The Nancy Drew universe is officially expanding. On Monday, it was announced that The CW has officially given a straight-to-series order to Tom Swift, a spinoff to the mystery series that was first put into development last October. The series, which will star Tian Richards as its titular character, was first teased in a backdoor pilot of Nancy Drew earlier this year. Fans had been waiting to see what the fate of the series would be, after reports in May indicated that it was still in contention. It is unclear at this point when the series will debut.
Tom Swift follows the serialized adventures of the billionaire inventor (played by 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. The backdoor pilot also introduced Barclay (voiced by LeVar Burton), an A.I. companion that was created by Tom and serves as his friend and confidant.
The Tom Swift series will be written and executive produced by Nancy Drew showrunner Melina Hsu Taylor and co-creator Noga Landau, who co-created the series with Empire's Cameron Johnson. The project also hails from Nancy Drew producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.
The Tom Swift series first began to be published in 1910, and encompasses more than 100 volumes. The books have been translated into many languages and have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. There have been multiple attempts to adapt Tom Swift into live-action, with the only successful adaptation being a 1983 television special, The Tom Swift and Linda Craig Mystery Hour.
Tom Swift is one of two pilots that was still in contention for the 2021-2022 season, with the network also announcing plans to "redevelop" its pilot for Powerpuff, its live-action take on The Powerpuff Girls. The network has also given orders to the DC Comics-inspired Naomi, the All American spinoff All American: Homecoming, and reboots of The 4400 and Legends of the Hidden Temple.
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