The CW keeps its DC shows as primetime headliners though Supergirl and Arrow will be moving to the time slots next fall, and the announcement of yet another potential Arrow-verse spin-off may be in the works!
Though the spring season may be just be blossoming its first buds, in New York City at the annual network Upfronts event many of the Fall Shows are being announced as primetime begins to take shape, even as the current season finales are just winding down. Among the more notable mentions coming from The CW president Mark Pedowitz are the shifts being made to the network’s stable of DC superhero series. Sunday nights are going to be “super”!
After leaving CBS and giving Supergirl a new home on The CW alongside her other DC Comics based contemporaries, the action series will be vacating her usual Monday night time slot and moving to Sunday night at 8/7c. The Maid of Might will be leading charge and hoping to raise the stakes for a bustling night of highly competitive genre-entertainment usually lead by pay-network hits like Westworld, Game of Thrones or AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Along with headlining the new night Supergirl will also be the lead-in for the crafty reboot of Charmed which will premiere in the 9/8c slot. On Monday night DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will be settling into 8/7c after warming the spot while the Girl of Steel went on her midseason hiatus. The team series returning for its fourth season will be the lead-in for the long-running Arrow moving to Mondays at 9/8c after ending its most recent sixth season on Thursdays.
On Tuesdays The Flash holds on to its 8/7c time slot as lightning strikes twice for Black Lightning returning for Season Two in the 9/8c hour. The hit Riverdale based on the Archie Comics characters will remain in its Wednesday night 8/7c time slot as well. Among the more exciting announcement at Upfronts was the unexpected news from Arrow star Stephen Amell himself that another DC hero, Batwoman would be introduced in the new season’s epic crossover stunt!
Apparently Amell had kept his word, though teasing fans that he had some big news to share at a recent convention that he was sworn to secrecy until the Upfronts; the addition of Batwoman to the Arrow-verse suggests that Gotham City (the home of another DC property, Batman) exists, though it does not allude to a potential crossover with the prequel series Gotham currently airing on FOX which is also returning for a new season.
This is very good news for The CW, as the annual crossover event has proven a ratings hit and if the opportunity for Black Lightning to potentially add to the mix which introducing another superhero into the mythology, then the Fall TV Season couldn’t come sooner!
Oliver Queen’s job as Star City’s defender just got more complicated, especially as tensions rise among his long-time partnerships including John Diggle who appears ready to wrestle him for the title of Green Arrow!
Oliver Queen’s (Stephen Amell) problems continue to mount as the latest episode of Arrow inSeason 6 “Brothers in Arms” continues to see the world of Star City’s Emerald Archer collapsing in on itself. Though the threat of computer hacker Caydon James was irrevocably deleted, the real danger has emerged among one of James’ associates. The underworld leader Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) known as “The Dragon” has all but rendered the city immobile as he and the Russian, Anatoly (David Nykl) are pulling things apart brick by brick.
Inside the Bunker, the Green Arrow finds himself a man alone and a mayor without a support system. The DA and Chief of Police are both under the thumb of Diaz and the duo life that Oliver leads as the city’s mayor and its hooded vigilante are closing in on themselves; in order to take down “The Dragon” the Green Arrow has to cut the dealer’s financial links to “vertigo” the synthetic drug being manufactured and distributed throughout Star City. In the midsts of this tactical crisis John Diggle (David Ramsey) is conflicted over Oliver’s leadership style.
Spartan had assumed the mantle of the Green Arrow for a short period of time, while Oliver mended his relationship with his son and deflected by the federal investigation into his role as the Green Arrow. Although the forged evidence that had revealed the Green Arrow as Queen was discovered to be fake, during his time as the Green Arrow, Diggle lead the team that consisted of the new Black Canary, Wild Dog, and Mr. Terrific, but the group has since disbanded after learning that Queen had them all under surveillance.
Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy) and Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum) continue to cooperate with Oliver, especially coordinating strategies to bring down Diaz, but unaware to the team they are being subverted by the Black Siren, Lauren Lance (Katie Cassidy) who has convinced her father Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) that she has turned a new leaf. Now Oliver finds himself in a very unique position, as his identity as the Green Arrow once again is in danger of becoming public knowledge and Diaz control over Star City becomes absolute.
