CBS entered the still-growing crowd of superhero-theme TV shows with Supergirl, and so far the story of Superman's cousin Kara Danvers/Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) has proven itself a smart, well-received addition to the DC television universe.
After three episodes, the series has already developed its own style, blending action with humor with a more relatable and less angsty main character than Supergirl's many male-centered counterparts. The promos for the show's fourth episode "How Does She Do It?" promised an entry along these same lines, but it will not air this Monday as planned.
Deadline reports that in the wake of the horrifying Paris terrorist attacks on November 13th, CBS will not air the scheduled episode of Supergirl, which would have seen Kara/Supergirl struggling to protect National City from a series of bombings. A different episode, "Livewire," will air instead and will feature Helen Slater (who played the Girl of Steel in the 1984 movie) as Kara's foster mother. CBS has also pulled the scheduled episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, which would have revolved around ISIS recruitment. ABC's terrorist-themed episode of Quantico and Showtime's Homeland episode set in Germany are currently slated to air as scheduled.
This is not the first time a tragic event such as the Paris attacks have affected television and film programming. Most notably, several terrorism and violent-themed films were delayed in the wake of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks. Numerous regularly-scheduled TV shows were also pushed back and a long list of new and syndicated episodes were altered prior to airing.
The networks' decision to pull these episodes presents a sensitivity to the very raw public psyche after such a terrible event. Canceling the real-world set NCIS was a given - and that episode may be delayed for quite some time - but the comic book world trappings of Supergirl seem otherworldly enough on the surface to render such a storyline somewhat less traumatic. Nonetheless, CBS has decided it would be inappropriate to let the episode run.
For fans of the series' continuity, there is the question of whether or not the show's overall narrative will be affected by the swapping out of the episodes. It most likely will not, since Supergirl has a far looser overall story arc than Arrow or The Flash. It remains to be seen whether or not the "How Does She Do It?" episode will ever air.
Supergirl returns Monday @8pm with “Livewire” in place of "How Does She Do It?"