In the fall of 2016, DCTV architect Greg Berlanti announced he was bringing yet another DC Comics character to the small screen with Black Lightning. The news was greeted with the usual enthusiasm by comic fans and viewers of the interconnected universe Berlanti had set up at The CW, but this announcement also came with news the series was in production at FOX, with no intention of having it join the Arrowverse. That news likely perturbed fans of the character and those looking forward to the television universe getting its first superhero series led by an African American. Moreover, it seemed perplexing to think that Berlanti would set up another DC series only for it not to intersect with what he’d already created.
As it turns out, however, those issues may be a thing of the past. A new report suggests Black Lightning is about to strike The CW after picking up stakes and moving to the comic-friendly network from FOX.
The news comes from Deadline, which reports that the series is on the move and that The CW is likely to give it a pilot order. In doing so, it would seem that Black Lightning is indeed set to join Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl as the fifth DCTV series on the network. The reason for the move may have been the result of FOX passing on the project, after assessing their current line-up and determining it had enough genre series on air and in development — what with Matt Nix’s upcoming X-Men series and a Ridley Scott-produced adaptation of The Passage on the way. FOX’s loss is The CW and comic fandom’s gain, apparently, as Berlanti’s vision for the Arrowverse will almost certainly expand with this new series likely on its way.
The move will also likely help Black Lightning succeed as well. As The CW’s DCTV line-up demonstrated in November during the multi-series ‘Invasion!’ crossover, the shows belonging to the Arrowverse are stronger together than they ever would be apart. Although it’s unknown at this time what kind of commodity Black Lightning will prove to be, starting out within the confines of an already-established universe like the one Berlanti co-created gives it an undeniable advantage over new series beginning onscreen life on their lonesome.
At this point, the only question may be: Can the Arrowverse sustain another series or will a five-show universe cause the whole thing to collapse on itself? If Black Lightning does indeed wind up jumping to The CW, then it seems the answer to that question isn’t much of a concern to the network.