Development is continuing on ‘Arrow’ producer Greg Berlanti’s upcoming ‘Black Lightning’ pilot, though at a new address! When we last reported on the project several months ago, Fox had ordered a pilot. Since then, things have been relatively quiet, save the odd remark from Berlanti himself. But now, we have our biggest update so far, with reports that the series is officially moving from Fox to the CW.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the move is due to Fox’s decision to pass on a formal pickup, which in turn resulted in part from the fact that the network is already home to a pair of DC dramas (‘Gotham’ and ‘Lucifer’). Between those two series and a slate of upcoming shows that includes an ‘X-Men’ spinoff and the Seth MacFarlane sci-fi dramedy ‘Orville’, the powers that be evidently felt they had a full plate of genre shows as is.
Notably, this news comes despite CW president Mark Pedowitz’s earlier statement that there were no plans to add another DC Comics series to the network’s schedule, though Pedowitz also noted that the same was true last year when ‘Supergirl’ “fell into our lap.”
There has not yet been any official word on whether or not ‘Black Lightning’ will fit into to the wider universe shared by ‘Arrow’ and the other CW superhero shows, but between its presence on the network and Berlanti’s involvement, it would be surprising if there wasn’t at least a tangential connection. If the producers opt for a less direct connection, they may, for example, follow the precedent set by ‘Supergirl’ and place the series on a parallel Earth.
The comic book version of Black Lightning made history following first appearance in 1977 as DC’s first African American superhero to have his own series. The character was co-created by writer Tony Isabella and artist Trevor Von Eeden.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more news on the ‘Black Lightning’ pilot as it becomes available!