The multi-camera comedy SUPERIOR DONUTS starring comedian and actor Jermaine Fowler is undergoing some changes at CBS. Neil Goldman, Garrett Donovan and Bob Daily wrote and executive produced the project based on the play by Tracy Letts, which will be retooled and reshot for midseason consideration.
Brian d’Arcy James, who played the co-lead, will not be returning for the new pilot. However, co-stars Maz Jobrani and David Koechner will be staying on with Fowler, who will now have an executive producer credit. Superior Donuts centers on a relationship between a donut shop owner, a new young employee (played by Fowler), and the customers in a gentrified Chicago neighborhood.
The news of the shakeup comes shortly after CBS was criticized at Upfronts for having a lack of diversity in their fall lineup. Among the shows picked were Kevin Can Wait, Man with a Plan, and The Great Indoors, all of which had white male leads.
The three comedy pilots still in contention for a midseason spot include Superior Donuts, the only new show that features people of color, as well as the female-driven comedy Furst Born. The Hilary Winston, Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and Sony TV project My Time/Your Time is also likely to get a revamp.
The move could very well be a response to the diversity critique. The pilot for Drew, a contemporary update of the popular Nancy Drew detective series, tested well with audiences, but the reboot starring Sarah Shahi wasn’t picked up as it reportedly “skewed to female for CBS’s schedule,” according to one spokesman — comments that also received a fair amount of blacklash. However, the Laverne Cox-starring series Doubt, which was also re-piloted with casting changes over the summer, was picked up for midseason.
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer