The CW has given a straight-to-series order to Tom Swift, based on the classic book series Tom Swift, with a twist, for the 2021-22 season. Tom Swift comes from Nancy Drew co-creators/executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, their Fake Empire banner and CBS Studios.
Tom Swift, a spinoff of Nancy Drew, was one of two projects that had remained in contention after the network had made decisions on the bulk of its six 2021 pilots, handing series orders only to Naomi and All American: Homecoming in May. (The other, Powerpuff, is being repiloted.)
The CBS Studios/Fake Empire-produced project did not do a traditional backdoor pilot; instead the character Tom Swift, played by Tian Richards, appeared in a Nancy Drew episode titled “The Celestial Visitor,” which was directed by Ruben Garcia, and the network also ordered a pilot script.
Co-created by Melinda Hsu Taylor, Noga Landau and Cameron Johnson, Tom Swift follows the serialized adventures of its titular Black, gay, billionaire inventor (Richards) who is thrust into a world of sci-fi conspiracy and unexplained phenomena after the shocking disappearance of his father. Tom takes to the road on a quest to unravel the truth, leaving behind the comforts of his usual moneyed lifestyle, all while fighting to stay one step ahead of an Illuminati-scale group hell-bent on stopping him. Tom’s missions will require his genius and flair for innovation guided by love, romance, friendship and the mysteries of the universe yet-unsolved.
The series premiere date and time is TBD.
LeVar Burton voiced Barclay, Tom Swift’s (Richards) steadfast AI companion and tough-love mentor in the Nancy Drew episode, and we hear the plan is for Burton to continue on the series.
Taylor, Landau and Johnson also serve as executive producers along with Schwartz, Savage and Lis Rowinski. Tom Swift is a production of CBS Studios in association with Fake Empire.
Tom Swift marks Fake Empire’s fifth current or upcoming series in production, joining Nancy Drew, Dynasty, Gossip Girl and recently announced City on Fire for Apple.
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