Supergirl, Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler’s drama based on the DC female superhero, has landed at CBS with a series commitment. The deal closed last night, a day after the project was taken out to the broadcast networks on Wednesday. I hear the size of commitment eclipses the series commitment DC Batman drama Gotham got at Fox last fall. Warner Bros. TV is producing with studio-based Berlanti Prods.
The Supergirl character was created by writer Otto Binder and designed by artist Al Plastino in 1959. Of the several women who have assumed the caped girl persona in the comics, the Berlanti-Adler series will feature the most popular one: Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El, who shares his super powers and vulnerability to Kryptonite. Unlike WBTV’s long-running Superman series Smallville, which focused on the superhero’s journey up to acquiring the powers and becoming Superman, Supergirl starts with Kara beginning to use her abilities.
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. But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be. Berlanti and Adler will write the script and executive produce with Berlanti Prods.’ Sarah Schechter. Also closely involved in the development of the project has been DC Entertainment’s chief creative officer Geoff Johns.
While CBS may look as a surprising home for a younger-skewing superhero drama, it was the only broadcast network without a comic book series. Additionally, CBS has been making a push in female-lead dramas with Extant, Madam Secretary and CSI: Cyber joining staple The Good Wife.
There will be five DC/WBTV series on the air this coming season: Gotham on Fox, the CW’s Arrow, The Flash and iZombie on the CW, and Constantine on NBC. With the Supergirl deal, WBTV has successfully targeted every available broadcast network as ABC is considered off-limits because of its corporate ties with Marvel, producer of its series Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter.
Supergirl expands Berlanti’s superhero series footprint. He also is behind popular CW drama Arrow and its upcoming offshoot The Flash. Additionally, Berlanti has new NBC crime dramedy The Mysteries Of Laura, which opened well on Wednesday.
This marks Berlanti’s second high-profile sale to CBS this year, along with supernatural procedural The Things They Left Behind, which has a put pilot commitment. His company also has conspiracy thriller Blindspot set at NBC.
Adler, who previously worked with Berlanti on his superhero-themed ABC drama No Ordinary Family, co-created the NBC comedy The New Normal. She and Berlanti are repped by WME.
There has been a push to get more female superhero characters in comic books and on the big and small screens. Marvel has a Jessica Jones series in pre-production at Netflix.