10 Potential Batman Spin-Off TV Shows

If the rumors are true, then DC Entertainment and Warner Bros are considering spinning a television series out of Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. Here are some suggestions for shows we’d happily watch.

The Obvious Suggestions
The Dark Knight
A weekly hourlong version of Nolan’s take on the character and the mythos, structured to so that each season has its own “big bad” from Batman’s vast rogues gallery, and storylines run from episode to episode. The tone would be dark, the superheroics would be kept to a minimum, a la Begins and Dark Knight, and the tension would always, always be high. Imagine Battlestar Galactica with capes and cowls, and you’re halfway there.

Gotham Central
What if The Wire existed in a supervillain-infested Gotham City? Sure, it’s unlikely that any network television series could easily match the intensity of HBO’s classic crime story, but if someone could convince Gary Oldman to sign on as James Gordon on a weekly basis, you can’t deny that you wouldn’t tune in to see one good man fight against corruption in his own police force as well as the city at large every single time.

Arkham Asylum
Ignore the videogame or graphic novel by the same name, and imagine a medical procedural series set in the world’s most dangerous lunatic asylum, where every single inmate most likely wants you dead, and every doctor undoubtedly has ulterior motives for everything he or she does. It’d be like House meets Twin Peaks, but with added fear gas and Joker Juice.

The Less Obvious Suggestions
Catwoman
I have no idea whether or not she’s going to be in the final film – although the magic rumor eightball is suggesting she won’t, at least right now – but take her motivation from Batman: Year One (Essentially: Downtrodden woman sees Batman as inspiration to dress up in outfit and take control of her own destiny. Yes, I know that I’m missing a lot out, continuity fans), take the Brubaker run as your starting point for the characterization and tone, and you have a spin-off that can take place in the same universe as the movies without duplicating anything from therein.

Red Robin
It’d probably take some monkeying around with the origin to get Tim Drake from random curious kid to where he is in the comics about a year ago, but that doesn’t mean that there wouldn’t be televisual mileage in the idea of a teenage protege of Batman’s traveling the world and dealing with the remains of Ra’s Al Ghul’s League of Assassins, after the events of Batman Begins. It could be all derring-do and globe-trotting adventure, with just a hint of Raiders of The Lost Ark thrown in, just for fun. Alternatively…

The League Of Assassins
If Nikita can make a former assassin gone rogue into an enjoyable television series, you can’t tell me that someone can’t turn the idea of Talia rebelling against her father’s rule (He, of course, having somehow survived the end of Begins, preferably in the guise of someone cheaper than Liam Neeson) into an ongoing television series that would be suitably kick-ass and action-packed.

Untitled Political Drama
Okay, this may seem like a stretch, but think about it for a second: The Dark Knight showed just how utterly corrupt Gotham’s political system is, and how it can eat up people with the best intentions. Doesn’t the idea of following a political neophyte as he tries to change the system from within in local Gotham politics sound like something NBC could make a show out of? Admittedly, a show that’d get canceled within its first year, but, well. It isNBC, after all.

The Ridiculous Suggestions
America’s Next Top Batman
With Christian Bale unlikely to choose to continue in the role on television, we’ll need a new Dark Knight – and what better way to find one than in a reality contest that tests their detecting, fighting and grimacing skills? Alternatively, we could let America choose democratically, in Bat Idol.

Extreme Home Makeover: Bat Edition
Just imagine a home makeover show as seen by Christopher Nolan, and you can imagine why this would be the greatest makeover show ever. Each episode would start with Batman standing on top of the about-to-be-madeover house, before leaping off and, as a swooping camera follows him through the air, the windows of the house are all blown out by a massive explosion with incredible carnage flying everywhere. As he lands, Batman turns to Ty Pennington and whispers, “Your turn,” and that’s all you see of him each week. Bruce Wayne then walks on to say that he’s paying for the renovations as part of Wayne Enterprises’ ongoing urban renewal project.

