The good news first: Clarice, a TV series focused on our fave fictional FBI agent Clarice Starling, is finally happening. As for the plot twist we might not have expected, well, it looks like CBS is the network who has ordered Clarice. There has been a ton of big TV news coming out over the past week thanks to the TCAs but this big of news, by far, ranks high among the wildest announcements of them all.
According to Variety, CBS is definitely going to be the network behind Clarice. Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek: Discovery) and Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married) will serve as executive producers. Clarice will take place in 1993, after the events of Silence of the Lambs. The series will be “a deep dive into the untold personal story of Starling as she returns to the field to pursue serial murderers and sexual predators while navigating the high stakes political world of Washington, D.C.,” per Variety’s report.
Kurtzman and Lumet remarked in a shared statement on CBS’ order of Clarice:
“After more than 20 years of silence, we’re privileged to give voice to one of America’s most enduring heroes – Clarice Starling. Clarice’s bravery and complexity have always lit the way, even as her personal story remained in the dark. But hers is the very story we need today: her struggle, her resilience, her victory. Her time is now, and always.”
First introduced in Thomas Harris‘ 1988 novel The Silence of the Lambs, Jodie Foster depicted the green FBI agent in the 1990 movie adaptation directed by Jonathan Demme. Clarice was then seen in 2001’s Hannibal and depicted by Julianne Moore. Attempts to get Clarice back on screen have long been in the works. Bryan Fuller, the mind behind NBC’s Hannibal series starring Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, revealed his plans to bring Clarice into the show’s fold before it was ultimately cancelled. There was also an attempt to get a Clarice-focused TV show up and running over at Lifetime back in 2012 before production on that project ultimately stalled out.
Since it’s still early days on Clarice, it’s unclear if there are intentions to adopt an “of the week” formula typical of a CBS series wherein we might be introduced to a new criminal or ongoing investigation every week. Similarly, there’s no word on whether Dr. Lecter will show up but TBH it would make this show 100 times better if he did.