CBS All Access Nabs Muhammad Ali Limited Series From Morgan Freeman

CBS All Access has nabbed the development rights to limited event series “8 Fights,” which follows the life and career of boxing great Muhammad Ali.

The project, which is based on Jonathan Eig’s biography “Ali: A Life,” comes from Morgan Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment and CBS TV Studios.

The streaming service’s order is considered straight-to-series.

Also Read: Michael Rapaport Shreds ESPN Over New Employee Guidelines: ‘This Is Some Stalin S-t!’ (Video)

Dan Kay will write “8 Fights – The Life of Muhammad Ali,” which chronicles eight distinct moments in the life of Ali, with each episode framed by one fight from his boxing career, per the description. The focus will be on the internal fight — the drama outside the ring — which will explore the struggle going on in the heart and mind of one of the most consequential and controversial figures of the 20th century.

Kay will executive produce alongside Freeman, Lori McCreary and Beth Miyares. Erica Shelton is a consulting producer.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Muhammad Ali Jr Says He Was ‘Harassed Again’ by Airport Security

Showtime Developing Miniseries About Muhammad Ali’s Objection to Vietnam War

Muhammad Ali’s 75th Birthday: 13 Jaw-Dropping Moments From His Boxing Career (Photos)

CBS All Access has nabbed the development rights to limited event series “8 Fights,” which follows the life and career of boxing great Muhammad Ali.

The project, which is based on Jonathan Eig’s biography “Ali: A Life,” comes from Morgan Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment and CBS TV Studios.

The streaming service’s order is considered straight-to-series.

Dan Kay will write “8 Fights – The Life of Muhammad Ali,” which chronicles eight distinct moments in the life of Ali, with each episode framed by one fight from his boxing career, per the description. The focus will be on the internal fight — the drama outside the ring — which will explore the struggle going on in the heart and mind of one of the most consequential and controversial figures of the 20th century.

Kay will executive produce alongside Freeman, Lori McCreary and Beth Miyares. Erica Shelton is a consulting producer.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Muhammad Ali Jr Says He Was 'Harassed Again' by Airport Security

Showtime Developing Miniseries About Muhammad Ali's Objection to Vietnam War

Muhammad Ali's 75th Birthday: 13 Jaw-Dropping Moments From His Boxing Career (Photos)

Peter Bart: Scaling Up Through Mergers No Fun Anymore For Moguls

The time has come to augment the endangered species list, with Hollywood media moguls as the latest entries. They used to be the loudest voices in the room, but now you need a scorecard to figure out who’s in charge of what.
Consider this week: The CEO…

The time has come to augment the endangered species list, with Hollywood media moguls as the latest entries. They used to be the loudest voices in the room, but now you need a scorecard to figure out who's in charge of what. Consider this week: The CEOs of AT&T and Time Warner took the stand in federal court to slam the Justice Department for opposing their vaunted merger (what will be the fate of CNN and HBO?). Les Moonves must audition again for the (dubious?) privilege…

‘Living Biblically’ Pulled Off the Schedule By CBS, Replaced By ‘Big Bang’ Repeats

After CBS yesterday wrapped its round of early pickups of the series it considered no-brainers for renewal, it has started to shed the weakest of the rest. Monday comedy Living Biblically has been pulled from the schedule effective immediately. Startin…

After CBS yesterday wrapped its round of early pickups of the series it considered no-brainers for renewal, it has started to shed the weakest of the rest. Monday comedy Living Biblically has been pulled from the schedule effective immediately. Starting next week, it will be replaced by repeats of The Big Bang Theory.  The move is not a surprise. Living Biblically is CBS’ least watched series this season and tied for last place in adults 18-49 (Live+same day). CBS earlier…

‘Living Biblically’ Pulled From CBS’ Schedule

CBS has pulled “Living Biblically” from its primetime schedule, with reruns of “The Big Bang Theory” to run in its place.

Sources say the sitcom could return at a later date.

