The Equalizer (2021 TV series)

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The Equalizer
The Equalizer (2021 TV series) Title Card.png
Based onThe Equalizer
by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim
Developed byAndrew W. Marlowe & Terri Edda Miller
Music byAli Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes4
Executive producers
  • Zoe Robyn
  • Meredith Mills
  • Gavin Kelly
  • Claudio Rietti
  • James Kilton
  • Dorian Harris
  • Matthew Philip Smith
  • Nick Towle
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time43–44 minutes
Production companies
Original networkCBS
Original releaseFebruary 7, 2021 (2021-02-07) –
present (present)

The Equalizer is an American crime drama television series that premiered on CBS on February 7, 2021. It is the second reboot in the franchise, following the 2014 film and its 2018 sequel and is a reboot of the 1980s series with the same name.

The series is co-created by executive producers Richard Lindheim, with Michael Sloan, and Queen Latifah, who also stars as the title character. John Davis, John Fox, Debra Martin Chase, Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller also serve as executive producers. Lindheim died from heart failure on January 18, 2021 while working on the series; the series premiere is dedicated to his memory.


The series centers around Robyn McCall, an enigmatic woman and single mother to teenage daughter Delilah, with a mysterious background who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn, acting as a guardian angel and a defender for those who cannot defend themselves while pursuing her own redemption.



  • Queen Latifah as Robyn McCall, a.k.a. "the Equalizer," a divorced single mother who acts as a vigilante for justice while pursuing her own vendettas.
  • Tory Kittles as Marcus Dante, an intelligent and shrewd NYPD detective on Robyn's trail because he is reluctant of having Robyn help him but finds common ground in getting justice.
  • Adam Goldberg as Harry Keshegian, Melody's husband and a master hacker who faked his death with Robyn's help.[1]
  • Liza Lapira as Melody "Mel" Bayani, a former Air Force sniper turned bar owner (which acts as a secret base of operations) and a colleague of Robyn's from her service days.
  • Laya DeLeon Hayes as Delilah McCall, Robyn's 15-year-old daughter, who is rebellious and feels neglected by Robyn, despite their attempts to bond with each other.
  • Lorraine Toussaint as Viola "Aunt Vi" Marsette, Robyn's very wise and always truthful paternal aunt, who lives with Robyn and Delilah, having moved from Milwaukee to help them out and is a painter.
  • Chris Noth as William Bishop, a quirky ex–CIA director running his own private security company.


  • Lorna Courtney as Jewel Machado, a first-generation college student and the first person Robyn helps as the Equalizer.
  • Erica Camarano as Detective Paley, who works with Dante.


No.Title [2]Directed byWritten byOriginal air date [2]U.S. viewers
1"The Equalizer"Liz FriedlanderTerri Edda Miller & Andrew W. MarloweFebruary 7, 2021 (2021-02-07)20.40[3]

Robyn McCall is a former operative of "the Company", an organization that conducts illegal operations for the U.S. government. Having grown disenchanted with her work, Robyn leaves the Company to raise her teenage daughter Delilah. One night, she follows a young teenage girl and saves her from being raped. The girl, Jewel Machado, is a suspect in the shooting of a lawyer, Chance Kovak. With no one else to turn to, Robyn contacts her old colleagues, Melody and Harry, and has them hide Jewel while she investigates the murder. Through careful undercover work, and with the assistance of her former superior William Bishop, Robyn captures two mercenaries employed by a tech mogul, who had Chance murdered to cover up his discovery of a fatal flaw in the software for his latest product, a self-driving car. The mogul is arrested by Marcus Dante, an NYPD detective who Robyn met earlier while posing as Jewel's lawyer. Jewel is released and Robyn decides to send an anonymous online message offering to help anyone who has "the odds against them".

Note: This episode was dedicated to co-creator/executive producer Richard Lindheim, who died from heart failure while the series was in production.
2"Glory"Liz FriedlanderTerri Edda Miller & Andrew W. MarloweFebruary 14, 2021 (2021-02-14)8.21[4]
Robyn answers the request of a woman whose son, Jackson, was kidnapped to force her to break into the safe of her employer, an FBI agent. She discovers that the kidnapping is connected to a sex trafficking ring run by a prominent club owner, who is trying to find an informant working with the agent. Robyn takes down the ring's stash house, and the deadline for Jackson's return is moved up. Robyn arranges for the owner's right-hand man to be framed as the informant, allowing her to rescue Jackson, deliver the real informant to the FBI, and get both the owner and his FBI mole arrested. In between, Robyn tries to figure out a secret Delilah is keeping from her. When it's discovered that she is performing with a choir in Times Square, Delilah is upset that her mother won't make it in time to see her perform, but after handling the aforementioned events, Robyn does show up for the event. Robyn gets Bishop to cut a deal with the Company: she will perform freelance work for them in exchange for a blind eye being turned to her vigilantism.
3"Judgment Day"Solvan "Slick" NaimErica Shelton KodishFebruary 21, 2021 (2021-02-21)8.13[5]
An innocent man, Dale, escapes from prison looking to find the man who framed him for murder, only to be framed again when his old cellmate ends up dead. His former lawyer asks Robyn to find Dale, who is reluctant to put his life in someone else's hands and refuses to accept Robyn's help. Robyn strikes a deal with Dante to obtain evidence that Dale was set up. When Dale gets arrested after his angry son betrays him and alerts the police, the defense requests that the judge recuse herself; an ADA recruited by Dante then arrives with evidence that the judge, who prosecuted Dale's case ten years ago, not only covered up witness statements that would have helped him but also arranged for the cellmate's murder to protect herself. The judge is taken into custody while Dante arrests the real murderer and sets Dale free. Afterwards, Dante and Robyn come face to face; Dante doesn't approve of Robyn's methods and vows to go after her. Robyn knows Dante will need her in the future and reminds him her quest for justice isn't over.
4"It Takes a Village"Randy ZiskJoseph C. WilsonFebruary 28, 2021 (2021-02-28)7.78[6]
Robyn takes the case of a community activist murdered by gang members; however, the case is soon complicated when the murder is linked to a wealthy real estate developer who also happens to be a CIA asset involved with the financing of foreign terrorists. As Dante is unable to get the killer to flip on his boss, Robyn recruits Bishop to help her infiltrate the developer's office, having already groomed his idealistic, neglected son as her inside man. Delilah, with her mother's encouragement, meets with a government official to discuss filling in a pothole; unfortunately, the official turns her down. Delilah is bitter, believing that nothing will change. Robyn and Bishop are caught trying to hack the developer's private server, leaving the son to confront his father. As it turns out, a camera planted by Robyn broadcasts the whole thing (including the developer's confession) publicly while Harry delivers the necessary evidence to Dante for an arrest. With the son now committed to fixing his father's wrongs, Aunt Vi and Robyn take Delilah to fill in the pothole themselves.
5"The Milk Run"TBATBAMarch 28, 2021 (2021-03-28)TBD



