‘Bull’: Steven Spielberg & Amblin TV Pull Out Of CBS Drama Over Michael Weatherly Harassment Controversy

Weatherly denied having been part of Dushku's firing, but admitted that he engaged in behavior that was “both not funny and not appropriate,” saying he was "sorry" and that he regretted the pain he had caused the actress.
Spielberg and Amblin TV co-heads Frank and Falvey served as executive producers on Bull for its first three seasons. The procedural drama was just renewed by CBS for a fourth season.
Bull, which has been a solid ratings performer for CBS, was never in doubt for renewal though the show became a center of controversy earlier this season over sexual harassment allegations against Weatherly by then-co-star Eliza Dushku, which resulted in a $9.5 settlement with the actress by CBS.
Phil McGraw and Paul Attanasio, Bull stars Weatherly as Dr. Brilliant, brash and charming, Dr. Created by Dr. Phil McGraw. Bull is the ultimate puppet master as he combines psychology, human intuition and high-tech data to learn what makes jurors, attorneys, witnesses and the accused tick. Jason Bull in a drama inspired by the early career of Dr.
Glenn Gordon Caron, who served as showrunner this season, is in talks to return.” />
That is a bold move as la long-running CBS procedural is considered one of the most lucrative propositions in TV, often associated with a financial windfall for producers. Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw have been major supporters of the Time's Up movement from the start, and I hear Spielberg, who had met with Duschu, didn't want to be associated with the series any longer.
"We sat and brainstormed and discussed possible solutions for this systemic imbalance of power, the abuse and harassment that we’ve been seeing and hearing and experiencing and both in our industry and beyond." Steven Spielberg," Dushku said in a March interview with Deadline. "I actually spent the morning with the three heads of the Time’s Up organization and Mr.
Dushku detailed her allegations in a stinging Boston Globe op-ed, including what she described as the toxic atmosphere on the CBS procedural and lewd comments that Weatherly allegedly made toward that led her to filing a formal complaint. She was let go form the show shortly thereafter. The Bull controversy erupted in December when it was revealed that former cast member Dushku had reached a $9.5 million settlement with CBS over claims she was sexually harassed by Weatherly during her time on the show.
"Steven Spielberg, Amblin Television, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey are no longer attached to Bull," a rep for the company said in a statement from Deadline, declining further comment.
Glenn Gordon Caron, Paul Attanasio, Dr. Bull is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Stage 29 Productions. Phil McGraw and Jay McGraw are the executive producers.
EXCLUSIVE: Steven Spielberg' Amblin Television is walking away from CBS' popular legal drama Bull in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations against star Michael Weatherly.

Les Moonves Personally Oversaw Eliza Dushku’s $9.5M Settlement For ‘Bull’ Harassment Claims

With a series of executive and board exits and a top tier reorganization in recent weeks, the CBS directors are expected to meet before the holidays during which the fate of Moonves' increasingly unlikely $120 million severance payment looks to be on the agenda. Back on December 6, Ianniello told staffers in a memo that the investigation into Moonves and more, which can run until January 31, was “nearing an end.”
Tellingly, the Bull deal also came just over four months before CBS went to legal war in May with the Redstone family holding company National Amusements over the future of the media company and corporate control. That was a battle that Moonves lost to nemesis Shari Redstone as his personal situation became the spotlighted focus of CBS at the highest level and saw him ejected on September 9.
Though Dushku believed she was going to become a series regular on Bull after an initial three-episode appearance at the end of the September 20, 2016 debut Season 1, that deal changed as producer Glen Gordon Caron prepared to take over as showrunner for Season 2.
EXCLUSIVE: As accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein and others began flooding Hollywood early this year, CBS' then-CEO Les Moonves stepped in to settle claims against one of the network's biggest stars.
Neither CBS nor Bull producers Amblin Television responded to a request for comment from Deadline on Moonves’ role in the Dushku settlement. Representatives for Moonves also did not respond to requests for comment from Deadline.
The actor declined that far less lucrative scenario and was soon written out of Bull altogether. That led to the retaliation complaint and that $9.5 million settlement that was designed to provide the financial equivalent of around five seasons on the show.
“The guy micromanaged this kind of stuff,” the source added of the Dushku settlement. “Moonves was intimately involved in the Bull situation, as he was in almost all settlement talks and deals at CBS,” according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Additionally, the confidential payment was sneaked into Bull’s production budget in an effort apparently motivated to avoid the sum popping up on the company’s books, sources say. Moonves was deeply and directly involved in the $9.5 million payout that CBS forked over to Eliza Dushku in January after the actor accused Bull lead Michael Weatherly of sexual harassment on the first season of the CBS drama, we’ve learned.
The settlement and its machinations were not known to then-COO Joe Ianniello, who became acting CEO after Moonves resigned in September after a dozen women accused him of sexual aggression. The confidential agreement was struck while CBS was engaging in ultimately unsuccessful talks of a potential merger with Viacom.
Now, it's Moonves' own $120 million settlement that hangs in the balance.” />
Dushku complained about ex-NCIS star and long-time CBS staple Weatherly, who made remarks about her appearance, made a rape joke, and commented about a threesome to the Dollhouse alum. As her complaints about Weatherly moved up the corporate food chain in early 2017, Bull producers decided Dushku would be better-suited as a recurring character in the immediate future seasons and not a better-paid regular.
Coming off a series of revelations about Moonves’ behavior, cover-ups and the culture at CBS, news of the settlement was first revealed by the New York Times on Thursday from a leaked copy of an investigation by law firms Covington & Burling and Debevoise & Plimpton.