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CBS is restocking its summer scripted library.
The network has handed out a 13-episode, straight-to-series order for Blood and Treasure, an action-adventure set to air in summer 2019.
The drama, which insiders are describing as large in scope, centers on a brilliant antiquities expert and a cunning art thief who team up to catch a ruthless terrorist who funds his attacks through stolen treasure. As they crisscross the globe hunting their target, they unexpectedly find themselves in the center of a 2,000-year-old battle for the cradle of civilization.
The project is being produced in-house at CBS Television Studios. Writing partners Matt Federman and Stephen Scaia (Limitless, ABC’s Charlie’s Angels, Warehouse 13, Jericho) penned the script. Justified grad Taylor Elmore, who worked with the duo on Limitless, will serve as showrunner and executive produce alongside Federman, Scaia, Ben Silverman, Marc Webb and Mark Vlasic. Webb will direct. CBS Television Distribution will distribute the series domestically; CBS Studios International will handle worldwide.
CBS has had mixed results with scripted fare in the summer. After a huge start out of the gate with the pricey Under the Dome — which sold to Netflix ahead of its launch and helped finance the series — the network’s fortunes have faded since in the typically little-watched season. More recently, CBS canceled Zoo after three seasons but renewed Salvation for a sophomore deal. (Netflix had a pact for Zoo, while Salvation had a similar deal at Amazon.) Both of those series were the only scripted shows to air this summer. It’s unclear if the network will order another show to join Salvation in summer 2018, though CBS did just pick up Elementary for an additional episode order as the veteran low-rated procedural — owned by the network with lucrative syndication and streaming deal — awaits a premiere date.
Sources note that the early pickup for Blood and Treasure is because it is an ambitious project and needs extra time for its size and scope.
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