DC Entertainment have this week announced the commissioning of a full season of Warner Bros. Television's much-vaunted superhero drama Supergirl. Comprising of an as-of-yet unknown number of instalments, the series' freshman run will air on CBS, making the possibility of its titular protagonist's actions influencing the narratives of other DC-inspired shows such as Arrow and Gotham appear unlikely to say the very least.
Rather than simply over-analysing the well-trodden territory of Warner Bros.' increasingly frustrating neglect of the potential interconnectivity between their cinematic and small-screen projects, however, we'll opt for an alternative point of entry. Let's instead take a look at where CBS' latest commission leaves us in terms of the present slate of TV series based on critically acclaimed Detective Comics properties (superhero-orientated or otherwise). Read on for our guide to the refreshingly self-assured set of pseudo-fantastical productions which await viewers in the coming months:
- GOTHAM (Premières October 2014 on Channel 5) - A prequel of sorts to both Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy and Zack Snyder's impending multi-superhero blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (albeit one which won't be directly connected to either of those aforementioned projects from a narrative standpoint), Gotham follows a young and spritely Detective James Gordon as he witnesses the birth of countless sinister villains who'll come to plague Gotham City and its elusive Dark Knight once the latter Caped Crusader has overcome the unparalleled emotional upheaval involved with his parents' demises.
- THE FLASH (Premières October 2014 on Sky1) - Grant Gustin made his electrifying début in the Arrow-verse last year, yet there's not long now until his superheroic alter-ego bursts to the surface and commences his campaign to defend Central City from those physically-enhanced and psychologically-deranged criminals who are hell-bent on tearing the region apart. In the words of Oliver Queen (who makes a sublime cameo in "Pilot", we'll have you know) himself, this is a programme which clearly aspires to act "in a way that [Arrow] never could", tapping into the more light-hearted elements of the DC comic-book universe so as to rescue The CW from becoming known only for maudlin TV series "in a flash".
- ARROW (Premières October 2014 on Sky1) - Readers should know the drill on this front by now, not least since we've sung Arrow's praises ever since its inception and in recent months have come to brand it as the strongest superhero-orientated programme to date. Season Three is set to introduce key elements of Green Arrow lore such as the Atom, the re-emergence of the enigmatic Malcolm Merlyn (who'll now be dedicated to his new ambition of turning Thea to the metaphorical dark side) and even Batman Begins antagonist Ra's Al Ghul, all of which should enable the series to reach bold new heights over the course of its next twenty-three instalments.
- CONSTANTINE (Premières Autumn 2014; UK Broadcaster TBC) - Naturally, we'll continue to champion potential crossovers between televised DC productions in years to come, yet Constantine's all but guaranteed to remain its own isolated entity given the far-fetched nature of its procedural narratives. Based around the exploits of John Constantine, a supernatural detective with dark secrets aplenty (not to mention a British accent, which is enough of a perk in itself given the rarity of British actors snagging roles on US dramas in this day and age), the programme will surely explore the more sombre realms of the DC universe, but from what we've seen so far, Matt Ryan's hilarious portrayal of its protagonist should be more than enough to lift us out of the doldrums whenever necessary.
- iZOMBIE (Premières Winter 2014; UK Broadcaster TBC) - Make no mistake, more than any of the other DC TV projects on the market right now, this one's not for the faint of heart. iZombie is based primarily on a lesser-known graphic novel series which fell under the 'Vertigo' sub-brand when it launched four years ago, but that shouldn't deter fans of fantasy and horror alike from sampling the programme's opening season - provided that it finds its way onto a UK network in the not too distant future, of course.
- SUPERGIRL (Premieres 2015; UK Broadcaster TBC) - In the wake of their commissioning announcement, CBS have provided a plot synopsis for Supergirl Season One which outlines the show's basic premise and timeline, so for the most part, we'll let the précis in question do the heavy lifting. Be sure to look out for one key reference to a famed DC character who's sure to make waves if he crosses paths with the titular Kryptonian next year (if the studio can gain the rights to depict a different incarnation to Henry Cavill's silver-screen rendition, of course): "Born on the planet Krypton, Kara Zor-El escaped amidst its destruction years ago. Since arriving on Earth, she's 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."
Supergirl will take flight on CBS (and a still-to-be-announced UK broadcaster, presumably) in Autumn 2015.