Even with four TV shows based on DC Comics characters, producer Greg Berlanti is expanding his small screen superhero slate even more. The producer is teaming up with The Game creator Mara Brock Akil and her husband Salim Akil for a new superhero TV series based on the Black Lightning character. The show is currently being pitched to networks, so there is no guarantee that it could land at The CW, and we don't know for sure if the network is even in the mix to pick up this show.
Deadline reports that Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil will write the pilot script for Greg Berlanti and Warner Bros. Television. The story centers on Jefferson Pierce, who stopped being the superhero Black Lightning several years ago. He gets back into the game after his daughter becomes "hell-bent on justice" and one of his star students is recruited by a street gang.
Black Lightning was one of DC Comics' first major African-American superheroes, making his debut in 1977. In the comics, Jefferson has two daughters, both of whom become heroes in their own right. Anissa Pierce becomes known as Thunder, who eventually joins a superhero group known as The Outsiders, while Jennifer Pierce becomes Lightning, who is recruited by the Justice Society of America. It isn't known if either of these characters will be featured in the TV series.
This report reveals that, while it is just going out to networks now, Warner Bros. Television has been working on this project for well over a year, with various different incarnations being developed before it was ready to be shopped to networks. It isn't clear if Greg Berlanti has been involved this whole time. If Black Lightning does go to series, it will join The CW's Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and iZombie, along with Fox's Gotham and Lucifer as part of DC's TV slate.
Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil are currently working on Documenting Love, a multi-camera comedy set up at ABC with a pilot production commitment. Greg Berlanti is also developing Criminal from Blindspot creator Martin Gero, which has a put pilot commitment at ABC, and the ABC comedy Raised By Wolves, written by Diablo Cody. He also serves as an executive producer on The CW's Riverdale, based on the Archie Comics.