Tom Swift: Tian Richards Cast as "Nancy Drew" Backdoor Pilot Lead
The CW's Nancy Drew has found the lead for its upcoming backdoor pilot episode for Tom Swift, with EW reporting that Tian Richards (Dumplin', Burden) has landed the lead role, based on the classic book series. Richards' Black, gay, billionaire inventor will make his debut during Episode 15 of the sophomore season of Nancy Drew (and continue in the role should the project receive a series order). Original series showrunners Melinda Hsu Taylor and Noga Landau previously revealed that Swift and Nancy's (Kennedy McMann) will meet up over an investigation that Nancy believes is supernatural-based while Swift believes it to be cosmically paranormal.
The CW's Tom Swift follows the serialized adventures of its titular Black, gay, billionaire inventor who is thrust into a world of sci-fi conspiracy and unexplained phenomena after the shocking disappearance of his father. Tom takes to the road on a quest to unravel the truth, leaving behind the comforts of his usual moneyed lifestyle, all while fighting to stay one step ahead of an Illuminati-scale group hell-bent on stopping him. His missions will require his genius and flair for innovation guided by love, romance, friendship, and the mysteries of the universe yet-unsolved.
Inspired by the Stratemeyer Syndicate series of novels first introduced in 1910, the spinoff's lead character Swift is set to be introduced during the 15th episode of the second season as a back-door pilot. The episode will see Swift crash into one of Nancy's investigations. She interprets the event as supernatural, while Swift believes it to be cosmically paranormal. Reportedly, a pilot script is in development, with Nancy Drew bosses Melinda Hsu Taylor and Noga Landau co-creating the new series with Cameron Johnson of Fake Empire, which also produces the original show. CBS Studios is set to produce, with Nancy Drew executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage executive producing Tom Swift alongside Lis Rowinski, Johnson, Landau, and Hsu Taylor.