When CBS made its new series pickups last month, the network passed on all remaining pilots with the exception of conspiracy thriller drama Surveillance, starring Chicago PD alumna Sophia Bush. After further deliberation, the network has decided not to proceed with a series order. CBS was considered the only viable home for the project, which is now dead as leading studio 20th Century Fox TV faced the expiration of the cast’s options this weekend.
The pilot, an off-cycle pickup by CBS last summer, had solid testing and had supporters at the network despite its genre being a departure for CBS. The network’s brass looked for ways to take it to series, focusing on non-conventional models, including a possible summer run. CBS does have a pressing need for next summer as its new summer drama series, Blood & Treasure, has done well and was recently renewed for a second season.
Surveillance, which has drawn comparisons to Homeland, comes from Matt Reeves, David C. Whit, Patricia Riggen and 20th Century Fox TV, which co-produced with CBS TV Studios.
Written by White, and directed by Riggen, Surveillance is described as a complex and timely spy thriller centered around the head of communications for the NSA (Bush), a charming operative who finds her loyalties torn between protecting the government’s secrets and her own.
CBS this season picked up eight pilots to series: four dramas, Evil, All Rise, FBI: Most Wanted and Tommy, and comedies Bob Hearts Abishola, Broke, Carol’s Second Act and The Unicorn.