'L.A. Confidential' Reboot, Ava DuVernay, Greg Berlanti Racial Drama Among CBS Pilot Pickups


With Friday’s orders, the network now has 10 dramas (off one from a year ago) and seven comedies (even with 2017).

CBS rounded out its pilot orders Friday, picking up four dramas — including a reboot of L.A. Confidential and a racial drama produced by Ava DuVernay and Greg Berlanti.

Ordered to pilot are DuVernay and Berlanti’s Red Line, military drama The Code, Jerry Bruckheimer-produced entry Main Justice (inspired by the life of former Attorney General Eric Holder) and L.A. Confidential.

With Friday’s pickups, CBS now has 17 total pilots — down one from a year ago: 10 dramas (up one) and seven comedies (even vs. 2017). Here’s a closer look at Friday’s drama orders:

Red Line follows the events that occur after a white cop in Chicago mistakenly shoots and kills a black doctor. The story is told from the POV of three different families that all have connections with the case as the story is told from each perspective. Caitlin Parrish (Supergirl, Under the Dome) and Erica Weiss will pen the script and co-exec produce the drama. Warner Bros. Television-based Berlanti will exec produce alongside his head of television Sarah Schechter and DuVernay. This is Berlanti’s fourth pilot order of the season and second at CBS, joining drama God Friended Me, ABC comedy Most Likely To and The CW’s Spencer.

L.A. Confidential is described as a tonally modern of James Ellroy’s novel and subsequent 1997 feature film. Written by Jordan Harper (Gotham, The Mentalist), the drama follows the intersecting paths of three homicide detectives, a female reporter and an up-and-coming actress while the detectives pursue a sadistic serial killer among the secrets and lies of gritty, glamorous 1950s Los Angeles. The drama is described as having a modern tone, music and style while still being set in the ’50s. New Regency, who produced the film and controls the rights to the IP, will produce the drama alongside Lionsgate Television and CBS Television Studios. Harper exec produces alongside Arnon Milchan, who produced the Kevin Spacey-Kim Basinger feature film. L.A. Confidential becomes the latest reboot this pilot season, joining CBS’ Cagney and Lacey, Murphy Brown and Magnum P.I. as well as ABC’s Get Christie Love, The Greatest American Hero, Fox’s Gone Baby Gone and NBC’s Bad Boys spinoff. Key to the reboots are having the original producers — in Confidential‘s case, New Regency and Milchan — involved. Reboots continue to be in high demand this season as broadcasters look for proven IP in a bid to cut through a cluttered landscape expected to top 500 scripted originals this year amid competition from deep-pocketed rivals like Netflix and Apple, among others.

The Code, follows the military’s brightest minds as they take on the country’s toughest challenges — inside the courtroom and out — where each attorney is trained as a prosecutor, a defense lawyer, an investigator — and a Marine. Craig Turk (CBS’ upcoming Dick Wolf FBI drama) and Craig Sweeny (Limitless) penned the script and exec produce the CBS Television Studios-produced drama alongside Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman. Sweeny will serve as showrunner.

Main Justice is the first pilot to be picked up from Bruckheimer’s new overall deal with CBS Television Studios after the prolific producer went independent following a long run with Warners. Written by Sascha Penn (Survivor’s Remorse, Power), the drama is inspired by the life of former Attorney General Holder. The drama goes inside the tumultuous world of the fifth floor of the Department of Justice where the U.S. attorney general takes on the biggest legal and investigative cases in the country all while being the youngest person to ever hold such an esteemed position. Bruckheimer Television’s Littman and KristieAnne Reed exec produce alongside Holder.

Keep up with all the latest pilot orders, castings and eventual series pickups with THR‘s handy guide.

Pilot Season

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