As one season of TV wraps up next week, another is slowly being prepared. In that new year, there will be count them five (so far) new dramas that base their source material in comic books just on broadcast networks.
The CW, owned by Warner Bros. which owns DC Comics, is already the home of “Arrow,” a take on the Green Arrow. Next season, they introduce “The Flash,” (essentially an Arrow spin-off) and “iZombie,” based on a short-lived series from DC Comics’ Veritgo imprint.
NBC is joining in the fray with “Constantine,” based on DC Comics “occult investigator” John Constantine of “Hellblazer” fame (Yes, the same one Keanu Reeves played in the movie.). Rumors are the series will be put on Fridays to piggyback off the success of its sci-fi / monster series “Grimm.”
FOX has given the green light to “Gotham,” a take on the Batman mythology directly after the days of the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, with a specific focus being on Jim Gordon before he becomes police commissioner. Pretty much, the idea is to provide “prequel” ideas to “Bruce Wayne, the years before he becomes Batman,” with a mix of the acclaimed “Gotham Central” series which focused on the city’s police department.
(Batman as the backdrop of a police procedural in itself, is an interesting idea for television.)
Not to be left behind, ABC — owned by Disney, which also owns Marvel Comics — has given the go ahead to “Agent Carter,” the continuation of the story of Peggy Carter from the films “Captain America: The First Avenger” played by the beautiful Hayley Atwell.
Agent Carter follows the story of Peggy Carter (Atwell). It’s 1946, and peace has dealt Peggy Carter a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark, all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life – Steve Rogers. Reaper creators Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters serve as executive producers/showrunners, Captain America: The First Avenger‘s Steve McFeely & Christopher Marcus wrote the script and also executive produce, along with Marvel’s Jeph Loeb. The script was finished more than four months ago (“the script is great,” ABC’s Paul Lee said back in January), the option on one-shot’s star Atwell had to be extended as it came up three months ago.
ABC also renewed “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” for a sophomore season and has seen a ratings spike since April thanks in large part to a huge tie-in to “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” The rumored plan for the two series is to use “Agent Carter” as a bridge of new episodes over the winter months (roughly 10 weeks) as “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” splits its season essentially into two.
Times and which days of the week these series will air should be announced next week. Network upfronts (when ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and the CW) are the traditional times advertisers get to see newly-minted programing for the fall season.