Apparently Law & Order: SVU’s child pornography and human trafficking plot lines are a-OK for the Peacock Network, but a show about a do-gooder billionaire? Too much! According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC has parted ways with Emmy-winning producer Tom Fontana (Homicide: Life on the Street, cast pictured) after deeming his take on the upcoming drama The Philanthropist too grim.
The show focuses on a wealthy renegade who uses his assets to help the less fortunate (do student loans count?) while addressing hot-button issues like immigration, drug addiction, and child soldiers. Fontana and his writing team had submitted several scripts to the network when it became apparent the two sides had very different visions. For its part, NBC was looking for something more “escapist and fantastical” to fit the rest of its schedule, and is now searching for Fontana’s replacement. But seriously, NBC, what were you expecting from the guy behind Oz and Homicide? (As an aside, Fontana and Law & Order producer Dick Wolf are actually old friends who often swap cast members — Christopher Meloni and Dean Winters both appeared on Oz and SVU, while Richard Belzer’s character John Munch famously jumped from Homicide to SVU.)
So, with a The Philanthropist redo in the offing, we want to know what shows you’ve found too grim of late. Did a blood-soaked murder scene make you hide under the couch cushions? Did a stomach-turning operation on your favorite medical drama leave you feeling ill? We want to hear about it!