Steven Spielberg is distancing himself from a popular CBS drama series, with his Amblin Entertainment confirming through a rep that Spielberg, the company, and Amblin TV co-heads Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey are no longer attached to “Bull,” Nellie Andreeva reports on Deadline.
Spielberg, Frank and Falvey have been executive producers on the series for its first three seasons, and the show was recently renewed by CBS for a fourth season.
The news comes amid a controversy over sexual harassment allegations against star Michael Weatherly, which we reported on back in December. The allegations by then-co-star Eliza Dushku, which reportedly resulted in a $9.5 million settlement between the actress and CBS, have also been cited by some observers as part of a broader sexual harassment problem at CBS.
Deadline notes that “Bull” has been a solid ratings performer for the network and was never in doubt for a renewal even after the controversy surfaced.
“Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw have been major supporters of the Time’s Up movement from the start, and I hear Spielberg, who had met with Dushku, didn’t want to be associated with the series any longer,” Andreeva reports in the Deadline piece. “That is a bold move since a long-running CBS procedural is considered one of the most lucrative propositions in the TV business, often associated with a financial windfall for producers.”
The Amblin rep declined to comment further on the situation.