After a rather shaky Season 5, Arrow which was already renewed for another new season in the fall, has hit a definitely more interesting stride in Season 6. Having one of the larger casts among all the series in The CW DCTV universe, a proper balance has been achieved especially as “Team Arrow” was deconstructed over the year. Oliver’s entire world and dynamic have been altered since assuming responsibility as Star City’s mayor (a story arc lifted right from the comic books) as well as becoming a father and husband this year, marrying Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards).
The writing team had successfully found a way of differentiating Arrow from its meta-humanly casted spin-offs, and brought the series back down to a more grounded and far more threatening reality. With the news that Arrow will be returning in the fall for Season 7, fans are speculating exactly how this arc will play out. For a hot minute audiences had assumed this might be Stephen Amell’s final year, and that the archer would be moving on, but with the departure of his sister Thea (Willa Holland) and Spartan joining ARGUS a successor for the hood is not on target.
New episodes of Arrow air Thursday nights at 9pm on The CW.
Next fall there will be more Arrow, more of The Flash and still more DC’s Legends dominating the primetime landscape on The CW. So might some other heroes join the line-up?
And exhale! DC Comics fans have a lot to be grateful for, as The CW announced that its entire primetime line-up, inspired by the DC heroes will be returning for another new season! That means that Oliver Queen played by Stephen Amell will continue on his mission to save Star City in Season 7 of Arrow the series that launched the DC TV Extended Multiverse produced by Berlanti Productions. This sets Arrow on a trajectory to match the previous network superhero leader Smallville which ran for a very successful 10 seasons.
Joining the Emerald Archer on his crusade will be The Flash starring Grant Gustin as CSI investigator Barry Allen, the Fastest Man Alive in Season 5 of the hit spin-off. With hints that a “Mystery Girl” appearing this season has ties to both Barry and his wife Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton) the new season may bring about a “Flash War” of unparalleled proportions. Team Flash continues to expand its line-up which now counts a full-fledge Vibe and Killer Frost among its ranks, but will the recently introduced Elongated Man survive The Thinker’s mad scheme?
Also, each returning for a fourth season will be the companion series Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow which respectfully continue the daring adventures of the Maid of Steel of Earth-38 and the inter-dimensional time travelers who will be adding to their ranks with the recently announced recruitment of John Constantine (Matt Ryan). The CW’s Mark Pedowitz the network’s president also announced that Black Lightning will be back for another season. Riverdale based on the Archie Comics will also be coming back for a new Season 3.
Though the fall season is still several months away, and the current seasons of the shows are all heading into their climatic cliffhanger season finales, this is very good news — at least for most of the DC Comics primetime line-up. The fate of iZombie currently in its fourth season has not been confirmed as yet, but fans will undoubtedly have an opportunity to plead their case to save the show, as they hear about all the new plot details for upcoming new series, as The CW primetime line-up will certainly be highlighted at this years San Diego Comic-Con.
It’s going to take more than one Flash to stop a nuclear device from turning Central City into a crater! The latest episode of The CW hit series reinforces the importance of The Flash’s legacy with guest appearances from the Flashes of two worlds!
This season of The Flash may well test the metal of its titular hero in a way that previous seasons wouldn’t have dared to tread. After successfully traversing the multiverse and sifting through space-time itself, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) has come face-to-face with an adversary that is as quick with his wit than the Scarlet Speedster is on his feet. When it was announced that The Thinker, Clifford DeVoe (guest star Neil Sandilands) would enter into the picture many “Flash” fans were ready for a new kind of Battle Royale!
Season 4 of The Flash hasn’t disappointed in tripping things up very differently for the protectors of Central City. Previous years had audiences walking into this world of super-powered metahumans alongside a largely untested hero who found himself at the center of the impossible. Barry Allen has come a long way since going to the mat with the likes of evil speedsters like the Reverse-Flash and Zoom, and faced his worst nightmare when confronted with his evil twin in the godlike Savitar.
