The CW midseason returns this week and it comes with the premiere of a new series, DC's "Black Lightning." DC? Another superhero show you say? Yes, but this one doesn't exist in Arrowverse, despite being developed by the same Executive Producer Greg Berlanti. It also features a popular African American hero from the comics, giving us a twist that has yet to be done in the superhero market that is big on TV right now. Based on early buzz from the critics previews, this series stands pretty well on it's own.
"Black Lightning" is based on the DC Comic of the same name, The lead character, Jefferson Pierce, a high school principal, retired from his superhero persona Black Lightning nine years ago after being targeted by the police for vigilantism and it's strain on his family. But now the city is overrun by a brutal gang, the One Hundred, which has lead to increase crime and corruption. When they end up threatening his two daughters: Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain), he's forced to become a vigilante again. Jefferson's powers come naturally, he's a metahuman, something that is just starting to manifest with his own daughters. This dynamic sets up the potential for a powerful family based drama of how heroes manage responsibility given their natural abilities.
This series was in development at Fox for a while but they passed on it in early 2017, making room for The CW to pick it up just in time for pilot season. It is written by husband and wife duo Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, who already have a strong history with The CW. They are the creators of former UPN/CW series' "Girlfriends" and "The Game." It has been a while since an African-American based series has premiered on The CW and given the superhero slant of the network, it was a perfect fit.
Lucky for us, The CW has released a lot of nice preview material for us to take in. This is the official preview video that was released last summer:
Here's the extended trailer that is airing currently, called "Power Struggle":
The pilot episode premieres on Tuesday, January 16th at 9pm after "The Flash." Here's the official synopsis, courtesy of The CW:
SERIES PREMIERE — Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Ann McClain), and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe-haven for young people in a neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero in his community. Nine years ago, Pierce 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, but he left the Superhero days behind. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him…or so he thought. Christine Adams, James Remar, Damon Gupton and Marvin Jones III also star. The episode was written and directed by Salim Akil (#101). Original airdate 1/16/2018.
The CW has released two preview clips from the pilot...
...and are preview photos from the first couple of episodes.
We at the Winchester Family Business are very proud to say we have more! Back at Comic Con in July, Nightsky had the honor of meeting and speaking with the cast and producers in roundtable interviews. She captured all those interviews on video and we have them for you below.
First there's Cress Williams, who plays the leading role of Jefferson Pierce, aka Black Lightning.
Next is Nafessa Williams, who plays Anissa Pierce, daughter of Jefferson.
Then there's other daughter, Jennifer Pierce, is played by China Anne McClain.
Meet Mrs. Black Lightning, Christine Adams, who plays Lynn Pierce.
Finally, the interview with EPs Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil and their vision for this unique show:
Still not sure what it's about or if it's right for you? Here's a great review on the series from top TV critic James Ponewozik for the New York Times, who has seen the first three episodes.
Here's another review, from our dear friend Carissa Pavlica at TV Fanatic. This one is more detailed and offers more of a fan girl comparison.
Interested? "Black Lightning" premieres on Tuesday, January 16th at 9pm after midseason return of "The Flash".