The sitcom follows a man who decides to live as instructed in the Bible, based on A.J. Jacobs’ book “The Year of Living Biblically.” Jay R. Ferguson stars with Lindsey Kraft, Ian Gomez, David Krumholtz, Tony Rock, and Camryn Manheim. “The Big Bang Theory” star Johnny Galecki executive produces with writer Patrick Walsh and Andrew Haas and Spencer Medof.

Also Read: Ratings: CBS’ ‘Living Biblically’ Not Off to a Hell of a Good Start

The comedy is produced by Alcide Bava Productions, in association with CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television.

CBS renewed 11 of its series earlier this week, totaling 17 series renewals for next year so far.

As far as pilots go, the network has ordered eight comedy pilots, including the revival of “Murphy Brown.” Other comedy pilots include “25,” “Fam,” “History of Them,” “I Mom So Hard,” “Pandas in New York,” “Welcome to the Neighborhood,” and the untitled Austen Earl and Tim McAuliffe project.

Also Read: CBS’ ‘Living Biblically’ Won’t Tackle Homosexuality in Season 1

CBS drama pilots in the works include the “Cagney and Lacey” reboot starring Sarah Drew and Michelle Hurd, “Chiefs,” “The Code,” “F.B.I.,” “God Friended Me,” “LA Confidential,” “Magnum P.I.,” “Main Justice,” “Murder” and “Red Line.”

See our complete 2018 pilot grid over here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ratings: CBS’ ‘Living Biblically’ Not Off to a Hell of a Good Start

CBS’ ‘Living Biblically’ Won’t Tackle Homosexuality in Season 1

Johnny Galecki’s ‘Living Biblically’ Ordered to Pilot at CBS

CBS Sets ‘Big Brother – Celebrity Edition’ Premiere, ‘Survivor’ Return Dates

CBS has pulled “Living Biblically” from its primetime schedule, with reruns of “The Big Bang Theory” to run in its place.

Sources say the sitcom could return at a later date.

The sitcom follows a man who decides to live as instructed in the Bible, based on A.J. Jacobs’ book “The Year of Living Biblically.” Jay R. Ferguson stars with Lindsey Kraft, Ian Gomez, David Krumholtz, Tony Rock, and Camryn Manheim. “The Big Bang Theory” star Johnny Galecki executive produces with writer Patrick Walsh and Andrew Haas and Spencer Medof.

The comedy is produced by Alcide Bava Productions, in association with CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television.

CBS renewed 11 of its series earlier this week, totaling 17 series renewals for next year so far.

As far as pilots go, the network has ordered eight comedy pilots, including the revival of “Murphy Brown.” Other comedy pilots include “25,” “Fam,” “History of Them,” “I Mom So Hard,” “Pandas in New York,” “Welcome to the Neighborhood,” and the untitled Austen Earl and Tim McAuliffe project.

CBS drama pilots in the works include the “Cagney and Lacey” reboot starring Sarah Drew and Michelle Hurd, “Chiefs,” “The Code,” “F.B.I.,” “God Friended Me,” “LA Confidential,” “Magnum P.I.,” “Main Justice,” “Murder” and “Red Line.”

See our complete 2018 pilot grid over here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ratings: CBS' 'Living Biblically' Not Off to a Hell of a Good Start

CBS' 'Living Biblically' Won't Tackle Homosexuality in Season 1

Johnny Galecki's 'Living Biblically' Ordered to Pilot at CBS

CBS Sets 'Big Brother – Celebrity Edition' Premiere, 'Survivor' Return Dates

On the Bubble 2018: Which Broadcast TV Shows Will Be Canceled and Which Will Be Renewed?

April TV ratings bring May cancellations — but sometimes last-minute renewals, too.

Mid-spring marks the time of year when at-risk shows must sweat out their fates — sometimes right up until networks announce their fall schedules to advertisers at their upfront presentations in May. Optimism has its place in Hollywood, but it ranks somewhere between actual advertising money and the feel-good awards that can sometimes keep low-rated shows alive.

Generally, top-performing shows from each broadcast network have already received their votes of confidence for another season, and the worst performers were snuffed out months ago. But then there are the bubble shows, which could really go either way.

