CBS is officially in the superhero business.
The network has handed out a series order to its DC Comics adaptation Supergirl, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The drama — which had a hefty series commitment penalty attached — stars Glee and Whiplash breakout Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El, who was born on Krypton but has been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin since arriving on Earth. But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.
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Supergirl had a somewhat bumpy road to the network’s schedule. Early buzz indicated that the drama co-starring Calista Flockhart, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh and David Harewood faced trouble and was being shopped to sibling network The CW, though the series was considered too expensive for that to realistically happen. The tide, as it tends to do this time of year, changed after CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler — who has been looking for dramas with strong female leads — saw the final cut and loved it.
The bigger question for CBS will be where to schedule Supergirl as the younger-skewing drama on paper doesn’t seem to be well-suited to pair with any of its existing lineup. Multiple sources suggested CBS could slot it for the family-friendly Sundays at 8 p.m. slot or pair it in the summer with other sci-fi fare like pricey big-swings Under the Dome, Extant and Zoo.
The Warner Bros. Television drama hails from writer/exec producers Ali Adler and Greg Berlanti (No Ordinary Family) with Berlanti’s Arrow and Flash EP Andrew Kreisberg also attached. Supergirl hails from Berlanti Productions, with Sarah Schechter also exec producing.
With CBS’ Supergirl pickup, Berlanti now has series on three of the five broadcast networks. Supergirl joins NBC’s newly ordered Blindspot as well as The CW’s Arrow and Flash — with an expected spinoff from the two shows also considered a lock for midseason at the younger-skewing network. (NBC’s Berlanti-produced Mysteries of Laura is on the bubble, and should the Debra Messing drama return and the super spinoff move forward, Berlanti could have six shows on the schedule for the 2015-16 season.
Supergirl becomes the latest comic book show on the Big Five networks. It joins DC’s Flash, Arrow and iZombie (The CW); Gotham (Fox); NBC’s bubble drama Constantine; as well as ABC’s Marvel dramas Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter. While Constantine is considered a long shot to come back, a renewal would give each of the Big Five networks a comic show.
Dean Cain, Helen Slater, Jeremy Jordan and Malina Weissman guest star in the pilot.
Keep up with all the renewals, cancelations and new series orders with THR‘s handy Scorecard.