Why ‘Evil’ Moving From CBS to Paramount Plus for Season 2 Is a Good Thing
Fans of the CBS series Evil have been waiting for new episodes since Season 1 ended in January 2020. Now, the supernatural thriller is finally back, but you won’t find Evil Season 2 on CBS.
Instead, the show is one of two CBS titles that have moved to Paramount+, ViacomCBS’ streaming platform — where Evil’s second season started streaming on Sunday, June 20, 2021 — and there’s no word of the show coming back to broadcast TV.
And for their part, husband-and-wife Evil creators Michelle and Robert King — who also created The Good Wife for CBS and The Good Fight for Paramount+ — seem excited about the change-up and its impact on their storytelling.
CBS brass believes ‘Evil’ has “multi-platform success.”
Rumors of Evil’s move to the streaming platform made headlines on May 17, when Deadline reported that negotiations for the move were underway and that CBS Studios felt confident about the move because of how well Evil performed during a one-year streaming window on Netflix.
CBS Studios made the move official a day later, announcing on May 18, 2021 that both Evil and fellow CBS series SEAL Team would move to Paramount Plus, according to Deadline. (The Silence of the Lambs sequel series Clarice was also primed to move from CBS to Paramount Plus, but those negotiations have since stalled, the site reports.)
“Our studio and network have a strong track record of developing high-quality dramas that have multi-platform success, and these series speak to that strength,” George Cheeks, president and CEO of the CBS Entertainment Group, said at the time. “These moves mark another example of how our linear and streaming ecosystem can strategically work together to maximize value for the content and benefit the series and its creators.”
The Kings say the decision to move ‘Evil’ to Paramount Plus is a creative “godsend.”
Michelle and Robert King reflected on Evil’s switch to Paramount Plus in an interview with Variety a month later, saying they were in the middle of the editing process on the second season’s fifth episode when they found out about the move. CBS Studios President David Stapf told them it was good news, in that they could “broaden the audience” and roll out Season 2 “in a premier way.”
“We’re just the silly creatives that are like, ‘OK, guide us along — tell us why this is a good idea!’” Robert told Variety.
But now they’re doing things on Evil that they couldn’t do when the show was on CBS and when they were “bound into that 42-minute straitjacket,” Robert added, referring to the usual runtime for broadcast TV shows. “Creatively, it’s a godsend.”
The show stars Mike Colter as a priest-in-training and Katja Herbers as a forensic pathologist who helps him identify true demonic possessions. And now that Evil is on Paramount Plus, they’re getting not-safe-for-CBS footage off the cutting room floor. “We had footage that was a little like, ‘Oh, f--k, we’ll never get this past [CBS’] Standards and Practices [department]!’” Robert said.
Quipped Michelle, “It’s been tough to do sin with network standards.”
Evil Season 2 is now streaming on Paramount Plus.