Earlier today, The CW unveiled its 2017-2018 fall schedule, during the network's upfront presentation in New York City. Before the upfronts, though, the network had already confirmed that the new DC Comics superhero series Black Lightning has been given a series order, but today it was confirmed that the show is being held for a mid-season debut on the network. While we will have to wait several months for this show to debut, the network debuted the first trailer during the upfronts, which you can check out below.
The CW also confirmed during the upfront presentation that Black Lightning will not be part of the "Arrowverse," meaning a crossover with The CW's other superhero shows such as Arrow, The Flash, DC's Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. After the show landed a series order on The CW, after first being developed for Fox, most fans assumed that Black Lightning will be integrated into The CW's "Arrowverse," but that will not be the case. Entertainment Weekly spoke with CW president Mark Pedowitz, who confirmed there will not be a five-show crossover including Black Lightning.
"We do not aim to do a five-way crossover. Black Lightning, at this time, is not part of the Arrowverse. It is a separate situation. But there will be a big fourth quarter crossover with all four of the shows that are on in the fall."
All of the "Arrowverse" shows are filmed in Vancouver, but Black Lightning will be shot in Atlanta, which is likely one of the main reasons why there are no crossovers with the rest of the CW's DC lineup being planned. Mark Pedowitz also added that there there won't be more than four superhero shows on at the same time. This means that Black Lightning will either debut during one of the show's hiatus periods, perhaps taking a page out of ABC's playbook when Agent Carter aired its shortened season during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s hiatus, or that it will debut in the spring after one of the other DC shows ends its run. Still, fans hoping for Black Lightning to join forces with Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl won't see that happening, at least not anytime soon.
This new series centers on Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), 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, although nine years ago, he 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. The trailer opens with Jefferson bleeding in his bathtub, as he makes a promise to his wife Lynn (Christine Adams) that he will never don the mask again, becoming truly devoted to his family and his job as principal.
During his decade-long superhero retirement, Jefferson watched his daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) grow into strong young women, even though his marriage to their mother, Lynn, suffered. This trailer also teases that his superhuman ability to control electricity has been passed on to his daughters, although it's ultimately unclear if they will join in him is fight to save their town, which has been riddled with crime and corruption, spearheaded by a dangerous gang known as The One Hundred. Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash), Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil (Being Mary Jane, The Game, Girlfriends), and Sarah Schechter (Arrow, The Flash) serve as executive producers of Black Lightning, which is based on the DC Comics character created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden. Take a look at the first trailer for Black Lightning below.