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CBS's 'Supergirl': Everything But the Girl

Who's going to be the next Supergirl?

CBS is still looking for their Supergirl, but the network and its entertainment chairman, Nina Tassler, are confident it's going to be a fantastic addition to their TV lineup. So much so they already committed it to series with a probable fall premiere. The exec had a lot to say about what motivated the network to jump in and get their own comic book show.
During the Television Critics Association press junket, Tassler was asked about the upcoming series and how it would fit on the network best known for crime procedurals and The Big Bang Theory. 
"There will be [crime] cases, but what [executive producers] Ali Adler and Greg Berlanti pitched was a real series arc for her,” she said. “The beauty of it is now with shows like Good Wife and Madam Secretary, you can have serialized story elements woven into a case of the week. She’s a crime solver, so she’s going to have to solve a crime. She’s going to get a bad guy."
She went on to describe what the character of Kara Zor-El would be like on their DC Comics adaptation.
"...very strong, independent young woman. She’s coming into her own. She’s dealing with family issues. She’s dealing with work issues. It’s a female empowerment story. If you look at the strong female characters we have on the air, it really is resonant of that… We’re big feminists. It’s her intellect, it’s her skill, it’s her smarts. It’s all of those elements. It’s not just her strength, which she does have."
 As far as casting goes, the search continues despite reports that some actresses like Gemma Atkinson and Claire Holt have tested for the role. Whomever they choose she won't be a big name and will have a ton of responsibility. 
"She’s got to be an every woman,” she said. “She’s got to be specific. She’s got to be a terrific actor. I think back to having had the good fortune of being at Warner Bros. when we were doing Lois & Clark, the chemistry between Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher was really wonderful. So I think in this case, it’s looking for someone who embodies both the freshness and the exuberance of being a young woman in today’s challenging climate and being someone who can carry this kind of series on her shoulders. It’s a big, big show.
One thing that's certain is the costume. Colleen Atwood, Oscar-winning costume designer, was once again tasked with designing a superhero outfit as she has for Arrow and The Flash. An outfit Tassler describes as "awesome."

It's a new venture for the network that usually skews to older audiences and formulaic television programs. CBS hasn't produced a superhero show since 1990's The Flash. The 2014 version being produced by Berlanti became a hit for the CW. With NBC (Constantine), ABC (Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter) and CW reaping mostly good returns on their investments it was time for CBS to jump on board. That's just broadcast television. 

Cable channels like AMC have seen huge lifts in ratings from The Walking Dead and more networks and outlets are getting in on the act. TNT is working on a Teen Titans show, while Netflix partnered with Marvel to produce a series of miniseries based on The Defenders, and PlayStation Network is set to debut Powers

The comic book culture has infiltrated pop culture in ways never imagined before. Between film and television the adaptations will continue to fill big and small screens for years to come. 

CBS had the wherewithal to trust in Berlanti and Adler, who know success and can shepherd a winning show and invite a new demographic to the network. Sure, it's been skewed towards a procedural, but if anyone can make Supergirl work, it's some of the hottest showrunners on television. 

Now if they can just find her. 



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