Also Read: ‘Roseanne’ Passes ‘Sunday Night Football’ and ‘This Is Us’ to Become TV’s Top-Rated Show

Their fates come down to lots of hard-to-quantify factors: momentum, reviews, how much they cost to make, how much money the people who watch them make, syndication situations, diversity, and what networks have to replace them. And then there are executives’ personal tastes. It’s part science, part crapshoot.

TheWrap is here to help make sense of it all, charting below what scripted series have already been renewed on each of the English-language broadcast networks, what’s been canceled or just ended, and which way each of the many remaining decisions will likely lean.

All ratings in this story come from the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic, and count a week’s worth of delayed viewing where available.

Also Read: ‘Shades of Blue’ Will End After Season 3, NBC Sets Summer Premiere Date

NBC
Every network has to cancel some shows to make way for promising pilots — even the highest-rated broadcaster. NBC just needs to get going already.

Here, “Champions” and “Taken” are obviously getting the axe, but scrapping two shows probably won’t clear enough brush. “Timeless” is likely to join them in the canceled pile (again), and we don’t expect a fan backlash to work on Bob Greenblatt this time.

“Great News,” “A.P. Bio,” “Rise,” “The Brave” and “Good Girls” all appear to be truly on the bubble. Tina Fey’s “Great News” has its auspices going for it, but that was the excuse for bringing it back last year. The ratings don’t justify taking another flyer.

Lackluster as its own performance as been, “A.P. Bio” will probably squeak in to fill NBC’s “edgy” comedy slot. We believe “Rise” is on-brand enough for the network and a solid scripted partner for TV’s top singing competition. “The Brave” probably did enough in its time slot to justify another go, and “Good Girls” feels enough of-the-moment to return.

Beyond those, “The Blacklist” basically comes down to if James Spader wants to do more, while “Blindspot” performs well-enough for a Friday show to warrant another nod.

The rest are Dick Wolf shows, and why would those go away?

In chart form:

Also Read: CBS Renews ‘Survivor,’ ‘The Amazing Race,’ 9 More Series

CBS
CBS has already given a vote of confidence to freshman dramas “S.W.A.T.” and “SEAL Team,” both of which have performed admirably.

The entire “NCIS” franchise also made the cut, as did the Dr. Phil-produced “Bull,” awards-contender “Mom,” and the network’s Friday drama line-up. “The Big Bang Theory” had already been renewed through next season, and new partner “Young Sheldon” became one of the season’s first renewals earlier this year.

As for CBS’s other new shows, the high-concept comedy “Me, Myself & I” was a quick goner, and “Wisdom of the Crowd” was buried after sexual assault accusations against star Jeremy Piven.

Johnny Galecki’s “Living Biblically” premiered midseason in the timeslot previously occupied by “Me, Myself & I” to similarly disappointing ratings and soon followed it to cancellation.

Mark Feuerstein’s “9JKL” also made little dent on Monday nights when it debuted in the fall. With “Young Sheldon” as CBS’ only new comedy hit, returning players “Kevin Can Wait,” “Man With a Plan” and “Life in Pieces” should make it through, though none are a sure bet. It’s worth point out here that “Life in Pieces” is a 20th Century Fox show, and non-ownership very rarely helps.

Perennial bubble show “Criminal Minds,” meanwhile, also has the misfortune of being an outside production. A decision there will likely come down to the wire, but we’re betting a 14th season is in the cards.

The Katharine McPhee-led “Scorpion” seems even less of a lock, though a decision will depend on the network’s developing pipeline and the performance of “Code Black” and “Elementary,” both of which are yet to premiere. We’re told “Scorpion’s” fanbase has been particularly vocal about keeping that show on the air, which could theoretically do the trick.

Also Read: ‘American Idol’ Marks All-Time Ratings Low – Yes, Counting the Fox Years

ABC
This season, ABC had two big success stories, the freshman medical drama “The Good Doctor” and the mega-hit “Roseanne” revival, and the network was quick to renew both.

But with a number of its long-running shows coming to an end — “The Middle,” “Once Upon a Time” and the network-defining “Scandal” are all concluding their runs this season — and few other breakout hits, ABC will have to take a long, hard look at its slate as it decides what to keep and cut loose.

