4:45pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Greg Berlanti's TV Record Grows to 18 Series Across Six Outlets
Greg Berlanti's TV dominance continues.
The prolific (to say the least) producer currently holds the record for the most number of live-action scripted series on the air — a mark he set with 10 back in 2017. Now, two years later, that record has nearly doubled as the Warner Bros. TV-based super-producer has converted all three of his broadcast pilots to series orders. With pickups for Fox's Prodigal Son, The CW's Batwoman and Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene, Berlanti's total number of scripted series currently in the works sits at a jaw-dropping 18.
With Fox's pickup of Prodigal Son — a serial killer drama starring Michael Sheen and The Walking Dead grad Tom Payne from Berlanti's former Deception collaborators Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver — the busy producer now has shows on four of the five broadcast networks.
On The CW front, Katy Keene and Batwoman — the latter of which makes history as the first live-action scripted drama series with an openly gay superhero (played by out actress Ruby Rose) — gives Berlanti nine shows on The CW, or more than half its schedule. Batwoman and Katy Keene join the abbreviated eighth and final season of Arrow, Black Lightning, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Riverdale, Supergirl and All American at The CW.
Meanwhile, Martin Gero-produced drama Blindspot will return for a fifth and final season on NBC as the bubble drama was considered a long shot to return after the network pulled it from the schedule for May's sweep period.
Those join CBS' God Friended Me, which scored an early season two renewal back in January; and limited series The Red Line, which could continue on after a late midseason debut. (Word on its future will most likely be determined after upfronts and the series has had enough DVR returns to examine after it launched April 28 to warm reviews.)
On the streaming side, Berlanti is behind You, which became a breakout hit on Netflix after Lifetime bailed on plans for a previously announced second season. He also exec produces Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which is already renewed through season four (or two depending on your math). Elsewhere, Berlanti is behind the bulk of scripted originals on Warners-backed streaming platform DC Universe with Titans (already renewed for season two), Doom Patrol and the upcoming Stargirl (due in 2020).
What's more, Berlanti shows no signs of slowing down. He and Berlanti Productions topper Sarah Schechter recently recruited a pair of comedy executives as the company bulks up ahead of the coming development season, during which the mega-producer has multiple sales.
Berlanti addressed his good fortune with a heartfelt Twitter thread:
I’m away on a (good) family matter (more on that in a few days) but you might have heard about our company’s success with pilots/pick-ups this year and I wanted to address it with a thread if you don’t mind. Also, as you can tell from my poorly updated twitter bio ...— Love, Greg (@GBerlanti) May 11, 2019
2/2... i’m not on this platform much and somewhat technically inept so bear with me... First, we are all proud and ecstatic about each of the shows we are a part of. The new ones, the veterans...— Love, Greg (@GBerlanti) May 11, 2019
3/3... I spend many of my days thanking and merely sitting in awe and gratitude of the work of our showrunners, writers, directors, crews, actors, studio and network executives. Truthfully, there aren’t enough thank yous to give out.— Love, Greg (@GBerlanti) May 11, 2019
4/4... Across our shows there are thousands of people who sacrifice their time, lives and give the best of themselves to help tell the stories you enjoy. One thing I’m most proud of at our company is our ongoing commitment and support of other creators and artists .— Love, Greg (@GBerlanti) May 11, 2019
5/5... It’s the first reason we are affiliated with so many varied and successful shows. The second reason we are affiliated with so many shows is the team at our own production company, starting with and lead by @SarahSoWitty— Love, Greg (@GBerlanti) May 11, 2019
6/6... Hiring @SarahSoWitty into tv was the smartest work decision I’ve ever made and were someone else to have beaten me to it, their name would be associated with 18 shows.— Love, Greg (@GBerlanti) May 11, 2019
7/7... There’s a myth in this business that any ONE person can do it all. In my experience it’s a myth. I have never had any success that wasn’t due in equal measure to the all people i’ve worked with.— Love, Greg (@GBerlanti) May 11, 2019
8/8... I recognize having my own last name for the company makes it easier to think I am somehow doing more than others -- perhaps I should have thought of that earlier, but I never thought we would grow to this size.— Love, Greg (@GBerlanti) May 11, 2019
9/9... I’m no more busy than so many of the incredibly talented folks we work with every day. I give my time and share in the ways I can help. And like many of our co-workers, try and balance that with family -- an area where I’m equally blessed. But that’s another thread...— Love, Greg (@GBerlanti) May 11, 2019
10/10... But ALL of our creators would and could have shows without us -- So please when you read anything our company is affiliated with -- just know that it is the product of EVERYONE’s hard work, talent, passion and commitment.— Love, Greg (@GBerlanti) May 11, 2019
11/11... I may be the luckiest of all of them, but that’s about the only category I lead in. And if you are a writer in the business dreaming of telling your story -- to be successful you don't have to do anything alone and I hope we are lucky enough to work with you one day.— Love, Greg (@GBerlanti) May 11, 2019
Thanks for listening... and thanks for supporting the shows and the work everyone does.— Love, Greg (@GBerlanti) May 11, 2019
Berlanti is also incentivized to continue his torrid pace. Under the terms of his $400 million overall deal with Warners — signed in June 2018 — Berlanti receives additional cash bonuses when he hits a specific number of series.
Meanwhile, Berlanti and husband (and All American producer) Robbie Rogers this month are also adding to their family with the birth of their second child, a daughter, Mia. They already have a three-year-old son, Caleb.
Keep track of all the renewals, cancellations and new show orders with THR's scorecards for ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW and with all the latest pilot pickups and passes with our handy guide. For complete coverage, bookmark THR.com/upfronts.