ViacomCBS is moving ahead with their plans for the next TV season by picking up three new shows to series — even though only one of them was able to finish production on a pilot before the coronavirus pandemic shut down Hollywood.
The company announced on Friday that it is picking up Silence of the Lambs spin-off Clarice, starring Rebecca Breeds; a reboot of The Equalizer with Queen Latifah; and a new comedy from Chuck Lorre, B Positive, starring Thomas Middleditch and Annaleigh Ashford. All three stem from recognizable properties or well-known producers.
B Positive is the latest sitcom from Chuck Lorre, who also has Mom and Young Sheldon already at the network. The series was the only pilot across broadcast networks to finish production before the shutdown. Middleditch stars as a therapist and recently divorced dad who needs a kidney transplant, and Ashford plays a "rough around the edges" woman from his past who volunteers to help, leading the two to form an unlikely bond in the process. Sara Rue and You're the Worst's Kether Donahue also star.
The Equalizer is a reboot of the CBS TV series that ran for four seasons from 1985 to 1989. Queen Latifah takes over the leading role as "an enigmatic woman with a mysterious background who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn." It's like Robin Hood with a private investigator vibe. Chris Noth and Lorraine Toussaint help round out the cast.
Clarice will take place six months after the events of the iconic film and will be centered on Clarice Starling (Breeds) as she continues her investigative career with the indelible imprint of her interactions with Hannibal Lecter still fresh on the brain. The series is being executive produced by Star Trek overlord Alex Kurtzman, along with Jenny Lumet and Heather Kadin.
These pickups come on the heels ViacomCBS renewing 23 current series earlier in the week.
ViacomCBS will have more details about these series and the 2020-21 TV season during its digital Upfronts presentation on Tuesday, May 19.