” was created by Robert and Michelle King, the creative minds behind “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight,” the latter of which is also on Paramount Plus. (Season 5 of “The Good Fight” will premiere on June 24.) “Evil” follows the devil-y doing of forensic psychologist Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers); Catholic Church investigator, David Acosta (Mike Colter); and the demonic Leland Townsend (Michael Emerson).
The show also stars Aasif Mandvi, as the wise-cracking third in the investigating trio, and Christine Lahti as Kristen’s mom — who unfortunately has become entranced (literally) by the infernal Leland.
In its 13-episode first season, “Evil” was both episodic (with a new mystery most weeks) and serialized (with its own mythology about the hierarchy of demons on Earth). It’s a complicated battle between good and evil, with a will-they-or-won’t-they twist — as Kristen, who started off as a skeptical Scully, has become more convinced by David’s beliefs.
The COVID-19 pandemic delayed production on “Evil’s” second season, as was the case with all TV shows and movies last spring and into the summer. The show began filming in late November in New York City, with the assumption it would premiere in the spring (Herbers even wrote that on her Instagram).
So viewers will have to wait a bit longer for any resolution to the “Evil” cliffhanger of whether Kristen murdered the serial killer who was stalking her and her family — oh, and whether she’s become possessed, as the season’s final moments implied!
Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.