CBS All Access, CBS’ digital SVOD and live streaming service, is ramping up its original scripted slate with the greenlight of three new series, dramas Strange Angel, from Scott Free, and $1 and the service’s first comedy series, No Activity, from Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Funny Or Die. They will join CBS All Access’ inaugural original scripted series, The Good Wife spinoff The Good Fight, which has been renewed for a second season, and the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery.
No Activity, which is based on the Australian series of the same name (you can watch a teaser for the original below the post), will debut first of the three newly picked up series. It will debut before the end of the year, airing between the two sub-seasons of Star Trek: Discovery.
That would bring the number of original scripted series to premiere on CBS All Access in 2017 to three, The Good Fight, Star Trek: Discovery and No Activity, in line with CBS’ previously announced plan to launch 3-4 original series a year. The announcement was made during the CBS portion of the summer TCA press tour.
”The addition of Strange Angel, our first series based on original IP, No Activity, our first comedy series, and $1, an innovative thriller, builds on the tremendous momentum CBS All Access has generated in its first season of original programming with The Good Fight and the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery, said Marc DeBevoise, President and Chief Operating Officer of CBS Interactive.
In an interview with Deadline, DeBevoise said that “the intent is to always have something rolling out,” with original series airing at any time, separated by a couple of weeks of break at the most. It hasn’t been decided yet whether Strange Angel and $1 will debut in 2018.
As for the drama-comedy mix going forward, “what we have learned is that dramas tend to draw more interest and be more marketable, so we will be focused more on the drama side but we also will be doing comedies,” DeBevoise said.
While in success, the CBS All Access scripted series picked up to date can carry the service through 2017-18 and possibly into 2019, “we are not done,” with orders DeBevoise said.
A year ago, CBS All Access greenlighted a special digital edition of Big Brother, Big Brother: Over the Top, which launched in September, shortly after the reality series’ season finale on CBS. That timing “was not easy,” DeBevoise admitted. There are no plans to do another fall season of Big Brother on All Access but “we are looking at what to do next for that show.” CBS All Access already is closely integrated with the broadcast series, airing Big Brother live feeds.
CBS All Access also just announced the addition of CBSN and starting next season, the service will live stream NFL games.
Strange Angel, inspired by the story of Jet Propulsion Laboratory co-founder Jack Parsons, was originally developed at AMC where it advanced to setting up a writers room and producing multiple scripts last year for series consideration. Those scripts will be used for the CBS All Access series after a deal between CBS and AMC. Parsons was mourned as a science prodigy when he died at 37 in 1952. But it soon was discovered that the maverick rocketeer had been a devotee of black magic.
STRANGE ANGEL, a drama series created by Mark Heyman (Black Swan, The Wrestler) and based on George Pendle’s book of the same name, explores the dramatic intersection between genius and madness, science and science fiction. The story follows the life of Jack Parsons, a mysterious and brilliant man in 1940s Los Angeles, who by day helps birth the entirely unknown discipline of American rocketry, and by night is a performer of sex magic rituals and a disciple to occultist Aleister Crowley. Strange Angel will be produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Scott Free Productions. Mark Heyman, David DiGilio, Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker will serve as executive producers; Clayton Krueger as co-executive producer and David Lowery (A Ghost Story, Pete’s Dragon) will direct and executive produce.
NO ACTIVITY is a comedy series from Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Funny Or Die. In what should be a high stakes sting operation, No Activity celebrates the mundane. Set against the world of a major drug cartel bust, the series follows two low-level cops who have spent far too much time in a car together; two criminals who are largely kept in the dark; two dispatch workers who haven’t really clicked; and two Mexican tunnelers who are in way too small a space considering they’ve only just met. No Activity will be produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Gary Sanchez and Funny Or Die and is based on the Australian series produced by Jungle and broadcast by Stan. Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Patrick Brammall, Trent O’Donnell, Jason Burrows and Joe Farrell will serve as executive producers.
$1, A mystery/thriller set in a small rustbelt town in post-recession America, where a one-dollar bill changing hands connects a group of characters involved in a shocking multiple murder. The path of the dollar bill, and point of view in each episode, paints a picture of a modern American town with deep class and cultural divides that spill out into the open as the town’s secrets get revealed. $1 will be produced by CBS Television Studios and Anonymous Content. The series is created by Jason Mosberg. Anonymous Content’s Matt DeRoss will serve as executive producer alongside Alexandre Dauman, and Craig Zobel (Compliance, The Leftovers) will direct and executive produce.
Here is a teaser trailer for the Australian comedy series No Activity: