FOX snatches up DC’s Black Lightning TV series, gives pilot commitment

After news recently broke that super-producer, Greg Berlanti was developing a fifth DC Comics-inspired series, after getting four separate DC shows on The CW’s airwaves at present (and another highly successful non-DC show, Blindspot on NBC), this time for any network to potentially get their hands on, word has now come down that Berlanti’s latest DC pet project, Black Lightning has already found a home, in just a few days. FOX has secured the pitch and the chance to air the series, along with giving it a pilot production commitment. Should Black Lightning go to series, it will be the fourth show for FOX that’s adapted from DC Comics media, after Gotham and Lucifer, both of which start their new seasons in just over a week, and the cancelled Human Target from 2010.

bl-comicsDespite being a lesser-known DC Comics superhero, Black Lightning has headlined his own comics since his debut in 1977, in Black Lightning #1. The character’s civilian identity is Jefferson Pierce, a former Olympic athlete and current high school principal, who had a rough upbringing in Metropolis’ run-down neighbourhood of Suicide Slums, which he leaves after becoming an adult, though eventually returns to with a wife and daughter. Pierce was born with the ability to create and manipulate electromagnetic fields, a power that he initially ignores, until one of his students is killed in a bout of gang violence, motivating him to embrace a superhero identity as ‘Black Lightning’. Allegedly, the series will have Pierce retiring his superhero identity sometime after his career starts, and being forced back into it, though this is unconfirmed.

Berlanti’s DC shows have largely dominated The CW’s ratings, with the exception of Supergirl, which is only now moving to The CW this season, after airing its first season on CBS. Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and especially The Flash have been massive successes for The CW however, and Berlanti is keen to continue his success with the DC Universe with a feature film starring arrogant time-traveling superhero, Booster Gold, though according to Berlanti, the movie won’t inhabit the shared DC Extended Universe that currently comprises Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. Outside of Berlanti’s umbrella, DC is also set to introduce Powerless to NBC in early 2017, a half-hour sitcom set in a self-contained ensemble DC Universe as seen from the perspective of an everyday insurance company, and is working at getting a new Superman prequel series, Krypton to Syfy, which could also be a distant prequel to the big screen DC Extended Universe and Man of Steel.

Keep charging up Eggplante for all major news and updates on Black Lightning, and other DC television projects.