CBS Pilots Update: ‘Ways & Means’, Sarah Cooper/Cindy Chupack & ‘Welcome To Georgia’ Not Moving Forward

CBS today made its new series pickups, going for one drama,Good Sam, headlined by Sophia Bush, and one comedy, the multi-camera Smallwood starring Pete Holmes.

The network also passed on political drama Ways & Means, starring Patrick Dempsey, the untitled Sarah Cooper/Cindy Chupack single-camera comedy, as well as comedy pilot Welcome To Georgia, starring Hannah Simone and Elizabeth Hurley. Both Ways & Means and Welcome To Georgia were from the previous pilot season.

Dempsey plays a powerful congressional leader in Ways & Means, which was ordered to pilot in the early stages of the 2020 primaries when politics was very much on everybody’s mind. Fifteen months later, after a grueling Presidential campaign and two impeachment trials amid a pandemic, there appears to be some political fatigue, which likely impacted the project’s prospects, along with its ability to sell internationally. That is crucial for owned series — which both Good Sam, a medical drama that travels well, and Ways & Means are — in the current broadcast business environment. Still, few can dispute the major appeal of bringing Dempsey back to the small screen, especially post his Grey’s return. I hear there was talk about possibly picking up the show for midseason but ultimately, the network opted not to.

The untitled Sarah Cooper/Cindy Chupack single-camera comedy, which has three female leads and tackles gender politics, was a departure for CBS but was well received, with some suggesting that it could potentially move to Paramount+ if there is no shelf space at CBS. I hear that is not happening.

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