The CW’s Black Lightning TV series will reportedly premiere at the midseason point during the 2017-2018 television season. The younger-skewing broadcast network has built up its number of DC Comics adaptations in recent years, expanding its shared superhero universe to include Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and the CBS transplant Supergirl. Since the Girl of Steel’s solo show launched on a different network and, as such, didn’t exist in the same universe as the Green Arrow and The Flash, The CW’s DC TV creative team have since established Kara Danvers lives in Earth-38 within the multiverse (with Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow on Earth-1).
Now, while The CW is looking to add a fifth DC Comics superhero show to their lineup, with Black Lightning nearing a series order, it’s unclear whether Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) will exist in the same universe as the majority of the network’s comic book series. Black Lightning was originally developed for FOX by Mara Brock Akil and her husband/partner Salim Akil (The Game, Being Mary Jane) along with Arrowverse executive producer Greg Berlanti, but since landed at The CW and is expected to receive a series order. Now, a new report indicates when the show will debut on The CW.
In a recent roundup of the TV pilots most likely to get picked up, THR is reporting Black Lightning is being eyed for a midseason premiere. Considering when The CW’s other midseason debuts have kicked off, fans can likely expect Black Lightning to premiere its first season in January 2018.
Given the success of The CW’s DC Comics lineup – which provided the network with its highest ratings in six years when the characters came together for the Invasion! crossover event – it’s no surprise that they would give the green light to a fifth series from Berlanti. For his part though, Berlanti has emphasized Black Lightning is more the brainchild of Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, which indicates it will be different from the other Arrowverse series, though it’s unclear just how different it will be.
Of course, with The CW looking to add another DC Comics series to their lineup – which also includes iZombie, an adaptation of the Vertigo comic books – it’s possible casual viewers of the network will begin to experience superhero fatigue, if they haven’t already. That said, if Black Lightning does turn out to be significantly different from the network’s other superhero shows, it could be a breath of fresh air for the DC Comics lineup. Certainly considering Black Lightning will follow an older superhero, one who hung up his suit but will be getting back into the game, its premise is incredibly different to the other shows.
It should be noted that Black Lightning has not yet been officially picked up to series, nor has a premiere date been announced. However, all indicators point to the show getting picked up, though probably with a shorter season run. Legends of Tomorrow season 1 debuted at the midseason 2015-2016 point and ran for only 16 episodes. In fact, if the number of Legends of Tomorrow season 2 episodes is any indication (17 episodes), Black Lightning could act as the show’s midseason replacement – though that remains to be seen.
Black Lightning premieres on The CW at an unspecified date. Supergirl airs Mondays at 8pm on The CW, followed by The Flash on Tuesdays at 8pm, and Arrow on Wednesdays in the same timeslot. Legends of Tomorrow will return for season 3 on The CW.