At the time of the WBTV exit, when Jerry Bruckheimer TV’s deal at the studio was not renewed, Bruckheimer told Deadline that JBTV was exploring going the indie route, holding conversations with potential investors. But he indicated that it was also possible that JBTV would end up under an overall deal at another studio. “We are not excluding anything,” Bruckheimer said at the time.
Indeed, a few months after JBTV’s departure from WBTV, the company started meeting with traditional studios about a potential overall deal. But with broadcast television’s returns diminishing over the past decade, blockbuster pod deals for non-writing producers of the caliber of Bruckheimer are hard to come by as studios find it difficult to justify them financially.
JBTV, once the most prolific pod with ten series on TV at the same time, acted as independent last development season, selling a couple of projects but not being able to land a pilot for the first time in years. Its series portfolio heading into next season shrunk to two series after the cancellation of Training Day: Lucifer at Fox, with WBTV, and The Amazing Race at CBS, from ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios, which has gone from two cycles a year to one.
JBTV’s deal with CBS TV Studios, first reported by Variety, builds on JBTV’s long-standing relationship with CBS and CBS TV Studios via The Amazing Race and the blockbuster CSI franchise. It is quite possible that, with Bruckheimer in the fold, CBS and CBS Studios would try to reboot the crime franchise with a new installment.
The entire executive team of JBTV, led by longtime topper Jonathan Littman, remained put during the yearlong stint as an indie. That includes KristieAnne Reed and James Oh, who will continue at CBS TV Studios.
JBTV recently sold a police procedural drama project to Fox via 20th TV, Atlanta’s Most Wanted, starring actor-rapper T.I. It is targeted for the next development season.