After ten seasons of Smallville Clark Kent is currently taking a break from TV to go and play with his friend Batman on the big screen, while means that it's someone else's turn to step in and uphold the family's Kryptonian heritage. Produced by Arrow showrunner Greg Berlanti, Supergirl is coming to CBS later this year and will star Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers (A.K.A. Kara Zor-El), a super-powered alien who has been living an undercover life on Earth since fleeing her home planet.
Kara is Superman's cousin on her father's side and the two Kryptonians have very similar powers, though a recently leaked script excerpt from Supergirl implied that Kara has never really discovered the extent of her abilities due to her desire to remain incognito. Even if Clark never actually appears on the show, however, Kara will still have a friendly guiding hand.
Deadline reports that Laura Benanti has been cast as Kara's mother, Alura Zor-El, who is described as a "strong noblewoman" whose "wisdom and guidance echoes across space and time." That leaves the nature of Alura's presence in Kara's life pretty vague. Will she appear only appear in flashbacks, in Kara's visions and dreams, or did she survive the destruction of Krypton in the bottle city of Kandor, as she does in the comics?
Benanti is the third actor to be cast in Supergirl so far, following Benoist as Kara and Mehcad Brooks as her love interest Jimmy Olsen. Other characters that have yet to be cast include Kara's boss, Cat Grant, her co-worker Wynn Schott and CIA agent Hank Henshaw.
Benanti most recently starred in the third season of ABC drama Nashville and has also made guest appearances in The Good Wife, Elementary and Nurse Jackie. Alura Zor-El is described as a "key recurring role" in Supergirl, though that doesn't necessarily mean that Benanti will be in every episode.
We expect to hear more casting news for Supergirl in the coming weeks, and hopefully with it a more concrete idea of when production is set to begin.
Supergirl is expected to air on CBS starting in the second half of 2015.