Comic book-based TV shows aren’t exactly in short supply right now, as you no doubt noticed, between successful DC TV programs like The CW’s Arrow and The Flash as well as ABC’s Marvel series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter. There are even more of them in development and expected to arrive during the Fall 2015-Spring 2016 TV season (or earlier, in the case of Netflix’s Daredevil) – and today, it looks like we can add yet another one to the list.
The show in question is Lucifer, based on the comic book series printed under DC’s Vertigo banner. Lucifer, in the DC/Vertigo comic universe, started out as a character in writer Neil Gaiman’s touchstone The Sandman comic books, before he was spun-off as a solo comic book character by Mike Carey – staring with the writer’s The Sandman Presents: Lucifer mini-series, back in 1999. Gaiman’s portrayal of Lucifer is modeled on the character’s depiction from John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, while David Bowie was the inspiration for his physical appearance.
Variety is reporting that Fox has ordered the Lucifer pilot, based on a script penned by Tom Kapinos – whose previous writing credits include several episodes of Californication, as well as the developing supernatural crime/mystery Dead People. Fox is currently airing the DC comics TV show Gotham, a crime procedural based in the Batman universe – one that continues to perform fairly well in terms of ratings, even thought feelings amongst critics and general viewing audiences alike is… well, mixed overall (just look at the comments on one of our reviews).
Lucifer, as it were, sounds like a variation on the typical big city crime procedural, as Variety‘s report indicates the pilot will be picking up shortly after the title character has abandoned his (literally) Hellish kingdom and is now experiencing the “shimmering insanity” of life in Los Angeles, where he helps the LAPD punish dangerous criminals. It doesn’t appear as though there will be any connections to the larger Sandman comic book lore (which is now being adapted for the big screen), beyond Lucifer having stepped down as the Lord of Hell sometime prior to the beginning of the show’s pilot, however.
Supergirl, which is currently projected to premiere on CBS this fall, is also putting something of a superhero spin on the detective/investigation format, while NBC’s DC comic-based Constantine – which, rumor has it, could be renamed Hellblazer and move to SyFy for a second season – is currently occupying the “blonde DC anti-hero in the world of the supernatural” niche in the TV medium. Lucifer, in order words, has the potential to become another fun comic book series, but it might have a harder time standing out so much from the competition – a factor that could affect Fox’s decision, when it comes to ordering the pilot to series or not.
That said, the Lucifer pilot has muscle behind it, including executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer and pilot director Len Wiseman, who has recently worked alongside Fox on the TV series Sleepy Hollow. The latter show has been struggling a bit of late, in terms of both ratings and reception from the fans; if it doesn’t get picked up for a third season, then there might be an opening for a show with a similar supernatural bend like Lucifer (one made by some of the same people who worked on Sleepy Hollow, no less).
We’ll bring you more information on Lucifer as it becomes available.