CBS’ “Supergirl” has received praise for being the first in the latest crop of superhero TV shows to focus on a female lead (played by Melissa Benoist) — and criticism from those unhappy with the connotation of the character’s name and show’s title.
Those behind the show were prepared for such blowback. One of the first clips that was released featured Calista Flockhart’s media mogul Cat Grant offering a fierce takedown of haters not pleased with the moniker “girl.”
“I love that speech. One of the things I love about this show is it’s a real celebration of girl power. I was attracted to this show because it’s something that moms and daughters can watch together,” said Flockhart, who after “Ally McBeal” is no stranger to a debate about feminism, at “Supergirl’s” Television Critics Assn. panel at the Beverly Hilton on Monday.
Greg Berlanti, the show’s co-creator and exec producer, added that “we wanted to keep the title of the show. We knew going in that ‘Supergirl’ might imply a younger audience, but we wanted to take the word back and introduce it to a new generation.”
Plus, he said, it’s not like his CW shows “Arrow” and “The Flash” didn’t receive snarky pushback initially as well. “Once they watch a couple episodes they can determine for themselves what they enjoy about the show,” he said.
The producers also announced some casting news that’s sure to excite DC Comics fans. While DC Entertainment chief creative officer Geoff Johns, who is an exec producer on “Supergirl,” declined to comment on the characters’ appearances in any DC films, fellow co-creator/exec producer Andrew Kreisberg revealed at the panel that familiar DC characters like Red Tornado, Non and Lucy Lane’s father, General Sam Lane, will be introduced during the first nine episodes of the series. (In her session, CBS entertainment chair Nina Tassler said “Supergirl,” “Arrow,” “The Flash” will be promoted together, but said there were no plans for any crossover episodes).
The panelists also addressed whether Supergirl’s more famous cousin would be a regular character on the show.
“He will be a factor in her life, but you won’t see him onscreen,” said Johns. “He does play a part in her evolution in becoming Supergirl.” (And Flockhart added that she would be supportive of Cat having a romantic relationship with him, if he were to fly into regular rotation).
Fans who want a glimpse of both of Krypton’s favorite children can enjoy CBS’ just-released trailer for “Supergirl.”
“Supergirl” premieres Oct. 26 at 8:30 p.m. on CBS and moves to its regular 8 p.m. timeslot on Nov. 2.