The Situation Room With Batman
Anyone who’s seen either of Nolan’s Batmovies to date knows that Bruce Wayne doesn’t suffer fools gladly – So who better to interview the powerful political figures of the day and get the answers we all want to hear? If nothing else, it’d be fun to watch [Insert Your Chosen Political Figure of Disdain Here] get hung upside down by batrope until they spill whatever beans are being asked for.

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Comments

  • antonio dueñas

    Birds of Prey only lasted 13 episodes,as Smallville has made 10 sessions,I think is obvious that the Batman universe doesn´t work in TV as Superman’s does.The dark and grim works in comics,but in tv,YOU HAVE TO MAKE A SHOW TO BE LIKED BY A WIDER AUDIENCE,is not enough with a tough character or a dark background.Maybe the Gotham Central would be the better option,with cops and Batman sharing starring,but I don´t know how many bat-fans would be dissapointed and how many positively surprised.

  • Zkinkead

    Gotham Central could be a great TV show but I kind of figure that it could be so easily derailed by network pressure to give Batman a larger role.

    Its baffling that they messed up the Catwoman movie so badly when they have the Brubaker/Cooke run as a perfectly workable template. Catwoman is a caper series about a beautiful thief with Robin Hood tendencies who hangs out with a burnt-out PI and an ex-hooker. If you can’t make that work on the big or small screen then you aren’t trying.

  • Roger Judd

    Actually, Birds of Prey started before the new Batman films came out. There’s a new found interest out there, Gotham Central would work wonders.

  • Trey

    I would watch all of these shows, rather than the 95% crap thats on here.

    Those first 3 should also be comics, the Nolan-verse into comics sounds like a winner with the right creative team.

  • John Adcox

    No love for Dick Grayson?

  • multispaz

    I think this is a very interesting way to speculate, given the depth and weight of the Batman franchise. If people don’t mind I would like to speculate on your list.

    The Dark Knight:
    Others may not agree, but unfortunately I don’t want to see another Batman TV show any more than I want to see Star Wars on TV. Batman has worked too hard over the last twenty years to establish himself as feature film event. I think TV would be a better stage for Nightwing or another part of the Batman family.

    Gotham Central:
    I seriously doubt that Oldman will ever move to TV. Yet the idea is a cool one. Maybe it’s time to recast Gordon.

    Arkham Asylum:
    Others may not agree, but unfortunately I’m not that into the Gotham city Madhouse. One of the strengths of Batman’s rouge gallery is, unlike the Flash’s Rouge Gallery, all of the villains are still compelling by themselves. Yet the idea is a cool one. Like your previous idea, maybe its time to introduce the audience to more of Gotham?

    The Less Obvious Suggestions:

    Catwoman:
    If I had not seen “Birds of Prey” I would be interested in this. Now I am afraid of seeing that event reoccur.

    Red Robin:
    Much like your previous idea, I’m not as sure the character will translate well on TV. The origin doesn’t seem to be complicated but I think it would appear to be complicated once told. “He isn’t the first or last Robin, he’s the middle child…” Even Young Justice would not touch him. I’d rather see Nightwing.

    League of Assassins:
    Now this idea is unique! Smallville fans loved Lex maybe they would love Talia as well.

    Untitled Political Drama:
    This is another unique idea! Sounds like Smallville’s Metropolis meets “Law and Order” with a heavy-duty dark and gothic twist.

    The Ridiculous Suggestions:


    Unfortunately I can’t get with you ridiculous suggestions. I’m old and old fashioned: I still haven’t entirely gotten over the West/Ward 1960’s TV series.

  • Yakoochi

    if rumors are true? what rumors, and if so it’s all rumor! this is pure speculation. WB hasn’t indicated whatsoever any possibilities of any new tv shows based on Batman

  • Wayne

    Nightwing would work perfectly well as a stand-alone. Batman is dead or, sort of like in Batman Beyond, has been crippled to the point that he cannot put on the suit anymore and serves as a cranky background voice. Dick steps in to fill that void, battling the evils of Gotham. Smallville influence is seen where he’s torn between good-girl Babs Gordan and bad-girl Huntress (and he doesn’t know her secret ID is an up-and-coming Asst DA whereas Dick works elsewhere in the court system). Of course Catwoman shows up to confuse things now and again.

