CBS renews Bull despite allegations of sexual harassment against Michael Weatherly
CBS announced Thursday that it has renewed six of its dramas, including Bull, the Michael Weatherly starrer that was mired in controversy earlier this season when star Eliza Dushku alleged she was sexually harassed by Weatherly during her time on the procedural.
The actress wrote a 2,300-word account for the Boston Globe slamming her former costar, as well as Bull writer-producer Glenn Gordon Caron and CBS. The network eventually paid Dushku $9.5 million, the amount of her contract had she continued on the show as a series regular for six seasons. Dushku decided to talk publicly about the harassment after Weatherly and Caron did so first in a New York Times story.
Weatherly gave this statement, among others in the Times piece: “During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script. When Eliza told me that she wasn’t comfortable with my language and attempt at humor, I was mortified to have offended her and immediately apologized. After reflecting on this further, I better understand that what I said was both not funny and not appropriate and I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.”
One change, however, was made to the drama in light of Dushku’s allegations: EW learned that Amblin Entertainment is no longer producing the show. Amblin founder Steven Spielberg reportedly met with Dushku after the allegations came to light and is also a big donor to the Times Up movement along with his wife Kate Capshaw.
In its release announcing the pickups Thursday, CBS said that Bull, which is now in its third season, reaches 11.4 million viewers. Bull was developed and brought to CBS in 2016 under the leadership of CEO Leslie Moonves, who has since been fired from CBS Corp. after facing numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.
The other dramas renewed were SEAL Team, S.W.A.T., Madam Secretary, Hawaii Five-0, and MacGyver. CBS also renewed 60 Minutes and 48 Hours.
The network has already picked up additional seasons of Young Sheldon, Mom, Criminal Minds, NCIS, NCIS: LA, NCIS: New Orleans, Blue Bloods, FBI, God Friended Me, The Neighborhood, and Magnum P.I.
CBS will present its fall 2019-20 lineup to advertisers May 15.
Michael Weatherly stars as Dr. Jason Bull, a character inspired by Dr. Phil.