Few of the network’s new shows have stuck, with the comedy “The Mayor” pulled from the schedule early and “Inhumans” limping through its eight-episode season last fall, following a heavily hyped but critically reviled premiere.

“Alex Inc.” and the Shondaland legal drama “For the People” all failed to make an impact in the ratings and are unlikely to return, and the high-concept drama “The Crossing,” whose time-traveling refugees were rejected by viewers, was dead on arrival. Though we don’t believe “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” will ultimately be saved for next season, strong support from the highest levels at ABC makes it an actual possibility.

Midseason entries “Splitting Up Together” and “Deception” have both managed to perform well enough to get another shot in an otherwise disappointing season. Those two shows are examples of when it is better to be a bubble show on ABC than on NBC or CBS.

With “Scandal” going off the air and Shonda Rhimes decamping to Netflix, ABC will look to hold on to reliable performers, including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How to Get Away With Murder.” “Grey’s” spinoff “Station 19” has also proven a solid (enough) partner for the medical drama. Thumbs up to those three.

Also Read: Murdoch Family Scores $206 Million in Golden Parachutes After Disney-Fox Deal

Fox
Fox got a bunch of no-brainer renewals out of the way, and this was always going to be “New Girl’s” farewell to fans. “The X-Files” could return at any time, but everyone definitely sounds done with that for now — and maybe even forever, this time.

“The Mick” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” should make it back based on creative. “Star” has proven to be a good partner for “Empire,” so expect more there too. Additionally, “The Resident” ratings are a win for Fox, people seem to like “Lethal Weapon,” and “LA to Vegas” should fly at least once more before being grounded.

Don’t be shocked if this ends up being the last season for “The Last Man on Earth,” but right now we think Will Forte and his sports balls will make the cut to come back.

“Ghosted” is probably the most interesting case of Fox’s numerous shows on the bubble. Though the Adam Scott-Craig Robinson vehicle’s demo number — a 1.6 — looks pretty good at first blush, the first-season sitcom was inflated by some NFL football this fall. Mucking up the waters even more, “Ghosted” shifted showrunners in the middle of Season 1, and it still has some episodes to air. Fox is holding tight on a decision until execs see how the new version of the new series fares.

As for “The Exorcist,” well, it’s high time to exorcise that Friday show. “Lucifer,” which is not a Fox-owned series (something that one could argue probably won’t matter anyway after this Disney deal goes through), seems like the next man out. Put the Devil back in Hell.

Also Read: Here’s How Horrible Lucy Hale’s ‘Life Sentence’ Ratings Are

The CW
The youngest-skewing broadcast network renewed 10 series in one fell swoop, including newbie “Black Lightning,” which has performed pretty well in its first year. Unfortunately, The CW cannot say the same about fellow freshmen “Valor” and “Life Sentence,” which have both been rough.

Star Lucy Hale has been lobbying her large fanbase to save “Life Sentence,” though we doubt that’ll be enough. “Valor” averages the same poor rating, and that one doesn’t even have a Lucy Hale.

The real coin-flip here is “iZombie.” Though the show’s Nielsen number among adults 18-49 doesn’t really justify another season, it is totally possible that The CW adding Sunday nights to its national schedule next season will. Mark Pedowitz now requires more content than the network has needed in nine years.

Also of note here, “The Originals” is a planned ending. Based on last night’s premiere numbers, that’s probably a good idea.

Related stories from TheWrap:

A Year After Bill O’Reilly Exit, Fox News’ 8 O’Clock Ratings Are Down – But Up From Pre-Trump Years

Ratings: Flat ‘Scorpion’ Season Finale Sentences CBS to Fourth Place

Ratings: Mindy Kaling’s ‘Champions’ Is a Loser Following ‘Will & Grace’ Repeat

April TV ratings bring May cancellations — but sometimes last-minute renewals, too.

Mid-spring marks the time of year when at-risk shows must sweat out their fates — sometimes right up until networks announce their fall schedules to advertisers at their upfront presentations in May. Optimism has its place in Hollywood, but it ranks somewhere between actual advertising money and the feel-good awards that can sometimes keep low-rated shows alive.

