When Bull does come back for a fourth season, it’s going to be doing so with some significant changes at the top.
According to a report from Deadline, show executive producer Steven Spielberg has left the series alongside his production company Amblin Television, and the also executive producers Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey. The move is likely linked to the accusations of sexual harassment against Michael Weatherly that were uncovered in a settlement last year, one that only came to light because of an investigation into his former CBS boss Les Moonves.
Video coverage on the Bull controversy: Check out our video below to get more analysis on what this means for the show as well as what other shows CBS renewed today. Meanwhile, remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube so you don’t miss out on our daily TV scoop!
At the time of the accusations (which were originally made by former Bull actress Eliza Dushku), CBS continued to press on and air new episodes of Bull. We did wonder if the controversy would cause them to move away from the show and cancel it when the time cam, but instead they decided to give season 4 the green light earlier today. Spielberg has been a staunch supporter of the #MeToo movement from the beginning, and he may have seen continued participation in the show as a conflict of interest with that.
With Amblin out of the equation, more control in the future direction of Bull likely goes over to some of the other producing partners. This is a series that may have been renewed in part due to syndication, as a fourth-season pickup will get it to that 88-episode threshold that is needed in order to move the show into that syndication spot. It does also have a solid performance internationally, though the stateside ratings for Bull this season were nothing to celebrate. That’s one of the reasons why the show ended up being on the renewal bubble in the first place — that mixed with all of the controversies that have been swirling around there about the show. One thought was that CBS may just choose to end Bull because they’ve come to realize it may not be worth all of the trouble, but instead here we are.
We don’t expect this to be the end of the controversy when it comes to Bull season 4 by any means, mostly because the network is having its upfront presentation in New York City next week. With there being a lot of discussions already about the renewal and the controversy online, there will more than likely many questions asked to executives by reporters at that time. That’s especially big news in the wake of Spielberg’s exit, as he and Dr. Phil McGraw are the two most-prominent off-screen executive producers for the series.
Weatherly (since the headlines first broke about the settlement) has apologized to Dushku for his remarks, but also denied having a large-scale role in getting her removed from the series. The original plan was for her to appear at the end of season 1 and eventually become a series regular.
If you want to get some more news when it comes to some of the other CBS renewals…
Be sure to visit the link here right now.
What do you think about Spielberg and his company walking away from Bull at this time? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: CBS.)