With The Thinker setting off fires all over the city, The Flash has found himself in the line of sight of an evil mastermind with only one goal in mind, and that’s to bring down Barry Allen’s alter-ego. In the latest episode of the season “Enter Flashtime” while DeVoe’s plans continue to unravel in the background, Team Flash find themselves at the mercy of terrorist organization that has set off a nuclear device that will decimate all of Central City, unless The Flash can find a way to stop it. Fortunately for him — he doesn’t have to do it alone!
Joining the team in their efforts this episode will be Jesse Quick (Violett Beane) the Flash of Earth-2 and Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) the Flash of Earth-3. This will be the first episode actually this season since the departure of Kid Flash that will be bringing together the comic book’s legacy characters, proving that when all else fails — this is a job for the Flash Family! Jesse Quick’s return has been hinted at for sometime, since her father Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) has been conflicted with how he and his daughter parted ways recently.
Certainly the pair will be able to resolve their issues, but also popping in to lend a hand in “Enter Flashtime” will be the much-beloved character of Jay Garrick (Shipp) who has been absent for most of Season 4. Garrick who is played by veteran actor John Wesley Shipp (who also portrayed The Flash in the 1990 CBS original series) will be proving how powerful The Flashes of all-worlds can be especially when they work together. Fans had been expecting, Shipp’s Garrick to have a more prominent role since his introduction as the Golden Age hero.
Perhaps the series’ writers and producers are preparing to tease the show’s fans and introduce an arc that will get back to the important legacy attribute that sets The Flash apart from his DC Comics contemporaries. The Flash has been around for generations and the Speed Force has been passed from one speedster to another through the Silver Age and into the Modern Age; with the series having hinted at a potential adaptation of the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” story arc, the significance of exploring The Flash legacy of heroes will never be more important than it is now!
Since Barry and Iris West (Candice Patton) tied the knot this year, it has been hinted that their future may be catching up with them. There’s a mysterious interloper that’s been hanging around — a “mystery girl” — who knows an awful lot about our heroes, and although she doesn’t appear to pose any kind of threat, she has an indelible connection to Barry and Iris that is yet to be defined!
The Flash “Enter Flashtime” airs on The CW Tuesday, March 6 @ 8pm EST.
On The CW’s newest superhero series Black Lightning NAFESSA WILLIAMS is preparing to bring down the house as the iconic DC Comics hero gets back into the game and brings the “Thunder” down on social injustice.
When Greg Berlanti had announced that he and his production team had begun to lay the ground work for another DC Comics property to emerge in primetime, many speculated that the bubble was near about to burst on the superhero genre. Berlanti and his squad had co-opted most of the primetime line-up on The CW beginning with the hit Arrow and followed up the success of that series with the spin-off of The Flash. Without missing a beat they would soon launch the team-up series DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and when CBS gave up on Supergirl they simply brought the Maid of Might over to The CW properly aligning with the rest of the primetime legion of wonders.
Where Berlanti and his production team would find the slot on The CW for another DC adaptation was just incomprehensible, especially after adding the seminal reimagining of the Archie Comics with Riverdale. There are other networks on the air after all, so they persevered. They had come up with a decisively different premise, pitched not as an origin story, but a reintroduction of one of DC’s most groundbreaking characters. It wasn’t long before the show was announced and Black Lightning had found a home — on FOX. The network is home to another DC property; the Batman prequel Gotham. A modest draw for the network, but not a ratings monster.
FOX requested a pilot based on the pitch, and the partnership between Berlanti and the series’ creators/show-runners Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil two of the entertainment industry’s most outspoken creatives dedicated to championing cultural diversity and awareness got to work. Black Lightning hadn’t even gone to lens and it was already proving super-charged! Audiences were getting amped…and then FOX “passed” on the show, but before it even had a moment to make news, it broke that Black Lightning had already found a new home — and of all places: The CW! The annual crossover stunt just got EPIC!