In November 2019, CBS announced that a reboot was in development with Queen Latifah in the lead role as Robyn McCall. Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller would serve as showrunners with Latifah herself as an executive producer.[7] On January 27, 2020, CBS issued a pilot order for the new version.[8] Production companies involved with the pilot include Flavor Unit, Davis Entertainment, Martin Chase Productions and CBS Television Studios and Universal Television. On May 8, 2020, it was announced that the production had been given a series order.[9]

On December 3, 2020, CBS announced that the series would premiere on February 7, 2021 after Super Bowl LV.[10]


In February 2020, it was announced that Liza Lapira and Lorraine Toussaint had been cast in the pilot's lead roles.[11][12] On March 3, 2020, it was announced that Tory Kittles joined the cast in a starring role.[13] On May 8, 2020, it was announced that Chris Noth joined a starring role along with Latifah.[14]


The pilot was slated to film in New York City in March 2020. Production was delayed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States before filming could begin.[15] On February 9, 2021, it was reported that production has been temporary suspended due to a positive COVID-19 test.[16]


On May 19, 2020, a 30-second teaser featuring Queen Latifah explaining her involvement in the series was released by CBS.[17] On January 9, 2021, CBS released the first official teaser for the series.[18]


Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an approval rating of 61% based on reviews from 18 critics, with an average rating of 5.7/10. The website's critical consensus states, "Queen Latifah returns to the small screen in full command of her craft—if only The Equalizer's overly-engineered early episodes were on her level."[19] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 56 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[20]


Viewership and ratings per episode of The Equalizer
No. Title Air date Rating
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "The Equalizer" February 7, 2021 5.1 20.40[3] N/A N/A N/A N/A
2 "Glory" February 14, 2021 0.9 8.21[4] 0.6 3.64 1.6 11.86[21]
3 "Judgment Day" February 21, 2021 0.8 8.13[5] TBD TBD TBD TBD
4 "It Takes a Village" February 28, 2021 0.8 7.78[6] TBD TBD TBD TBD


  1. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 11, 2020). "Adam Goldberg Joins Queen Latifah In 'The Equalizer' CBS Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "The Equalizer – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 9, 2021). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.7.2021". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 17, 2021). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.14.2021". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 23, 2021). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.21.2021". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (March 2, 2021). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.28.2021". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  7. ^ Sneider, Jeff (November 4, 2019). "'The Equalizer' TV Series Starring Queen Latifah in the Works at CBS". Collider.
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 27, 2020). "'The Equalizer Reboot Starring Queen Latifah Gets CBS Pilot Order". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 8, 2020). "Dramas 'The Equalizer' With Queen Latifah & 'Clarice', Chuck Lorre Comedy 'B Positive' Picked Up To Series By CBS". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (December 3, 2020). "'The Equalizer' Starring Queen Latifah Lands Post-Super Bowl Slot On CBS; 'FBI' Midseason Return Set Post-AFC Championship Game". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  11. ^ Petski, Denise (February 25, 2020). "Liza Lapira Joins Queen Latifah In 'The Equalizer' Reboot Pilot On CBS". Deadline. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 28, 2020). "Lorraine Toussaint Joins Queen Latifah In 'The Equalizer' Reboot Pilot On CBS". Deadline. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 3, 2020). "Tory Kittles Joins Queen Latifah In 'The Equalizer' Reboot Pilot On CBS". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 8, 2020). "Chris Noth Joins Queen Latifah In 'The Equalizer' CBS Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  15. ^ Thorne, Will; Aurthur, Kate (March 12, 2020). "All the Shows and Movies Shut Down or Delayed Because of Coronavirus". Variety. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 9, 2021). "'The Equalizer' Pauses Production After Positive Covid-19 Test". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  17. ^ “CBS New Series: ‘B Positive’ Trailer, ‘The Equalizer’ & ‘Clarice’ Teases” from Deadline Hollywood (May 19, 2020)
  18. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (January 9, 2021). "'The Equalizer' Teaser: Queen Latifah Protects The Defenseless In Teaser For CBS Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  19. ^ "The Equalizer: Season 1 (2021)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  20. ^ "The Equalizer: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  21. ^ Pucci, Douglas (March 1, 2021). "Live+7 Weekly Ratings: 'Clarice' Series Premiere More Than Doubles its Same-Day Adults 18-49". Programming Insider. Retrieved March 1, 2021.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
The Masked Singer
Super Bowl lead-out program
The Equalizer
Succeeded by