“Supergirl” is a go at CBS.
CBS has given its first new series pickup for the 2015-16 season to a drama series from exec producer Greg Berlanti and Warner Bros. TV that follows the distaff side of the “Superman” franchise. The series stars Melissa Benoist (“Glee,” “Whiplash”) as the title character. It marks the third DC Comics property that Berlanti’s WBTV-based shop has shepherded for TV, following the success of CW’s “Arrow” and “The Flash.” Another “Flash” spinoff is also in the works at CW.
“Supergirl” follows Kara Danvers/Kara Zor-El (Benoist), Superman’s cousin, at age 24, when she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be, after leaving Krypton and hiding her powers.
Berlanti, Ali Adler, Andrew Kreisberg wrote the pilot script and exec produce with Berlanti Prods.’ Sarah Schechter. Glen Winter, an alum of “The Flash” and “Arrow,” directed the pilot.
The ensemble cast is rounded out by regulars Calista Flockhart, who will play Kara’s tough boss at CatCo, Cat Grant; Mehcad Brooks, who will co-star as Kara’s love interest, Jimmy Olsen; Chyler Leigh, as Kara’s doctor sister, Alex Danvers; and David Harewood, as supervillain Hank Henshaw, known as Cyborg Superman in the DC world. Laura Benanti will play Kara’s birth mother, Alura Zor-El, in a major recurring arc.
The modern television adaptation will also bring back some familiar faces: Helen Slater, who starred in the 1984 “Supergirl” film, and Superman vet Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”). Both alums were cast in secret roles.
Throughout pilot season, “Supergirl” was rumored to be heading over to the CW. But CBS is looking to expand the scope of its drama offerings and break into the superhero genre with a familiar franchise.