Yet another DC superhero is joining the crowded primetime TV landscape! Barely a day after FOX kickstarted new season pick-ups by officially green-lighting X-Men spin-off series, The Gifted, The CW has announced today that they are officially ordering Black Lightning to series for the 2017-2018 season, with a full season order being confirmed. The network is also picking up another new series called Life Sentence, which stars Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale as a woman who is diagnosed with terminal cancer, only to later learn that she’s not actually dying, thus having to live with the bad decisions she made while she lived as if she were dying. These two shows will replace freshman shows, Frequency and No Tomorrow, which were just recently cancelled by The CW after only thirteen episodes apiece.
Black Lightning stars Hart of Dixie’s Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce, a retired vigilante and former Olympian who is lured back into the life of a superhero after his daughter attempts to fight crime herself, while another is being recruited by a dangerous gang. In DC Comics lore, Black Lightning hails from Superman’s stomping grounds of Metropolis, and is born with the ability to create and alter electromagnetic fields. He was also the first black DC superhero to headline his own comic book series (after Marvel beat them to the punch with their own then-new black superhero, Luke Cage earlier in the decade), first being introduced in 1977 in Black Lightning #1.
It’s believed that Black Lightning will take place in a fictional rendition of Los Angeles, though the original pilot made for when the show got a pilot order from FOX, who later passed on it before The CW rescued it, is being completely scrapped with a page-one rewrite for The CW. It’s also currently unknown whether Black Lightning will exist in its own private universe, or will share a universe with either the ‘Earth-1’ TV universe of Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, or the ‘Earth-38’ TV universe of Supergirl. Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow were all renewed for the 2017-2018 season in advance by The CW months ago, with the network previously claiming that their five DC shows will be staggered if Black Lightning is picked up, not all aired at the same time. As with The CW’s other four DC shows, Black Lightning was developed by Greg Berlanti (alongside husband-and-wife team, Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil in this case), with Berlanti also having developed the Archie Comics-inspired Riverdale for the network.
Finally, on top of confirming Black Lightning’s pick-up to series, The CW also announced that their two remaining ‘bubble’ shows, iZombie and The Originals, have both been renewed for the 2017-2018 season, marking a fourth season for iZombie, and a fifth season for The Originals. The Originals is making a return despite its own, ahem, original series, The Vampire Diaries now having ended with the conclusion of its pre-determined final season, while iZombie started its current third season very late, with its 13-episode order only starting at the beginning of last month. Since every other veteran CW show aside from The Vampire Diaries and Reign (both of which were announced in advance to be ending this season), was renewed well in advance, The CW now stands as the first of the five basic TV networks to have their programming lineup seemingly fully set for the 2017-2018 season, with only premiere dates left to nail down.
Keep energizing Eggplante for all major news and updates on Black Lightning, and other DC television projects.