There is a new wave of programming entering The CW.
The broadcast network handed out a host of orders Tuesday night for series in the upcoming 2019-2020 season. Chief among them will be “Batwoman,” which will make television history by featuring a lesbian superhero in a leading role for the first time ever. Kate Kane, the secret identity of the titular character, will be played by actress Ruby Rose, an alumnus of “Orange is the New Black.”
“Batwoman” is noteworthy not just for the reception its pilot received, but for its pedigree; coming from Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti Prods. and Warner Bros. TV, with a script penned by writer Caroline Dries of “Smallville” and “The Vampire Diaries,” the show was set up for success. Its pilot would seem to have met the high expectations set for it.
The series was described in an official CW logline: “Armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope.”
“Riverdale” spinoff series and fellow pickup “Katy Keene” has a similarly strong team behind it, with Lucy Hale of “Pretty Little Liars” at the front, alongside “Riverdale” series regular Ashleigh Murray. Flagship showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is the primary creative driver behind the project, which will be set in New York City as its central characters pursue their musical dreams. It is noted that the series will be as “enchanting” as “Riverdale” is “moody.” As with the series it branches off of, “Katy Keene” will be based on characters from Archie Comics, and will feature Maggie Kiley as director and executive producer.
The third order came for “Nancy Drew,” and will be CBS TV Studios’s third attempt at a show based on the enormously influential, generation-spanning Young Adult novels. Kennedy McCann will star as the titular heroine as she graduates high school, but is barred from leaving for college when she becomes embroiled in a murder investigation in her hometown. Larry Teng will serve as director and executive producer, along with Lis Rowinski.
A few shows, however, have been left twisting in the wind. “Glamorous,” starring Ben J. Pierce, has received enormous praise but its future remains in contention nonetheless. A series both based on and named after the 1987 film “Lost Boys” is having its pilot reworked despite a strong script.
Perhaps most surprising is that “Jane the Virgin” spinoff, “Jane the Novela,” was passed over, despite featuring flagship star Gina Rodriguez and creator Jennie Snyder Urman working as producers. Regardless, The CW has an entire new generation of shows with which to move forward.