Generally, top-performing shows from each broadcast network have already received their votes of confidence for another season, and the worst performers were snuffed out months ago. But then there are the bubble shows, which could really go either way.

Their fates come down to lots of hard-to-quantify factors: momentum, reviews, how much they cost to make, how much money the people who watch them make, syndication situations, diversity, and what networks have to replace them. And then there are executives’ personal tastes. It’s part science, part crapshoot.

TheWrap is here to help make sense of it all, charting below what scripted series have already been renewed on each of the English-language broadcast networks, what’s been canceled or just ended, and which way each of the many remaining decisions will likely lean.

All ratings in this story come from the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic, and count a week’s worth of delayed viewing where available.

NBC
Every network has to cancel some shows to make way for promising pilots — even the highest-rated broadcaster. NBC just needs to get going already.

Here, “Champions” and “Taken” are obviously getting the axe, but scrapping two shows probably won’t clear enough brush. “Timeless” is likely to join them in the canceled pile (again), and we don’t expect a fan backlash to work on Bob Greenblatt this time.

“Great News,” “A.P. Bio,” “Rise,” “The Brave” and “Good Girls” all appear to be truly on the bubble. Tina Fey’s “Great News” has its auspices going for it, but that was the excuse for bringing it back last year. The ratings don’t justify taking another flyer.

Lackluster as its own performance as been, “A.P. Bio” will probably squeak in to fill NBC’s “edgy” comedy slot. We believe “Rise” is on-brand enough for the network and a solid scripted partner for TV’s top singing competition. “The Brave” probably did enough in its time slot to justify another go, and “Good Girls” feels enough of-the-moment to return.

Beyond those, “The Blacklist” basically comes down to if James Spader wants to do more, while “Blindspot” performs well-enough for a Friday show to warrant another nod.

The rest are Dick Wolf shows, and why would those go away?

In chart form:

CBS
CBS has already given a vote of confidence to freshman dramas “S.W.A.T.” and “SEAL Team,” both of which have performed admirably.

The entire “NCIS” franchise also made the cut, as did the Dr. Phil-produced “Bull,” awards-contender “Mom,” and the network’s Friday drama line-up. “The Big Bang Theory” had already been renewed through next season, and new partner “Young Sheldon” became one of the season’s first renewals earlier this year.

As for CBS’s other new shows, the high-concept comedy “Me, Myself & I” was a quick goner, and “Wisdom of the Crowd” was buried after sexual assault accusations against star Jeremy Piven.

Johnny Galecki’s “Living Biblically” premiered midseason in the timeslot previously occupied by “Me, Myself & I” to similarly disappointing ratings and soon followed it to cancellation.

Mark Feuerstein’s “9JKL” also made little dent on Monday nights when it debuted in the fall. With “Young Sheldon” as CBS’ only new comedy hit, returning players “Kevin Can Wait,” “Man With a Plan” and “Life in Pieces” should make it through, though none are a sure bet. It’s worth point out here that “Life in Pieces” is a 20th Century Fox show, and non-ownership very rarely helps.

Perennial bubble show “Criminal Minds,” meanwhile, also has the misfortune of being an outside production. A decision there will likely come down to the wire, but we’re betting a 14th season is in the cards.

The Katharine McPhee-led “Scorpion” seems even less of a lock, though a decision will depend on the network’s developing pipeline and the performance of “Code Black” and “Elementary,” both of which are yet to premiere. We’re told “Scorpion’s” fanbase has been particularly vocal about keeping that show on the air, which could theoretically do the trick.

ABC
This season, ABC had two big success stories, the freshman medical drama “The Good Doctor” and the mega-hit “Roseanne” revival, and the network was quick to renew both.

But with a number of its long-running shows coming to an end — “The Middle,” “Once Upon a Time” and the network-defining “Scandal” are all concluding their runs this season — and few other breakout hits, ABC will have to take a long, hard look at its slate as it decides what to keep and cut loose.

