Tian Richards (Dumplin’) has been tapped for the role of Tom Swift in an upcoming episode of the CW drama Nancy Drew, which will serve as a backdoor pilot for a potential spinoff series, now in development at the network.
If Tom Swift goes to series, Richards will continue in the title role.
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In the planted-spinoff episode of Nancy Drew, Tom Swift will crash into one of Nancy Drew’s (Kennedy McMann) investigations, an event that Nancy interprets as supernatural and Tom believes to be cosmically paranormal. (This is not a traditional backdoor pilot/planted spinoff as Tom Swift is developing a regular pilot script in addition to the title character appearing on Nancy Drew.)
Tom Swift, from Nancy Drew co-creators/executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, their Fake Empire banner and CBS Studios, is considered one of the CW’s strongest early contenders for next season.
Co-created by Nancy Drew’s Melinda Hsu Taylor and Noga Landau, with Cameron Johnson, Tom Swift — as previously unveiled by the CW — follows the serialized adventures of its titular Black, gay, billionaire inventor (Richards) 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. Tom’s missions will require his genius and flair for innovation guided by love, romance, friendship and the mysteries of the universe yet-unsolved.
Like the Nancy Drew books, which inspired The CW series, the Tom Swift book series hails from Stratemeyer Syndicate, which also publishes the Hardy Boys and Bobbsey Twins books.
Richards most recently was seen in Burden opposite Forest Whitaker, which was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival. Additional credits include Netflix’s Dumplin’ with Jennifer Aniston, Being Mary Jane, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and A Bad Mom’s Christmas. He is repped by APA, Stride Management, and Lucy Popkin and Hayes Robbins of Goodman, Genow, Schenkman.
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