A few days after renewing a majority of its primetime roster, CBS has announced that it has given full series orders to The Silence of the Lambs sequel series Clairce, the Thomas Middleditch and Annaleigh Ashford-starring comedy B Positive and The Equalizer reboot starring Queen Latifah, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Set in 1993, six months after the events of The Silence of the Lambs, Clarice is a deep dive into the untold personal story of FBI Agent Clarice Starling as she returns to the field to pursue serial murderers and sexual predators while navigating the high stakes political world of Washington, D.C.
Rebecca Breeds’ Starling is described as brilliant and vulnerable. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from UVA with a double major in Psych and Criminology. Her bravery gives her an inner light that draws monsters and madmen to her. Her complex psychological makeup comes from a challenging childhood, and her drive comes from her need to escape the burden of family secrets that have haunted her throughout her life. The character has previously been played by Jodie Foster, who won her second Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in The Silence of the Lambs, and Oscar winner Julianne Moore in 2001’s Hannibal.
Based on the novel by Thomas Harris, The Silence of the Lambs film was directed by Jonathan Demme (Rachel Getting Married) from a screenplay adapted by Ted Tally. Its starred Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins in their iconic roles as Clarice Starling and Dr. Hannibal Lecter. On top of its critical and commercial success with over $270 million gross worldwide, the film swept the top 5 major categories at the 64th Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor and Actress for Foster and Hopkins’ incredible performances. The role of Clarice Starling was taken over by Julianne Moore in Ridley Scott’s 2001 sequel Hannibal, and should the Hannibal tv series have continued producer Bryan Fuller wanted to cast Ellen Page as Starling.
The series will be written and executive produced by frequent collaborators Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek: Discovery) and Jenny Lumet, who are both also currently working together on CBS All Access’ upcoming series The Man Who Fell to Earth.
The Equalizer reboot will be new take on the classic series and film franchise. It will follow the story of Queen Latifah’s character as an enigmatic figure who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn. The series will be written by Marlow and Miller, who will both be serving as showrunners.
The series will be executive produced by Latifah, Marlowe, Miller, and Martin Chase Productions’ Debra Martin Chase along with original series creator Richard Lindheim and Shakim Compere of Flavor Unit. It is a production of Universal Television and CBS TV Studios with John Davis and John Fox of Davis Entertainment also set as executive producers.
The original series was created by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim which ran on air for four seasons from 1985-1989 on the CBS network. It starred late English actor Edward Woodward, who portrayed the role of retired intelligence agent Robert McCall. The Equalizer series was adapted into two films starring Oscar winner Denzel Washington which had both gross more than $190 million worldwide.
Created by Mom writer Marco Pennette, B Positive follows a divorced dad (Middleditch) in need of a kidney donor, and in his moment of desperation he meets Gina, a tough woman from his past who offers to donate her kidney, and the two begin to form an unlikely bond that will change both of their lives.
Middleditch’s character, Drew, is described as a “therapist who makes his living trying to fix other people’s problems” and “educated, bookish and neurotic” that lacks social skills. His ex-wife, Julia, is set to be played by frequent Lorre collaborator Sara Rue (Two and a Half Men).
Gina, the woman of Drew and his kidney’s dreams, is set to be portrayed by Annaleigh Ashford (Masters of Sex), with You’re the Worst alum Kether Donahue also set for the regular role of Leanne, described as a “party girl.”
The series will be executive produced by Lorre and Pennette, with Warner Bros. TV attached in one of two Lorre pilots alongside United States of Al starring Parker Young (Imposters) and Adhir Kalyan (Rules of Engagement). Lorre currently has Mom, Bob Hearts Abishola and Young Sheldon set for future seasons.