Few of the network’s new shows have stuck, with the comedy “The Mayor” pulled from the schedule early and “Inhumans” limping through its eight-episode season last fall, following a heavily hyped but critically reviled premiere.

“Alex Inc.” and the Shondaland legal drama “For the People” all failed to make an impact in the ratings and are unlikely to return, and the high-concept drama “The Crossing,” whose time-traveling refugees were rejected by viewers, was dead on arrival. Though we don’t believe “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” will ultimately be saved for next season, strong support from the highest levels at ABC makes it an actual possibility.

Midseason entries “Splitting Up Together” and “Deception” have both managed to perform well enough to get another shot in an otherwise disappointing season. Those two shows are examples of when it is better to be a bubble show on ABC than on NBC or CBS.

With “Scandal” going off the air and Shonda Rhimes decamping to Netflix, ABC will look to hold on to reliable performers, including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How to Get Away With Murder.” “Grey’s” spinoff “Station 19” has also proven a solid (enough) partner for the medical drama. Thumbs up to those three.

Fox
Fox got a bunch of no-brainer renewals out of the way, and this was always going to be “New Girl’s” farewell to fans. “The X-Files” could return at any time, but everyone definitely sounds done with that for now — and maybe even forever, this time.

“The Mick” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” should make it back based on creative. “Star” has proven to be a good partner for “Empire,” so expect more there too. Additionally, “The Resident” ratings are a win for Fox, people seem to like “Lethal Weapon,” and “LA to Vegas” should fly at least once more before being grounded.

Don’t be shocked if this ends up being the last season for “The Last Man on Earth,” but right now we think Will Forte and his sports balls will make the cut to come back.

“Ghosted” is probably the most interesting case of Fox’s numerous shows on the bubble. Though the Adam Scott-Craig Robinson vehicle’s demo number — a 1.6 — looks pretty good at first blush, the first-season sitcom was inflated by some NFL football this fall. Mucking up the waters even more, “Ghosted” shifted showrunners in the middle of Season 1, and it still has some episodes to air. Fox is holding tight on a decision until execs see how the new version of the new series fares.

As for “The Exorcist,” well, it’s high time to exorcise that Friday show. “Lucifer,” which is not a Fox-owned series (something that one could argue probably won’t matter anyway after this Disney deal goes through), seems like the next man out. Put the Devil back in Hell.

The CW
The youngest-skewing broadcast network renewed 10 series in one fell swoop, including newbie “Black Lightning,” which has performed pretty well in its first year. Unfortunately, The CW cannot say the same about fellow freshmen “Valor” and “Life Sentence,” which have both been rough.

Star Lucy Hale has been lobbying her large fanbase to save “Life Sentence,” though we doubt that’ll be enough. “Valor” averages the same poor rating, and that one doesn’t even have a Lucy Hale.

The real coin-flip here is “iZombie.” Though the show’s Nielsen number among adults 18-49 doesn’t really justify another season, it is totally possible that The CW adding Sunday nights to its national schedule next season will. Mark Pedowitz now requires more content than the network has needed in nine years.

Also of note here, “The Originals” is a planned ending. Based on last night’s premiere numbers, that’s probably a good idea.

Related stories from TheWrap:

A Year After Bill O'Reilly Exit, Fox News' 8 O'Clock Ratings Are Down – But Up From Pre-Trump Years

Ratings: Flat 'Scorpion' Season Finale Sentences CBS to Fourth Place

Ratings: Mindy Kaling's 'Champions' Is a Loser Following 'Will & Grace' Repeat

CBS Pulls Comedy ‘Living Biblically’ Off Schedule

Freshman CBS multi-cam comedy “Living Biblically” has been pulled of the network’s primetime schedule, Variety has confirmed. “Big Bang Theory” repeats will air in the show’s Monday timeslot for the next two weeks. N…

Freshman CBS multi-cam comedy “Living Biblically” has been pulled of the network’s primetime schedule, Variety has confirmed. “Big Bang Theory” repeats will air in the show’s Monday timeslot for the next two weeks. No return date has been set, though the show could return to burn off the remainder of its episodes at a later date. […]