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JUN
18
2 YEARS

Fall TV Pilot Preview: The CW's 'Arrow'

Stephen Amell's killer abs, a writer/executive producer with a penchant for superheroes and three more things to know about the youth-skewing network's upcoming drama.

Arrow Pilot Episodic - H 2012
Jack Rowand/The CW
"Arrow's" Stephen Amell

A year after Smallville wrapped its run, the CW is going back to its superhero roots with Arrow, based on the long-running character Green Arrow from DC Comics.

The Hollywood Reporter screened the pilot for the drama -- one of five the youth-skewing network picked up to series in May -- and as part of our Fall Preview 2012 have five things to know about the series before its fall launch.

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1. It's based on the long-running character that first appeared in a DC Comics title in 1941, who was a former mayor of the fictional town of Star City. In the CW's take, the title character (aka Oliver Queen) is the son of a billionaire partially responsible for the demise of the fictional Sterling City who returns home after being stranded for five years on an island best described as purgatory following a boat accident. 

2. Arrow star Stephen Amell (Private Practice, Hung) becomes the latest actor to join the network's roster of superheroes, joining Smallville's Tom Welling (Clark Kent/Superman) and Justin Hartley, who played Oliver/Green Arrow. In Arrow, Oliver and his hooded-alter ego are much more intense as the series feels more mature than Smallville. Another face CW viewers will recognize comes in Katie Cassidy (Melrose Place, Gossip Girl, Supernatural), who plays Oliver's ex-girlfriend-turned-legal aide attorney Laurel Lance.

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3. Arrow has something for everyone. Fight scenes are intense and reminiscent at times of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Arrow also seems to be a master of martial arts who, like Buffy was with Mr. Pointy, is (shocker!) also well-versed with pointy things. There's a built-in love triangle, family drama and in the pilot hour alone, two scenes that feature Amell's six-pack (eight?) abs. And also like Buffy? The annoying younger sister (here played by Gossip Girl's Willa Holland) that may make you want to yell, "Shut up, Dawn."

4. Oliver, like Bruce Wayne and other caped crusaders, is a man on a mission. Returning home five years after he was presumed dead, Oliver returns with a list inherited from his father to seek vengeance on those who helped destroy Sterling City. Also similar to Batman and Superman: Arrow has a high-tech lair of his own complete with green mood lighting and, naturally, a gym for those ab workouts.

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5. The drama hails from writer/executive producer Greg Berlanti, who has experience in the superhero genre, having penned the screenplay for last year's Warner Bros. Pictures feature Green Lantern, which starred Ryan Reynolds as the DC Comics hero. Arrow was one of four pilots Berlanti had in contention this season, with CBS ordering cop drama Golden Boy to series for a midseason bow. On the TV side, Berlanti's geek cred includes ABC's short-lived family super hero series No Ordinary Family, with Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz. (Berlanti was also a writer on previous CW/WB Network fare including Everwood, Dawson's Creek andJack & Bobby.)Also speaking to Arrow's genre appeal the pilot was directed by David Nutter, whose credits include Game of Thrones, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Supernatural, Smallville and The X-Files, to name a few.

Arrow debuts Wednesdays this fall at 8 p.m. on the CW. Check out a promo below and hit the comments with your thoughts. Will you watch?

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit