The CW’s Black Lightning has been ordered to series, marking the fifth DC superhero show on the network and the sixth DC adaptation overall, including iZombie, which was just renewed for a fourth season.
Greg Berlanti’s latest DC Comics-based offering Black Lightning is reported to be picked up from a pilot order, making its mid-season debut at the beginning of next year. The network also carries Arrow, the Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl, as well as the Archie Comics adaptation Riverdale.
Reports started to come out earlier this week that Black Lightning was all-but-assured a midseason debut and a 13-episode pickup. Those particulars haven’t yet been confirmed, but seem likely.
The CW airs each of those shows and has since made a name for itself as a popular network for younger demographics.
The show as initially put into the works for Fox, who passed on the project before the CW picked it up — the same process undergone by Riverdale.
Berlanti oversees all of the DC superhero shows as well as Riverdale, and his pilot Searchersmay be picked up by The CW this year as well. He isn’t involved in iZombie, which was developed by Veronica Mars executives Rob Thomas, Diane Ruggiero-Wright, and Dan Etheridge.
“I knew way too much about the world as a young boy growing up in Richmond, California. I was no stranger to violence, death, hopelessness or the feeling that no one cared about what was happening in my life,” said executive producer and writer Salim Akil, who will direct the pilot. “Comics were a great way for me to escape. I was about 13 when Black Lightning was created, and finally there was a Black Super Hero that gave a damn about our neighborhood and our lives. Resurrecting him at a time in our society when a sense of hope is lacking…Black Lightning will be that hope. And in updating the suit, it will signal to a new generation that it’s time to harness and release our power, and become our own Super Heroes.”
The first African-American DC Super Hero to have his own stand-alone comic title, Black Lightning is based on the character created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden in 1977. Jefferson Pierce made his choice: he hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago, but with one daughter hell-bent on justice and the other a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend — Black Lightning.
Greg Berlanti, Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil and Sarah Schechter are executive producers of Black Lightning, from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Salim Akil is directing the pilot from a script he wrote.
Jefferson Pierce made his choice: he hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago, but with a daughter hell-bent on justice and a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend — Black Lightning.