    Or work it as a the son-who-must-now-prove-himself, and have Dick off in Bludhaven or NYC, working as a beat cop or for the UN respectively, trying to do the costumed vigilante thing while having to deal with the huge shadow Batman has left over his life. Possibility of more team-ups with DC heroes or the old Titans.

    The Dark Knight idea above would work just perfectly in my mind. Add in Robin, yes, but put him in the last Tim Drake outfit, or a capeless costume – armored jacket instead of a cape, making him look a bit like Jason Todd. He’s the parkour-trained light infiltrator, thief and skirmisher rather than Batman’s smash-and-grab tactics – he also has better computer skills, so he can bring something to the table rather than being solely the apprentice. After all Batman’s protestations about having to work alone in TDK, Robin makes a ton of sense for a Nolan-inspired show: he’s the bridge from normal society to Batman. He handles the initial contacts with people, stops by Gordon’s office to drop off things, actually talks to cops, etc.

  • Beast

    Would the TV shows be terrible just like the Nolan Bat-Films?

    Or would the creative team try to deliver something that was actually Batman?

    I’m tired of Nolan’s films featuring a Batman Cosplayer suffering from throat cancer.

  • http://twitter.com/roshow Rolando Garcia

    Realistically, if this happens, it’ll star Batman. The extended Batman universe is great for hardcore fans but the casual viewer wants to see Batman, not Gotham cops or Nightwing. I just hope it’s done on a cable network with short seasons so the production value stays high and the stories don’t wear out their welcome.

  • demoncat_4

    i would go for both gotham central and Arkhum just for the interesting way they could show the bat rogues in side plus it could be told from the joker’s point of view. would also love Warner’s to take another shot at birds of prey. with batman occasinaly dropping in and telling Oracle his view on how she is doing things.. catwoman would be interesting but then warner’s would start asking for batman to pop up every now and then.

  • lead sharp

    Queer eye for the Batguy, CSI Gotham, Knights of our lives, Psychotic minds, Blackgate break, The big bat theory, Superhero wives,

  • Puh-leeze

    Not a large enough set of facts to conclude that Batverse doesn’t work on TV. Plus you’re ignoring the confounding variable of quality — BoP was just utter crap. Poorly written, poorly produced, poorly conceived.

    Additionally, there’s plenty of evidence that dark and grim can work just fine on TV. Haven’t you ever seen an episode of CSI? Law & Order: SVU? Or even the Battlestar Galactica series on SyFy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/strivearth Zen Strive

    Battlestar Galactica meets Cape and Cowl but minus the dementing camera shake.

  • Mou101

    I’ve long thought Gotham Central would work as a TV series with just occasional appearances by costumed characters. (I think The Daily Planet would work well that way, too–sort of “Lou Grant” with references to Superman.)

    I the CW will be looking to DC Comics properties for potential TV series, given the recent shift in concept to DC Entertainment. Comics may not sell like gangbusters any longer, but comics publishers are idea houses these days.

  • AC

    I think Gotham Central as a show would work best like Gotham Central the comics. Batman was almost never in it and even then only for a panel or two at a time. So always have the cops show up after or before batman without any over lap, and also, when GC started Gordon wasn’t on the force, so boot him in the 3rd movie, or sometime between the 3rd movie and the start of the show, (he can always come back to the force if there’s a fourth movie or if Oldman agrees to a guest appearance) and focus the show on Rene Montoya. She’s a compelling character with enough drama to hook an audience. It would be legen…….. wait for it…………………………………………………………..

    dary.

  • zombiehero1

    I would watch the first three if they were put on AMC, but only if the Arkham one was a miniseries and not a full series. Gotham and Dark Knight could overlap from time to time, and make mention that they exist in the same world. Again put it on AMC and it will be awesome.