When Lightning Strikes Twice
Black Lightning follows the story of Jefferson Pierce (played by Cress Williams) a single father, celebrated Olympic athlete and high school principal, who at one-time had led a double life as a costumed avenger defending the streets and urban neighborhoods of Freehold against drug lords and crooked politicians. The hero became a beacon of hope for his community, and struck fear in his adversaries. Unfortunately, where his contemporary super-powered friends in nearby metropolises won the adulation of its citizens, the Black Lightning was hunted as a vigilante.
The late nights avenging took a toll not only on Pierce’s own body and soul, but created strife in his marriage. Ultimately hanging up his suit, Pierce returned to life as a private citizen. He now takes on a different kind of challenge. Jefferson has his hands full keeping an entire student body on the straight-and-narrow, and he’s the principal of a charter school dedicated to empowering those who might otherwise feel disenfranchised. Although his marriage dissolved largely due to his super heroics, he maintains a strong bond with his wife Lynn (Christine Adams), and is a single father raising two daughters in a radically toxic climate and an era of growing social concerns.
Already it’s easy to frame how unlike its predecessors Black Lightning is. The series is not centered on the heroic journey of discovery as the hero navigates the responsibilities of wielding great power for good and carries the weight of that burden. Jefferson Pierce knows all too well exactly the high voltage potential he’s capable of generating, and the consequences of using that force, especially when it comes in defense of his family and in service to his neighbors. The times are growing more uncertain and the Black Lightning is needed once again!
A Thunder Storm
His two daughters, fiercely independent and conscious of daddy’s helicopter parenting — never mind living in the ably impressive shadow of their father, have their own obstacles to face. Stepping out from under the cloud of comfort is Anissa Pierce, the eldest daughter played by Nafessa Williams who is proving as formidable in real life as her primetime alter-ego. Stepping up and into a spotlight that is undoubtedly much more scrutinized than the average new primetime drama. DC Comics fans are a unique and fiercely dedicated group, but Williams has already familiarized herself with much of the hero’s backstory and its primal significance.
“Black Lightning was the first black character to stand-alone in his own comic published back in 1977 created by DC Comics,” Williams reveals. “Black Lightning’s not your typical superhero, [or] in his earlier twenties — you watch him navigate those challenges of having to come out of retirement — and the effects that might have on him physically, mentally along with his family.” Williams agrees that for her superhero father Jefferson Pierce to decide to return to his secret identity is not a decision he approaches lightly, but fortunately for him, he won’t be alone in his battle for truth and justice.
Similarly Nafessa identifies heavily with her primetime alter-ego, Anissa Pierce. “I come in as his older daughter, who is a fighter, the advocate, the activist, the lesbian, the medical student — the superhero — overprotective big sister,” she details. “There are so many dynamic layers to who she is — that was one of the reasons why I was really excited to take on this role. It was unlike anything I had ever done before. She just comes with a really strong voice that I believe little brown girls who look just like me need to hear from.” The way that Williams describes Anissa it appears that there is a lot of her father in the character.
“I love what Jefferson Pierce stands for,” Nafessa asserts. “He’s an advocate for education; he believes that through education we can all come out superheroes.” The fiercely determined actor dove deep into knowing as much as she could about the world of Black Lightning. “I studied as much as I could about who he was, the essence of who Black Lightning was knowing that I inherit a bit of that essence. Black Lightning is a hero to us — he’s a savior, and when I’m working on my character I imagine that Anissa is like the son he never had.” Indeed Anissa does literally inherit some of her father’s strength and power, and will eventually assume her own dual-identity.
Though she still revealed the excitement she and the cast all felt the first time that Cress Williams walked on set as his powered-up namesake: “We freaked out when we saw him! He is Black Lightning — his voice, his physique — he really just embodies Black Lightning. He just gives you the vibe!” The pride in her voice is evident, as is the enthusiasm she has over the camaraderie that is developing among her TV family. “The chemistry we all have — was just instant!” It’s a trait that follows into all of the Berlanti shows; the casting is pivotal especially if the audience is to believe in this nuclear family that can leap tall buildings in a single bound.
