The CW Orders ‘Kung Fu’ Reboot, ‘Republic of Sarah’ for 2020-2021 Season

Joe Otterson

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The CW has made two addition series pick ups for the 2020-2021 season. Both a reboot of “Kung Fu” and “The Republic of Sarah” will air on the broadcaster next season.

The two shows join the previously announced straight-to-series orders for “Superman & Lois” starring Tyler Hoechlin and Bitsie Tulloch as well as “Walker,” a reboot of “Walker, Texas Ranger,” starring Jared Padalecki.

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In “Kung Fu,” A quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese-American woman (Olivia Liang) to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to find her hometown overrun with crime and corruption, she uses her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice…all while searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her.

In addition to Liang, the series stars Kheng Hua Tan, Shannon Dang, Jon Prasida, Eddie Liu, Gavin Stenhouse, Gwendoline Yeo, and Tzi Ma. It is inspired by the original series created by Ed Spielman.

“Kung Fu” was previously set up at Fox with a put pilot order. Christina M. Kim will write and executive produce. Martin Gero will executive produce via Quinn’s House along with Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and David Madden of Berlanti Productions. Hanelle Culpepper was to direct the pilot and will co-executive produce. Warner Bros. Television will produce. Kim, Gero, and Berlanti Productions are all currently under overall deals at WBTV.

In “The Republic of Sarah,” faced with the destruction of her town at the hands of a greedy mining company, rebellious high school teacher Sarah Cooper (Stella Baker) utilizes an obscure cartographical loophole to declare independence. Now Sarah must lead a young group of misfits as they attempt to start their own country from scratch.

The cast also includes Nia Holloway, Luke Mitchell, Izabella Alvarez, Hope Lauren, Ian Duff, Forrest Goodluck, Landry Bender, and Megan Follows

A previous iteration of “The Republic of Sarah” starring Sarah Drew was set up at CBS last year with a pilot order but was ultimately passed over. Jeffrey Paul King remains attached as writer and executive producer, as do executive producers Marc Web via Black Lamb and Jeff Grosvenor and Leo Pearlman of Fulwell 73. Mark Martin of Black Lamb will also executive produce. Kat Candler was to direct the pilot and will executive produce. CBS Television Studios will produce. Fulwell is currently under a deal at the studio.

These mark the first two shows out of The CW’s pilot crop for this year to get series orders. As Variety previously reported, the broadcast networks are expected to make few pick ups this year due to the ongoing production shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CW had ordered six pilots this year on top of its two straight-to-series orders. According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, both “Maverick” and “The Lost Boys” will be rolled to next season. The planted spinoffs of both “Arrow” and “The 100” remain in contention. The “Arrow” spinoff, which will focus on the Black Canaries, aired earlier this season, while “The 100” prequel will air during the show’s seventh and final season, which begins May 20.

The CW announced in January that it was renewing most of its scripted lineup, including “Riverdale,” “Batwoman,” “Charmed,” and “Supergirl.” On Monday, the network also announced that it had also acquired four other series from DC Universe, CBS All Access, and international markets: “Swamp Thing,” “Tell Me a Story,” “Coroner,” and “Dead Pixels.”

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