  • zombiehero1

    I like your take on Robin, and would love to see it on the small screen.

  • BertDert

    Batman the Animated Series did just fine with its grim tone and dark background. AND it was aimed at kids!

  • somedude

    Oh yeah the Nolan films are terrible that’s why everyone loves them. What is your idea of Batman? Batman isn’t some one sided character there are many sides and one of them is the throat cancer side.

  • Drhiphop85

    I like the Gotham Central idea…

    But it does depend on the target audience. With Smallville ending, we could go with a young Bruce Wayne up-n-coming in the Smallville universe (would be cool as shit actually) or maybe have a Nightwing series in the universe.

  • Batman Beyond

    BATMAN BEYOND – Live Action:

    It can take place in the future, so they don’t have to try and get the actors from the films.

    The show should be written and produced by David Goyer, Paul Dini, and Bruce Timm.

    Michael Keaton as Batman.
    Mark Hamill as the leader of the gang called the Jokerz.
    ? as Terry McGinnis.

    This would be like no live-action show on television and fill the void left from Smallvile, Batman: the animated series, and of course the Nolan Batman films.

  • William

    Birds of Prey had none of the immediate cast of Batman heroes. There was no Batman, Robin, Red Robin, Batgirl, or Batwoman. The closest they had was Oracle (a former Batgirl). Smallville is led by Big Blue himself. To claim the Batman universe doesn’t work as well on television because of Birds of Prey is absurd. I’d love to see Smallville try to have lasted 13 episodes without Superman, Superboy, or Supergirl.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LF6JDMZUDPPA5VC34563HH4AOI Super

    ” The Situation Room With Batman ”
    I’m so there.

  • Atomicutopic

    How about the taking original concept of Miller’s Dark Knight, old, out of shape 60′s Batman comes out of retirement…. starring Adam West!
    Always thought that was what Tim Burton should have done for his Batman back in the 80s

  • Ericvdw

    How about a series about a young Bruce traveling the glove learning skills and foiling crimes at the same time. Like a dark Young Indiana Jones.

  • Enochraine

    Checkmate

  • Thad

    I remember this same argument trotted out after Batman and Robin flopped: “Oh, people just don’t want to see Batman movies anymore.”

    No. The problem is not that people don’t want to see Batman movies anymore. The problem is that Batman and Robin was not a good movie.

    Similarly, Birds of Prey’s failure does not mean nobody wants to see a Batman-based TV show. It means Birds of Prey sucked.

  • Thad

    Shhh. We’re playing make-believe. Just go with it.

  • Thad

    Are you saying people don’t love things that are terrible?

    I mean, I absolutely agree that there’s room in this world for both The Dark Knight and The Brave and the Bold — I dig ‘em both. But saying something must be good just because it made money is pretty terrible reasoning.

  • Dangersmith

    What would work perfectly imo are first and foremost, ‘The Dark Night’ and ‘Cat Woman’. Those two can run together for a while without their continuities spilling into each other.
    After about a season or two, you can easily spin-off from those two to get ‘Gotham Central’, ‘Red Robin’ and even ‘Arkham Assylum’… and if you really want to push it, a slightly different version of ‘Nightwing’ also.

  • Jdcdh

    This might seem like a weird suggestion…..but how about a Gotham series featuring a cast of Commissioner James Gordon, Barbara Gordon, Harvey Bullock, Renee Montoya, Dinah Lance, and Helena Bertinelli. I know people are just thinking Birds of Prey, but come on, there is potential if they are directly assembled under the Gotham banner.
    Maybe Babs sees the corruption in the police department that her father is trying to combat, and she decides to start fighting crime after being inspired by Batman. She doesn’t neccesarily have to be Batgirl yet, but allusions to it as well as her role of Oracle could be there. Dinah works as a meta-human figure (could even try to link Smallville’s Black Canary. Key word try), Helena is a part of a mafia family. Gordon, Bullock and Montoya work as a showing a different side to Gotham’s crime problem, and maybe do the big bad thing, but with lesser known bad guys. And have Batman as a mostly off screen character (for the 1st season at least) theres been proven to be alot of crime in Gotham City. More then enough for Batman, Gotham City Police Department, and Babs to be fighting. Harley Quinn, Talia Al Ghul, Poison Ivy, Mad Hatter, KGBeast, Dr. Hugo Strange, Firefly, Cluemaster, Anarky, Black Mask, Blockbuster and Ventriloquist and Scarface are all pretty untapped ideas.

