5:15pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Lesbian Superhero Drama 'Batwoman,' 'Riverdale' Spinoff, 'Nancy Drew' Ordered to Series at The CW
Batwoman is moving forward at The CW.
The younger-skewing broadcast network has handed out a series order to its Ruby Rose-led DC Comics drama, which joins Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene — both of which are from Greg Berlanti — and Nancy Drew, from Gossip Girl and Dynasty duo Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. Jane the Virgin spinoff Jane the Novela has been passed over. Original concept Glamorous — a drama pilot about a gender non-confirming high school grad who gets his dream job starring potential breakout Ben J. Pierce and produced by Damon Wayans Jr. — is still in contention. Rob Thomas' (iZombie) redeveloped Lost Boys reboot in is being re-piloted off-cycle and will be reshot once changes the network is seeking have been completed.
Batwoman, which stars Orange Is the New Black grad Ruby Rose as out lesbian and highly trained street fighter Kate Kane/Batwoman, becomes the first live-action scripted drama series with a lesbian superhero (played by an out actress) at the top of the call sheet. Caroline Dries (The Vampire Diaries) penned the script and will serve as showrunner on the Warner Bros. TV drama. Berlanti Productions topper Sarah Schechter and Geoff Johns will executive produce alongside Berlanti. Marcos Siega (The Following) replaced David Nutter as director on the pilot. Both will also exec produce the Vancouver-shot project. Dougray Scott, Elizabeth Anweis, Meagan Tandy, Camrus Johnson, Nicole Kang and Rachel Skarsten round out the cast. Watch the first teaser, below.
The order for Batwoman arrives as The CW is plotting the "next generation" of DC shows as its flagship Arrow will end its run with an abbreviated 10-episode eighth and final season. Batwoman joins a roster of DC Comics-produced series on The CW's 2019-2020 broadcast season including Arrow, Black Lightning, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, all of which scored early renewals at the Mark Pedowitz-led broadcast network.
Rose's Batwoman made her debut late last year in The CW's three-way DC Comics series crossover (dubbed "Elseworlds"). Batwoman, first put into development in July, was widely expected to be picked up to series given the auspices attached. For her part, Rose quit Twitter following a backlash to her casting as Batwoman.
Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene stars Pretty Little Liars grad Lucy Hale and the flagship's Ashleigh Murray. (As was reported when she was cast, Murray will depart Riverdale to focus on Katy Keene full time.) The series hails from Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa — who recently inked a big overall deal with Warners — and counts Berlanti and Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater among its executive producers.
Nancy Drew, starring potential breakout Kennedy McMann, is the latest take on the beloved sleuth. The CBS TV Studios-produced drama from Noga Landau, Schwartz and Savage is the first time a Nancy Drew project has moved to series after multiple recent attempts among the broadcast networks.
For The CW's part, the younger-skewing broadcast network's entire scripted roster — save for concluding series Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and iZombie — are returning for the 2019-20 broadcast season. The three new series are down from last year's tally (five) as the network still has little room on its roster after its massive renewal spree.
With the orders for Batwoman and Katy Keene, Berlanti adds to his TV record number of scripted originals. That record now sits at 17, with the two new additions joining The CW's Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Riverdale, Black Lightning and All American; NBC's Blindspot; Netflix's You and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina; CBS' God Friended Me and The Red Line; and DC Universe's Titans, Doom Patrol and Stargirl. Berlanti still has Fox's Prodigal Son remaining in contention for a series order this season, so his tally could wind up at 18 over the coming days.
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.