The CW has given straight-to-series orders to dramas Kung Fu, starring Olivia Liang, and The Republic Of Sarah, headlined by Stella Baker. The reboot of the 1970s David Carradine-starring TV series and the small town drama join Superman & Lois and Walker, which already received series orders in January. Emerging from a pilot season decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, the CW is heading into the 2020-21 broadcast season with the most straight-to-series orders of any network so far, four. Two of them come from the CW’s most prolific producer, Greg Berlanti (Kung Fu and Superman & Lois)
The remaining two traditional CW pilots, The Lost Boys and Maverick are being rolled. This adds another turn in the long journey to the CW schedule for Rob Thomas’ The Lost Boys reboot, which started during the 2016-17 development season and has included several incarnations and two pilot orders.
Along with Kung Fu, The Lost Boys had already been in production when the pandemic shut down filming in mid-March, so the CW brass had seen some footage from both projects before making their pickup decisions.
Meanwhile, decision is still TBD on the two CW planted spinoffs, the Arrow offshoot, which already aired, and The 100 prequel, which has been filmed and will air as an episode of the series’ upcoming final season.
As usual, the CW, a co-venture between CBS and Warner Bros., split its new series orders down the middle between the TV studios of its corporate parents. Kung Fu and Superman come from Warner Bros. TV; The Republic of Sarah and Walker are from CBS TV Studios.
Assuming live-action series will be able to shoot new seasons in the foreseeable future, the four newly picked up series will join the CW’s 13 current series, which were renewed for the 2020-21 season back in January. The only CW series whose fate has not been determined yet is freshman Katy Keene.
The network also has loaded up on acquired scripted series which will be at its disposal should resuming of Hollywood production is delayed longer than networks and studios are currently projecting. The acquired titles include CBS All Access’ Tell Me a Story and DC Universe’s Swamp Thing.
The CW is expected to announce its fall 2020 schedule on Thursday as it would typically do during normal premiere week.
Here are details about the CW’s two newly picked up series.
LOGLINE: A quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese-American woman to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to find her hometown overrun with crime and corruption, she uses her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice…all while searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her.
Cast: Olivia Liang, Kheng Hua Tan, Shannon Dang, Jon Prasida, Eddie Liu, Gavin Stenhouse, Gwendoline Yeo and Tzi Ma
Executive Producer/Writer: Christina M. Kim
Executive Producers: Martin Gero (Quinn’s House); Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter. David Madden (Berlanti Productions)
Director/Co-Executive Producer: Hanelle Culpepper
Inspired by the original series created by Ed Spielman
Auspices: Quinn’s House and Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television
THE REPUBLIC OF SARAH
LOGLINE: Faced with the destruction of her town at the hands of a greedy mining company, rebellious high school teacher Sarah Cooper utilizes an obscure cartographical loophole to declare independence. Now Sarah must lead a young group of misfits as they attempt to start their own country from scratch.
Cast: Stella Baker, Nia Holloway, Luke Mitchell, Izabella Alvarez, Hope Lauren, Ian Duff, Forrest Goodluck, Landry Bender and Megan Follows
Executive Producer/Writer: Jeffrey Paul King
Executive Producers: Marc Webb, Mark Martin; Fulwell 73 (Jeff Grosvenor, Leo Pearlman)
Director/Executive Producer: Kat Candler
Studio: CBS Television Studios