Supergirl, the superhero drama co-created and executive produced by Greg Berlanti, is flying high at CBS with an early series order. As part of the deal for the project between CBS and Warner Bros. TV, the network had an early deadline to make a decision on the pilot, a perk reserved only for the biggest producers in town that CBS also has bestowed on Chuck Lorre. (CBS, which presents next Wednesday, usually doesn’t start making orders until Friday or Saturday of pre-upfront week.)
Written by Berlanti, Ali Adler and Andrew Kreisberg based on the characters from DC Comics, Supergirl, from WBTV and studio-based Berlanti Prods., centers on Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist). Born on the planet Krypton, Kara Zor-El escaped amid its destruction years ago. Since arriving on Earth, she’s been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin, Superman. But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be. Co-starring as regulars are Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant, Chyler Leigh as Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen and David Harewood as Hank Henshaw. Berlanti, Adler and Sarah Schechter executive produce.
CBS originally landed the Supergirl pitch in September with a big series commitment. I hear the size of the commitment got trimmed during the pilot pickup stage, something the producers sacrificed so the project could go to production on time with their choices for director, Glen Winter, and star, Benoist. The finished pilot had been getting good reviews, including solid feedback for Winter and Benoist’s work.
It is shaping up to be a big upfront for Berlanti, who already has three new series picked up for next season, Supergirl on CBS, the Arrow-Flash spinoff on the CW as well as NBC drama Blindspot, which he executive produces. They will join returning series Arrow and Flash, with a renewal for Mysteries Of Laura at NBC also a possibility.
The pickup of Supergirl puts the first piece in the CBS 2015-16 puzzle. On the drama side, Limitless had been looking strong and may start making offers to writers, along with medical drama Code Black. Factoring in the Criminal Minds spinoff and Rush Hour, which has been picking up momentum and is looking good at the moment, there are some tough decisions to be made at the network this week. On the comedy side, attention had focused on Life In Pieces, Angel From Hell and The Half of It, with Super Clyde and super late entry Dan O’Shannon as possibilities.