CBS has signed a first-look deal with Oni Press, the publishing company behind Brian Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim graphic novels. The same graphic novels upon which the endlessly-buzzed-about Scott Pilgrim vs. the World film is based.
More properly, it’s CBS Television Studios, not the broadcast network, that’s inked the Oni Press deal. Which means that CBS now has the first rights to look at Oni’s library of comic books and graphic novels and consider using them as fodder for television shows and made-for-TV movies.
On the one hand, this seems like an incredibly smart move, for any television studio right now to tap into something so near and dear to the pop cultural consciousness. But CBS? Seriously? Home of all things procedural and dramatic? Doesn’t seem like a natural fit.
Then again, CBS is letting its inner geek out with its own booth at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, a first for the top-rated network. And they do have The Big Bang Theory, the sitcom that celebrates geekdom in all its glory.
As for Oni, they already have three other properties in development in development at major film studios. So breaking into TV is the next logical step. But CBS? Sure, I could see Fox or even ABC making a move like this. Or better yet, a cable network where more risks can be taken. CBS has never been geek-friendly territory, so they’ve got some serious work to do to make this alliance fit.