The CW has picked up DC drama Black Lightning, from producer Greg Berlanti, and the Bill Lawrence-produced dramedy Life Sentence, starring Pretty Little Liars‘ Lucy Hale, to series. That brings the number of newly ordered CW series to four, including Dynasty and Valor — two each from sister studios CBS TV Studios (Dynasty, Valor) and Warner Bros. TV (Black Lightning, Life Sentence).
As I have reported, the CW had been looking to pick up four new series if both iZombie and The Originals got renewed and five if only iZombie was to come back. Both series were just renewed, which could mean that we are done with the CW’s new series pickups. But I hear that the network has not passed on the remaining two pilots — the darkly comedic Insatiable and drama Searchers — with discussions underway about different possibilities. It is unclear whether shorter orders are on the table.
Berlanti Prods. today also saw its NBC sophomore drama Blindspot clinch a third-season renewal. The company will have six series on the CW next season and Blindspot on NBC, with the company’s ABC drama pilot Deception also likely to nab a pickup.
Black Lightning hails from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Based on the DC character created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden, Black Lightning centers on Jefferson Pierce. He made his choice: He hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago, but with a daughter, Jennifer, hellbent 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. Cress Williams, Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain and Christine Adams star.
Salim Akil will serve as showrunner on project, which he co-created with wife Mara Brock Akil through their Akil Productions shingle. The duo executive produce alongside Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, the head of his Greg Berlanti Productions.
Life Sentence, from WBTV and Lawrence’s studio-based Doozer Prods, has tapped Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale for the lead. Written by Significant Mother creators Erin Cardillo and Richard Keith, Life Sentence centers on a young woman (Hale) diagnosed with terminal cancer. When she finds out that she’s not dying after all, she has to learn to live with the choices she made when she decided to “live like she was dying.” Elliot Knight, Dylan Walsh, Gillian Vigman, Jayson Blair, Brooke Lyons and Carlos PenaVega also star.
Cardillo and Keith executive produce with Doozer’s Bill Lawrence and Jeff Ingold along with Oliver Goldstick and Lee Toland Krieger.