5:58pm PT by Kim Masters, Lesley Goldberg
CBS Rejects 'Beverly Hills Cop' Pilot as Producers Explore Options
Beverly Hills Cop may be moving to a ZIP code outside of CBS.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the follow-up to the Eddie Murphy feature film franchise may be shopped to other networks after CBS passed on the drama.
The drama starring Brandon T. Jackson as the son of Axel Foley (Murphy) was considered a sure-thing to land on CBS' schedule as the Sony Pictures Television entry came with built-in brand recognition and a top producer attached in The Shield's Shawn Ryan. Despite the wattage of the talent involved, CBS passed. Sony and Paramount are said to be shopping the project to other networks.
CBS' decision is a blow to Paramount's effort to get back into television production. The studio has been out of that business since Paramount was split from CBS in 2005.
Beverly Hills Cop was a logical starting point since it has been a successful movie franchise for Paramount for a decade starting in 1984. Paramount CEO Brad Grey announced in March that Paramount would partner with Sony Pictures Television to produce an existing pilot and potential series. The same day, Philippe Dauman, chief executive of parent company Viacom, noted he would "get back, with very little investment, into the television production business."
Though it was made sense for Paramount to partner on a project at CBS, nonetheless the relationship between the film studio and the network has not been without rivalry as CBS' CEO Leslie Moonves has made forays into film production (with little success). There is obvious tension between Moonves, perhaps the industry's most successful executive, and Dauman, who is perceived as heir apparent to Sumner Redstone, who controls both Viacom and CBS. Redstone will turn 90 on May 27.