The CW is building out its “Drew-niverse,” established by the network’s hit series Nancy Drew, putting in development a series based on the classic book series Tom Swift, with a twist. The project, which will feature a Black, gay lead in the title role, hails from Nancy Drew co-creators/executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage and their Fake Empire, and CBS Studios, where Schwartz and Savage are under a deal.
Co-created by Nancy Drew’s Melinda Hsu Taylor and Noga Landau, with Cameron Johnson (Empire), Tom Swift follows the serialized adventures of its titular Black, gay, billionaire inventor 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.
Taylor, Landau and Johnson will executive produce with Schwartz, Savage and Lis Rowinski.
In addition to the development of a specific Tom Swift pilot script, the titular character will appear in an episode of Nancy Drew in the series’ upcoming sophomore season. Plans are for Tom to crash into one of Nancy’s investigations, an event which Nancy interprets as supernatural and Tom believes to be cosmically paranormal.
Like the Nancy Drew books, which inspired The CW series, the Tom Swift book series hails from Stratemeyer Syndicate, which also publishes the Hardy Boys and Bobbsey Twins books.
Landau co-created Nancy Drew with Schwartz and Savage, and serves as an executive producer of the series. She is repped by manager Adam Marshall and attorney Jeff Frankel.
Hsu Taylor serves as the showrunner/executive producer of Nancy Drew, and her additional credits include, The Vampire Diaries and The Gifted. She is repped by attorney Patti Felker.
Johnson most recently staffed on Fox’s Empire, and sold Diversity Hire to Fox in 2019 with a put pilot penalty. His project White People Problems initially sold as an hour to Bravo is currently being redeveloped as a half hour by a streaming service. He is repped by Artists First and attorney Kim Stenton.
In addition to Nancy Drew, Fake Empire has Dynasty heading into season four at the CW. On the streaming side, the company is currently hard at work rebooting the iconic Gossip Girl for HBO Max and a new generation of viewers, and was behind Hulu’s acclaimed limited series, Looking for Alaska based on the John Green novel, as well as Marvel’s Runaways.
Schwartz and Savage are repped by attorney Joel McKuin. Schwartz is additionally repped by manager Mikkel Bondesen.