“When I first got to my audition and I saw China Anne McClain (who plays little sister Jennifer, the soon-to-become “Lightning”) in the hallway and we spoke,” Nafessa said, “it was like an immediate sisterly bond — from the minute we saw each other. It was beautiful — it was destiny!” Which is exactly what series creators Salim Akiland Mara Brock Akil are hoping will come through on screen for fans; Akil has said he has had to remind himself that he and his wife are producing a superhero series, especially when at the core the authenticity of the family is what is driving the drama forward — their fierce love and devotion is the true force powering Black Lightning.
Nafessa admits that working with the Akil’s is a dream come true. “The fact that they were a part of the show was the number one reason why I wanted to do it,” she said. “I’ve been wanting to work with them since the beginning — I love the way they tell stories. They are keeping things really true and authentic to who we are as people and as a culture — and it’s not just about being a black family — it’s about love, and inspiring people. Being true to who you are makes us all superheroes.” The Black Lightning family won’t always be fighting the metahuman villain of the week. Sometimes Anissa might have to face more complicated issues at home.
“Although she’s very feminine, there’s a masculine side to her — a tomboy inside of who Anissa is.” In the series pilot episode several references are made about Anissa’s own activism, including her sister’s pet name for her: Harriett Tubman referring to the civil rights heroine who saved countless lives braving the Underground Railroad. “There are these wonderful messages placed so well within our script, and I’m honored to be named after Harriet Tubman — it keeps these legends alive.” While in the midst of celebrating Black History Month and especially highlighting the importance of cultural diversity, the arrival of Black Lightning is well apparent.
The series debuted in the nation’s capital during the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr’s weekend, and the placement of such an honor was on the forefront of the actress’ mind. “It’s such an emotional ride for me,” Nafessa revealed about premiering at an event celebrating the late civil rights icon. “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., just one of those people that you’d wish you could have met. He’s the epitome of ‘everything’ to me! It’s a blessing — I’m so honored.” Pulling it all together for the rising star, who gave up a particularly significant position in the DA’s office in the homicide division, Williams charted her own path that’s led her to Black Lightning.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, while pursuing a degree in law, Williams never lost sight of her passion for acting. “The creative process is awesome — I’m very particular of the music that I listen to as I’m preparing for my role. Beyonce’s ‘Freedom’ is getting pumped up — you have no idea!” She carves out a place in trailer, alongside her formfitting crimefighting ensemble, to remind herself of the trailblazers that have paved the way. “In my dressing room I have pictures of Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. — I want to be a voice for them — reminding myself in my creative process that I am a voice for them.”
Indeed as politics continue to carve up the pieces creating strained divides, Black Lightning will endeavor to remind us that in coming together, we are stronger. “He’s a hero for today,” Nafessa proclaims with fierce certainty. “I’m from Philly, which is very similar to Freeland (the city in which the story of Black Lightning evolves) and this black superhero is coming to save us! That image alone…when kids turn on the TV and they will see themselves — It is time! It is necessary and it’s needed — here we are!”
Black Lightning starring Nafessa Williams as Anissa Pierce aka “Thunder” airs on The CW, Tuesday nights @ 9pm.
The tweet heard round the world has fans wondering if The CW series is preparing to introduce some more changes, and more heroes, this season that might lead to a spin-off!
Though it’s only just entered into its Third Season DC’s Legend of Tomorrow which just premiered four weeks ago on The CW, is apparently going through some changes — and some may have a significant affect on the series’ cast as the adventure progresses. Accused of having “broken” the timeline, the Legends returned to 2017 at the beginning of their new season and learned that there were some very serious ramifications to all their time-traveling last year. No matter how careful they had been throughout their journey, they returned to a present that was hardly recognizable.
The Legends one-time captain Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) was forced to establish a new organization, sanctioned as the Time Bureau, the group is responsible for fixing time aberrations and tasks itself with correcting the damage created by the Legends. Rip effectively disbands the group and confiscates their time-ship The Waverider and casts the team of adventures to the wind. No longer deemed necessary, but more of a liability, the group disbands and returns (unsuccessfully) to mostly normal civilian lives, with the exception of a Nate Heywood (Nick Zano).
