Last week we found out The CW has picked up their fifth DC superhero show with Black Lightning, and today they’ve released a trailer for the show. Starring Cress Williams as titular character Jefferson Pierce, Black Lightning will be a bit different than the other superhero shows on the network — and not for the obvious reasons.
The main character is a veteran superhero coming out of retirement, which is very different from the stories told on Supergirl, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, or Arrow, which all feature younger characters and their origin stories. This means that Black Lightning can explore territory none of the other programs will be able to touch for some time.
Personally, I’m really excited for when this show premieres in the fall.
Well, it’s that time of year again where we find out what shows have made the cut and which ones haven’t. Over at The CW, most of their renewals have actually already been announced, with Supernatural and the DC shows getting renewed way back in January. Riverdale and The 100 were announced to be renewed earlier this spring as well. That only leaves a few strands hanging on the only broadcast network dominated by genre television, and it seems like we have that news now.
On the good news train, The CW is officially adding a fifth DC superhero show, as Black Lightning has been picked up to series. As for existing shows, both iZombie and The Originals have been renewed. While The Originals may not be my cup of tea, iZombie is literally one of the most fun shows on television.
On the bad news front, we finally have word on the fates of freshman series Frequency and No Tomorrow. Sadly both shows have been officially cancelled and won’t be back for second seasons. It’s really too bad as both shows were fairly enjoyable. This also means that Riverdale is the only new show to get picked up at the network this year.
The latest DC show to go to pilot over at The CW is, of course, Black Lightning. Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil, and (of course) Greg Berlanti are producing, and the Akils are showrunning it should it get picked up to series.
First of all, Cress Williams will be playing the titular character Jefferson Pierce. Williams has a long resume which includes shows like Hart of Dixie, Code Black, and E.R., though he also appeared as Baron Sunday on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman way back in 1996.
Secondly, the daughters of Jefferson Pierce, Jennifer and Anissa have also been cast. China Anne McClain has been cast as Jennifer Pierce, the younger of the two. Jennifer is in high school, and while she’s a star student, Jennifer has a bit of a rebellious streak. The older daughter, Anissa, will be played by Nafessa Williams. Anissa is in her twenties and enrolled in medical school.
In the comics, eventually the daughters become superheroes themselves, using the names Lightning and Thunder, though we don’t know if we’ll see this in the show (again should it be picked up to series).
When it was announced that a Black Lightning television series was in development at Fox with Greg Berlanti producing, fans were excited. The bad news, of course, was that at Fox, the show was unlikely to be a part of Berlanti’s ‘Arrowverse’ universe that Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Constantine, Vixen, and Freedom Fighters: The Ray currently share and that Supergirl easily crosses over to.
This may no longer be the case though.
As Fox has apparently passed on the series, Deadline is reporting that it’s currently being shopped to The CW. If the network chooses to pick it up, it would be the fifth DC show on their current broadcast lineup (and Berlanti’s sixth overall). For the show not to tie into the rest of their superhero programming just wouldn’t make sense.
Nothing is final at this point, and like a lot of shows in development this may just evaporate into the ether. We hope it gets picked up by The CW though, because Black Lightning would be the first person of color led live action superhero series on broadcast (and the second on television overall only to Netflix’s Luke Cage).
On this episode, recorded live at the first Nerd & Tie Expo, we mourn the loss of C. Martin Crocker, celebrate Tatiana Maslany’s Emmy win, stare blankly at the live action Ghost in the Shell teasers, discuss Peter Capaldi appearing on the upcoming Doctor Who spin off Class, consider the Black Lightning pilot ordered by Fox, and lament the delay of Star Trek: Discovery to next May.
We also do mailbag, respond to the audience, and Nick says something really weird in front of Voice Actress Tiffany Grant.
Black Lightning may not be the most well known superhero in DC’s lineup, but he may be headed to your television screen none the less. The Wrap is reporting that Fox has ordered a pilot for a show based on the comic book character.
Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil are executive producing, alongside veteran of DC television Greg Berlanti. While a lot of coverage has touted Berlanti’s involvement, the producer behind Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl has made it clear that this is the Akils’ rodeo. Berlanti told IndieWire he was brought on board because Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil haven’t done a superhero show before.
Of course, with Berlanti being involved and the show being on Fox, the geekier realms have already been asking if the show would take place in either in Berlanti’s Arrowverse or the continuity of Fox’s other DC show Gotham… but who cares? As long as the show is solid, it really doesn’t matter.
Of course, this is just a pilot order, so it may never see the light of day… but we can hope.