The CW Network has defied all odds by transitioning from a channel specializing in teen drama, to a respected flagship for DC Comics’ live-action adaptations. We have written thousands of words on their quartet of shows, Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl, that have broadened the scope and fan’s expectations of superhero television. It seems that they are not yet done expanding as Black Lightning is their next show to debut on the network.
Black Lightning will be a mid-season replacement show, which means that it should premiere around January. It’s based on the DC Comic of the same name and will focus on high school principle Jefferson Pierce and his two daughters, Anissa and Jennifer. Pierce has retired his alter ego and settled into an average life, however when gangs endanger his family, he decides to come out of retirement to clean up the neighborhood.
The show will not take place in the Arrowverse, according to CW President Mark Pedowitz, so we shouldn’t expect to see Pierce appear in any crossovers. The show stars Cress Williams in the title role, while his daughters are played by Nafessa William and China Anne McClain respectively. The show was created by Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil, (Being Mary Jane, The Game), while Greg Berlanti is an executive producer for show, which should keep the in the same wheelhouse as the other DC Comics show. This is only the first look, as there’s certainly a lot more come. In the meantime, enjoy!
Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of two daughters and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe haven for young people in a New Orleans neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero to his community. Nine years ago, Pierce was a hero of a different sort. Gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante Black Lightning. However, after too many nights with his life on the line, and seeing the effects of the damage and loss that his alter ego was inflicting on his family, he left his Super Hero days behind and settled into being a principal and a dad.
Choosing to help his city without using his superpowers, he watched his daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) grow into strong young women, even though his marriage to their mother, Lynn (Christine Adams), suffered. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him…or so he thought. But with crime and corruption spreading like wildfire, and those he cares about in the crosshairs of the menacing local gang The One Hundred, Black Lightning returns — to save not only his family, but also the soul of his community. Based on the characters from DC, BLACK LIGHTNING is from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash”), Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane,” “The Game,” “Girlfriends”), and Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “The Flash”). The Black Lightning character was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden.
Black Lightning will premiere in the mid-season on the CW Network.