EXCLUSIVE, UPDATED: As claims against Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey remain fresh, Jeremy Piven, star of the new CBS drama series Wisdom of the Crowd, today found himself in the spotlight of sexual harassment allegations. On Monday, reality TV personality/actress Ariane Bellamar made specific accusations on social media that Piven groped her on the set of Entourage and at the Playboy Mansion several years ago.
“We are aware of the media reports and are looking into the matter,” a CBS spokesperson said in a statement to Deadline on Tuesday.
The network offered no additional details of what form or function any investigation was taking. Wisdom of the Crowd, from CBS TV Studios, is still be in production on its original 13-episode order.
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CBS is currently mulling the fate of the modestly rated series. We have learned that the network had ordered three backup scripts while deciding on a possible episodic pickup beyond the initial 13.
CBS’ statement by the net follows a trio of tweets by Bellamar on October 30 about the Emmy-winning actor and his alleged unwelcomed interactions with her:
She added, with the hashtag #MeToo:
In a third tweet, Bellamar accused Piven of assaulting her another time, at the Playboy Mansion.
HBO also issued a response. “Today, via the press reports, is the first we are hearing about Ariane Bellamar’s allegations concerning Jeremy Piven,” the premium cabler said in a statement. “Everyone at HBO and our productions is aware that zero tolerance for sexual harassment is our policy. Anyone experiencing an unsafe working environment has several avenues for making complaints that we take very seriously.”
Bellamar’s claims come as sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations are swirling around the industry.
Piven’s Wisdom of the Crowd landed a series order by CBS in May after strong testing. The critically panned drama, which stars Piven as a tech billionaire who sells his company to launch a venture dedicated to fighting crime via crowdsourcing, has been a shaky ratings performer in the Sunday 8 PM slot despite getting boosts from NFL doubleheaders every other week. This past Sunday, up against Sunday Night Football and Game 5 of the World Series, Wisdom hit a series low of 6.8 million viewers and a 0.7 rating among in adults 18-49 in Live+Same Day ratings.
Having first come to small-screen prominence on Ellen DeGeneres’ ABC sitcom in the late 1990s, Piven went on to win a Golden Globe and three Emmys for playing Ari Gold on the HBO series Entourage, which debuted in 2004. The super-agent role was one he reprised for the 2015 feature film based on the series.
The actor’s other credits include Smokin’ Aces, Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla and Edge of Tomorrow. He also was a producer and star of the UK TV series Mr. Selfridge.
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