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CBS on Friday kicked off its series pickups for the 2017-18 broadcast season by handing out marching orders to two military dramas and a pair of family comedies as well as a CIA drama and a tech drama. All six feature marketable stars in Jeremy Piven, Alan Cumming, Shemar Moore, David Boreanaz, Mark Feuerstein and Bobby Moynihan. Five of the six series are produced by CBS Television Studios, with a co-production from Sony and one from Warner Bros. Television, as independent studios continue to get squeezed out amid an ownership push.
Ordered to series are Instinct, Wisdom of the Crowd, SEAL Team, S.W.A.T., 9JKL and Me, Myself and I. They join Young Sheldon, the Big Bang Theory prequel that was picked up straight to series.
9JKL, one of the few multicamera comedies to move forward this season, is inspired by a time in writer, executive producer and star Feuerstein’s adult life when he lived in apartment 9K in the building he grew up in, sandwiched between his parents’ apartment, 9J, and his brother, sister-in-law and their baby’s apartment, 9L, and his attempts to set boundaries with his intrusive but well-meaning family. Feuerstein wrote the pilot alongside his wife and TV veteran Dana Klein (Friends). Aaron Kaplan also exec produces the family comedy via his Kapital Entertainment banner alongside Wendi Trilling and Dana Honor. David Walton, Liza Lapira, Linda Lavin, Elliot Gould and Matt Murray round out the cast. 9JKL is one of six pilots Kaplan has in the works this season.
Me, Myself and I, also from Kaplan, examines one man’s life over a 50-year span. It focuses on three distinct periods in his life — as a 14-year-old in 1991, a 40-year-old in present day (Saturday Night Live’s Moynihan) and a 65-year-old (John Larroquette) in 2042. Sharon Lawrence co-stars in the Warner Bros. Television comedy from Kapital Entertainment. Dan Kopelman (Galavant) penned the script and exec produces alongside Kaplan, Honor and Randall Einhorn, the latter of whom directed the pilot for the single-camera comedy.
Wisdom of the Crowd, starring Jeremy Piven, is based on the Israeli format of the same name. It is inspired by the notion that a million minds are better than one and revolves around a tech innovator (Piven) who creates a cutting-edge crowdsourcing hub to solve his own daughter’s murder as well as revolutionizing crime solving in San Francisco. Ted Humphrey (The Good Wife) penned the script and exec produces alongside Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott, Rachel Kaplan, Dror Mishani and Shira Hadad. The series is a co-production between CBS Television Studios and Universal Television and hails from Keshet Media Group, via their overall deal with the latter. Wisdom, co-starring Monica Potter and Richard T. Jones, is Keshet’s second series order this season and joins NBC military drama The Brave (formerly For God and Country) on the 2017-18 schedule. Wisdom arrives as CBS and Fox tried their hand with futuristic medical and police procedurals this season with the since-canceled Pure Genius and APB, respectively. NBC, for its part, just handed out a series order to VR drama Reverie starring Sarah Shahi.
Instinct (formerly Killer Instinct, Dr. Death) stars The Good Wife alum Alan Cumming as a former CIA operative who has since built a “normal” life as a gifted professor and writer who is pulled back into his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer on the loose. It is based on the soon-to-be-published James Patterson book. Royal Pains alum Michael Rauch serves as showrunner and exec produces alongside CBS Television Studios-based Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin’s Secret Hideout banner. Cumming, Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout and Marc Webb exec produce, with the latter having directed the pilot. Khandi Alexander, Bojana Novakovic, Naveen Andrews and Daniel Ings co-star.
S.W.A.T., a reboot of the 2003 feature film of the same name (which was a remake of the 1975 TV series produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg), brings Criminal Minds star Moore back to the network a year after he exited the veteran procedural. Like the feature film, the TV series centers on a locally born and bred S.W.A.T. lieutenant who is torn between loyalty to the streets and duty to his fellow officers when he’s tasked to run a highly trained unit that is the last stop for solving crimes in Los Angeles. Aaron Thomas (Friday Night Lights) penned the script and will exec produce alongside Sony Pictures Television-based Shawn Ryan, Marney Hochman, Neal Moritz, Pavun Shetty and Danielle Woodrow. Justin Lin directed the pilot for the drama, which is a co-production between Sony TV and CBS Television Studios. Jay Harrington and Stephanie Sigman co-star. The project landed at CBS in September with a hefty pilot production commitment and a series penalty attached. Moritz directed the 2003 film, which starred Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez and LL Cool J. S.W.A.T. becomes the second series based on a Spelling show to score a series pickup this season as The CW added a modern-day Dynasty to its schedule earlier this week.
SEAL Team follows the lives of the elite Navy SEALs as they train, plan and execute the most dangerous, high-stakes missions the country can ask of them. The drama stars Bones grad David Boreanaz, who replaced Person of Interest alum Jim Caviezel in the role. Jessica Pare and Max Thieriot co-star. Ben Cavell (Justified) penned the script and exec produces alongside CBS Television Studios-based Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly. Ed Redlich serves as showrunner.
SEAL Team and S.W.A.T. were originally said to be competing for the same slot on CBS’ schedule. The decision to order both dramas comes as the network, sources say, is looking for more serious fare. They join fellow broadcast military dramas The Brave (NBC) and Valor (The CW) on next season’s schedule.
All told, CBS has seven new series for next season. If that stays the same, the total count will be down one from last year when the network picked up five dramas and three comedies. CBS is expected to make decisions on its bubble shows, including 2 Broke Girls and Elementary, in the coming days ahead of its upfront presentation next week.
Keep track of all the broadcast renewals, cancelations and series pickups with THR‘s handy scorecard.
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