CBS has landed the high-profile DC Comics adaptation, handing out a hefty series commitment, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The hourlong drama, taken out last week, centers on Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin, who was born on the planet Krypton and escaped amid its destruction years ago. Since arriving on Earth, she has been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin. But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be. (The character was previously played by Laura Vandervoort on The CW's Superman origin story Smallville.)
Berlanti and Adler, who previously teamed on ABC's superhero drama No Ordinary Family, will pen the script and executive produce the drama via Berlanti Productions' Warner Bros. Television-based banner. Berlanti Productions' topper Sarah Schecter also executive produces.
The Supergirl pickup also means all five of the broadcast networks could have superhero-themed series on the air next season, with DC properties on four of the five. Fox on Monday launches its highly anticipated Batman prequel Gotham — which like Supergirl started with a series commitment; NBC has Hellblazer take Constantine due in October; CW has Flash and Arrow; and ABC, via Disney's deal with Marvel, has Agents of SHIELD and bridge series Agent Carter. For its part, Netflix also has four Marvel series and a mini, starting with Daredevil.
Comic adaptations are the fall's biggest bet, with many producers telling THR that the wave comes as superheroes continue to dominate the box office and as the technology to tell such stories has evolved, among other factors. AMC's The Walking Dead, TV's biggest drama in the key adults 18-49 demographic, is also based on a comic and the network is tapping that well for a companion series eyed for 2015. Other cable networks — as well as Sony's PlayStation — have also joined the fray, with comic takes on Powers, Preacher, Outcast, Ronin, Clone, Titans, Scalped and more.
Supergirl now gives Berlanti three shows based on characters from the DC Comics universe. It joins The CW veteran Arrow and upcoming spinoff The Flash. It also comes as Berlanti's newest drama, NBC's Mysteries of Laura adaptation, opened to strong viewership this week. Supergirl is Berlanti's third sale this development season and second at CBS. He also has supernatural procedural The Things They Left Behind based on a Stephen King short story set up at CBS with a put-pilot commitment and FBI thriller Blindspot at NBC with a script plus penalty attached.
Berlanti is repped by WME and Felker Toczek; Adler, whose credits include NBC's The New Normal, Glee and Chuck, is with WME.