As Steel, Nate is the most inexperienced costumed crime-fighter. He emerges on the scene in Central City and immediately draws the attention of one of the city’s own speedsters Kid Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale). Though it may suggest that the Legends have effectively disbanded, before the end of the Season 3 premiere episode, the group is reunited and find themselves once again onboard their time-ship, with the exception of Vixen (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) who has returned to her own time period. Amaya Jiwe would eventually reunite with the group by Episode 2.
A Changing Roster
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow had always been intended to have an evolving — or rather revolving — roster. Early on in the inception of the television series, it had been rumored that the executive producers were considering a different format entirely from the serialized time-traveling bandits that took over the feel of the narrative. Imagine Legends as an anthology series with a changing cast of DC Comics characters starring in 2-3 episode arcs, teaming up and crossing over with the other CW series Arrow, The Flash and even Supergirl to inhabit an entire televised continuity.
We now know that not to be case, but Legends cast has already gone to several changes since its debut. It’s been confirmed that original series regular Victor Garber who was first introduced in The Flash as one-half of the Nuclear Man Firestorm would be leaving the show this season. The actor will be returning to Broadway taking over the role of Horace Vandergelder in the successful revival of Hello, Dolly! opposite Bernadette Peters. What it will ultimately mean for the presence of Firestorm, who is also played by Franz Drameh, has yet to be developed.
Recently Legends introduced a new series regular in the form of Zari Tomaz (new series regular Tala Ashe) the inheritor of the power of Isis the paramour to the DC Comics villain Black Adam. Only having just interjected herself into the line-up, Zari is already proving a very interesting addition to the team dynamic. How her story will evolve over the season has yet to be written, but the computer hacker from a dystopian future-tense with the power of a weather goddess will more than likely have a profound affect on the story arc.
Twitter Me This
So when the DC’s Legends Writers Room (@LotWritersRoom) went on Twitter only two episodes into the season and asked its followers “Who would you like to see spin-off from Legends?” fans had some choice ideas of their own to share. Clearly over the course of its last two seasons, there have been several secondary characters guest starring that have made a significant contribution to the overall continuity that is the televised and expanded DC Universe, most notably in Season 2 the “Golden Age” heroes of the Justice Society of America made their debut.
With the JSA’s inclusion into the expanded storyline and the recruitment of one of their own (Vixen) into their ranks, audiences are aware that the Legends along with their friends in Star City and Central City are actually part of a far-reaching legacy of heroics. Though Hourman was suggested as part of a longer subplot in Season 2, it was the additional members of the JSA including Commander Steel, Stargirl, and Obsidian that played major parts in that season’s arc. Consequentially fans have asked that more about the JSA be revealed, perhaps in a spin-off!
During the First Season of Legends the roster also included among their roster Hawkman and Hawkgirl the lovers resurrected through time to confront that season’s “big bad” Vandal Savage. Both of the winged wonders served at one time or another as core members of the JSA themselves. Their backstory even played significantly into their time-traveling that season, and it might not have been improbable that the pair were among the unseen members of the JSA, and could turn up again in a JSA centric spin-off!
Interestingly on The Flash another “Golden Age” hero was introduced in the form of Jay Garrick, the original Flash (played by “Original 1990 Flash” John Wesley Shipp) as the Crimson Comet of Earth-3, but that doesn’t insinuate that the Flash isn’t himself a member of this continuity’s JSA. Ever since making a cameo in the premiere episode, rumors have circulated that Wally West, the Kid Flash would be joining the line-up on Legends officially. Perhaps the pairing of these two heroes Jay Garrick and Wally West would prove an interesting confirmation of the heroes’ legacies.
There were several other suggestions for heroes that might spin out of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow though audiences seem to all orbit around revisiting the Golden Age of the DC Universe and insert John Wesley Shipp as Jay Garrick / The Flash in a series regular role to fill out the histrionics of that era. Only time will tell if the Writers Room will take any of these suggestions, but fortunately for them on Legends what they have in spades is TIME!
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesday nights @ 9pm EST time, following The Flash.