Greg Berlanti’s Superhero Series Black Lightning Gets CW Pilot Order

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Black Lightning. Photo: DC Comics

When word came down last year that super-showrunner Greg Berlanti was developing a series about DC Comics superhero Black Lightning, industry-watchers were surprised to learn that he was pitching it to networks, not The CW, which is where he already lords over four series ripped from the DC mythos. But, having flirted with other lovers, Berlanti seems to have come back home — according to The Hollywood Reporter, Black Lightning has a pilot order at The CW. Wife-and-husband team Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil will write and co-produce it.

You’re not crazy if you haven’t heard of Black Lightning (a.k.a. Jefferson Pierce), as he’s definitely a minor figure in the DC canon. Created in 1977 as something of a belated riff on the then-cooling blaxploitation craze, the hero was notable for being a black lead during a period when such things were sadly still rare. He’s popped up now and again in the intervening years, but rarely in a marquee role. According to THR, the TV version of Jefferson is a retired superhero who, “with a daughter hell-bent on justice and a star student being recruited by a local gang,” is “pulled back into the fight.” No word on whether the show will occupy the same shared universe as its Berlanti brethren Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, but given that those shows posit a world where publicly known metahumans are a recent phenomenon, it seems unlikely.

Berlanti Superhero Show Black Lightning Gets CW Pilot Order