Proving yet again that Hollywood always looks after its people—provided said “people” are male TV stars with successful franchise track records who’ve been accused of repeatedly harassing their female co-stars—CBS issued a whole passel of drama series renewals today, including one for Michael Weatherly’s legal thriller Bull. If you’re familiar with the series—about a legal adviser who refuses to play by the rules, including, as it turns out, some of the pretty important ones about proper workplace conduct—it’s either because you watch it (millions of people do!) or you’ve kept up on the controversy about Weatherly’s on-set treatment of former series guest star Eliza Dushku.
Dushku came forward late last year to talk about her experience on the series, stating that Weatherly consistently made unwelcome comments about her appearance, called her “Legs” in front of the rest of the cast and crew, and ad-libbed jokes about engaging in threesomes with her character or referring to a vehicle used in filming as a “rape van.” CBS eventually paid the actress $9.5 million to buy out her contract—she was originally set to be upgraded to a series regular role—with a stipulation that she not talk about any of the circumstances of her departure.
Anyway, none of that matters to the network, apparently, because Bull will just keep on keeping on into its fourth season on the air—although, as Deadline notes, one of its most powerful backers has now formally stepped away from the show. The series was previously co-produced by Steven Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment, but in the wake of Dushku’s allegations, they’ve both formally cut ties with Bull. Dushku talked back in March about discussing the #MeToo movement with Spielberg, who’s a vocal supporter for the kind of Hollywood accountability that’s kind of sort of exactly the opposite of what appears to have gone down here. Stepping away from something as lucrative as a CBS procedural is a real money-where-your-mouth-is moment for the famed director, because sure, Steven Spielberg is rich—but he’s not necessarily “turn up your nose at syndicated NCIS money” rich.
Anyway: Bull is back, baby, alongside a whole host of other CBS dramas with capital letters or numbers in their names, including SEAL Team, SWAT, MacGuyver, Hawaii Five-O, and, oh, hey, Madame Secretary! Hands up if you’d forgotten that Madame Secretary was still on the air, folks!