    One could even feature Dick Grayson (Robin/Nightwing/Batman), Alfred Pennyworth, Kate Kane (Batwoman), Tim Drake (Robin/Red Robin), Damien Wayne (Robin), Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Stephanie Brown (Batgirl: Current), Black Lightning, Alan Scott (Original Green Lantern), Cassandra Cain (Batgirl: Former), Jason Todd (Robin, Nightwing, Red Hood), Ragman, Wendy Harris (Proxy), Jean-Paul Valley (Azrael), Bette Kane (Original Bat-Girl/Flamebird), Vic Sage (Original Question), Ted Grant (Wildcat), Zatanna and even Bruce Wayne (though not extensively as Batman) and Kate Spencer (Manhunter)

    Plus with Warner Bros. potentially doing the project. And their ownership of Smallville as well as all potential spin-offs, which include; Blue Beetle, Green Arrow, Impulse, Supergirl, Aquaman, Booster Gold) with the new reboot movie hopefully not going out of it’s way to discredit Smallville’s version of events, but not make it required viewing and keep it connected for fans of both but relatable separately. Plus the possibility of a Wonder Woman TV series, and the Green Lantern movie coming out soon, plus Flash in development. DC Comics tv could be coming back :) so my dream;

    Gotham – A cast starring 15 year old, Barbara Gordon, Commisioner James Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, Detective Renee Montoya, Prosecutor Kate Spencer, Detective Harvey Bullock, 15 year old, Ted Kord and 16 year old, Dick Grayson. Guest Starring, Alan Scott, Ted Grant and Helena Bertinelli. – Main Cast; 8

    Wonder Woman – Starring Princess Diana / Wonder Woman, Artemis, Etta Candy, Steve Trevor, Queen Hippolyta and Donna Troy. – Main Cast; 6

    Supergirl – Starring Kara Zor-El / Kara Kent / Supergirl, Conner Kent / Kon-El / Superboy, John Henry Irons / Steel, Natasha Irons, Jimmy Olsen (Real Jimmy, not Henry Jimmy), Mon-El / Lar Gand, Lucy Lane, Christopher Kent. Guest Starring Perry White, Lois Lane, Tess Mercer, Martha Kent – Main Cast; 8

    Green Arrow – Starring Oliver Queen / Green Arrow, Dinah Lance, Roy Harper and Mia Dearden. – Main Cast; 4

    Aquaman – Starring Arthur Curry / Orin / Aquaman, Mera, Garth, Lorena Marquez, Jackson Hyde, Arthur Curry Jr. and Orm Marius / Ocean Master – Main Cast; 7

  • Mwedmer

    just call it The Batman. Keep the tone of the Nolan films and maybe even the same color pallette. Use a single over riding plot with a few Character/Villain showings in the middle of the season and keep it off of Friday nights.
    the world will tune in.

  • Michaeltglenn

    Batman R.I.P. Batman Inc! Anything with 3 letters, let’s do Batman BBQ too!

  • Richardcasey

    anto32, the fact that smallville has run for ten years and birds of prey didn’t is a RIDICULOUS claim. They were A) totally different shows and B) smallville was actually good ( for the first few seasons anyway)

  • Anonymous

    I would love to see the entire Morrison run on Batman, but to average audiences may be it would get complicatd because of the take Morrison does on Batman. But nevertheless it would be awesome.

