×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Greg Berlanti’s ‘Black Lightning’ Moves to CW With Pilot Pickup

Black Lightning” has nabbed an official pilot order at the CWVariety has learned.

The Greg Berlanti-produced series was originally was developed at Fox earlier this season, landing a hefty pilot production commitment from the get-go. Insiders tell Variety the network passed on the project earlier this week, so then it moved to the CW.

Should “Black Lightning” go to series, it would mark the fifth DC superhero show from Berlanti at the CW, which is currently home to “Arrow,” “The Flash,” DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” and Supergirl,” which have all been renewed for the 2017-2018 season.

If “Black Lightning” is greenlit for 2017-2018, sources close to the network explain that the shows would be staggered throughout the year, rather than scheduling five separate nights of superhero programming.

“Black Lightning” is the second Berlanti Productions series to move from another network to the CW. After “Supergirl’s” first season struggled to keep a big enough audience for CBS’ standards, the younger-skewing sister network picked it up for its sophomore season. While superhero programming may not be the best fit for the Big Four, the CW has had great success with its four series, including “Supergirl,” which is performing strongly in its second season at the CW, only behind the net’s top show, “The Flash.”

Back at the Television Critics Association press tour last summer, CW chief Mark Pedowitz was asked about the possibility of another superhero show. He said: “At the moment, we were only expecting to have four this season…At this time there’s no real discussions about any other superhero characters, but one of the things about the Arrowverse…we get to see all these characters. Now, if someone pops, then you reexamine the situation, but at this time, there are no discussions with anybody else.”

Based on the DC character, “Black Lightning” is about Jefferson Pierce. He 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.

The original comic character was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden. The TV pilot was written by Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil, who will serve as executive producers with Berlanti and producing partner Sarah Schechter. Berlanti Prods. and Akil Prods. are producing with Warner Bros. Television.

More TV

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" and

    WGA Awards 2019: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?,' 'Eighth Grade' Win Screenplay Awards

    In a pair of upsets, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” has won the Writers Guild of America’s adapted screenplay award for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty and Bo Burnham has won the original screenplay award for “Eighth Grade.” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” based on the memoir of the late Lee Israel, topped the screenplays [...]

  • 50 Cent Power

    NYPD Officer Under Investigation for Allegedly Telling Police to Shoot 50 Cent 'on Sight'

    A New York City precinct commander is under investigation for allegedly telling officers to shoot rapper 50 Cent on sight, a police rep confirmed to Variety on Sunday. “The matter is under internal review,” an NYPD rep said, declining to answer further questions. Deputy Inspector Emanuel Gonzalez is accused of telling officers during a June 7 roll [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Empire

    Chicago Police Want to Talk to Jussie Smollett as New Evidence Emerges

    Chicago police are seeking to re-interview “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, after new evidence emerged in his alleged assault. Smollett has claimed that two men attacked him at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. The Chicago Police Department has consistently said [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content