  • Tjkx

    Go back to the beginning. Forget the amazing work that Nolan has done with the films, and make a universe that runs alongside Smallville… Call it Gotham, make it more about the detective side of things with Bruce Wayne taking on the villians without all of the costumes and stuff… And cast Ed Westwick as the young Bruce Wayne and your on to a winner

  • Otaku-sempai

    I’ve long been a proponent of a GOTHAM CENTRAL television series, modeled after LAW & ORDER:

    “In the war on crime, the detectives of Gotham Central have had to deal with masked vigilantes and costumed criminals. These are there stories.”

  • BT

    What about a series based on Bruce’s quest to learn the skills to become Batman? It would be a world spanning story that would show us people and places in the DCU that we wouldn’t normally see. Each season involves him tracking down and convincing the teachers who instructed him in his mastering of all the skills he would need to wage his war on crime. Some even try to help him exorcise the ghosts that haunt him giving the viewers insight into what drives him so relentlessly.
    It would sort of be like the old Incredible Hulk show. Every time it looks like there’s someplace where Bruce can finally rest and lead a normal life, he turns it down and moves on to his next goal.

  • Zor-El of Argo

    Personally, I would like to put Dick Grayson into a Gotham Central tv show. Do it as a bridge between when he stopped being Robin and became Nightwing. Like Smallville, the show would end with his becoming Nightwing but in the meantime could be a rising star in the MCU for being particularly effective in dealing with the extreme cases of Gotham’s underworld. Minimize Bat appearances as Grayson and the MCU rally behind a “Get ‘em before the Bat does” motto.

  • Clarkjkent

    Gotham Central – Starring Jim Gordan, Harvey Bullock, Renee Montoya, along with other original characters.

    The show would deal with Gordan trying to run a precinct, help out a new masked vigilante, and be a single father to his young daughter Babara. Batman would make only brief appearances occasionally, as the show would be about Gordan and his cohorts.

    I’d also love to see a show like ‘The Daily Planet’ or ‘The New Adventures of Superman’ with Lois, Clark, Jimmy, Perry, Ron, Steve, Cat, etc. This would not be tied to ‘Smallville’ at all, and could possibly be set in the early 1930s. It would be a more adult take, like Mad Men meets Lois and Clark.

  • Fistofkhonshu

    Red Robin on FX and Gotham Central on HBO

  • Gregg

    No Man’s Land.

    Forget the actual event and boil it down to the basic premise. Gotham City is cut off from mainland America and those that stay behind are forced to build alliances to protect themselves. Bruce Wayne works from the outside to try and fight the Government act that forced this to happen.

  • TerryMcGinnis

    @anto32 I wouldn’t say the Batman Universe doesn’t work. I think Birds of Prey was just a crappy show. Smallville isn’t so great either but it lasted. Look at animation for an example, Batman Beyond, Batman the animated series–all lasted a good run. The problem isn’t one franchise vs. the other it’s the concept, the writing, the budget etc.You can’t polish a turd and expect intelligent, devoted fans to buy it. Batman is a very popular wordlwide figure, saying that the franchise doesn’t work on TV is asinine. Look what Adam West did in tights back in the late 60′s.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/haversam [A]

    I’d go with the Extreme Home Makeover: Bat Edition idea

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PXQ4WIIIWDJF5MVYHFXO3BO7AE dheeraj

    how about a series close to the unreleased bruce wayne storyline but not confined to it, instead using nolan’s batverse and frank miller’s year one story line to moved ahead in the series after bruce takes the bat mantle. During the years of bruce wayne a detailed insight of the GCPD, their working and lives of the cops, and later during the second story arc a detail insight of the gotham underworld and crime syndicate as well as the infamous arkham asylum.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PXQ4WIIIWDJF5MVYHFXO3BO7AE dheeraj

    Adding a new persona of The Joker (Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime) to the show would be great i guess more gruesome, cunning. and brutally insane then ever before, with all due respect to Heath Ledger’s version, which was historic.