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Does Greg Berlanti’s New TV Deal Mean More DC Shows?

Here’s a piece of entirely wild, utterly uninformed speculation: I think we’re going to see some more movement for television shows based upon DC Comics properties very soon. Why, you wonder? Well, I’m glad you asked. Let me share my suspicions below the fold.

Last year’s formation of DC Entertainment was, in large part, to push DC properties towards the movie screen – Something that the trailers for Green Lantern, along with the Chris Nolan-produced The Dark Knight Rises and unnamed Superman movie, not to mention the in-development Flash movie, show as being a fairly successful move. But it wasn’t just about movies; other media were on the table too, and there’s been a quiet amount of movement the small screen, as well; everyone knows about David Kelley’s apparently-being-reworked-thank-God Wonder Woman pilot at NBC, but the CW is developing a Raven series as a potential Smallville replacement, and we’ve had two seasons for Human Target on Fox now (Also, does anyone remember that screen test for a Blue Beetle show? Whatever happened to that?).

With Jeph Loeb taking up residency at Marvel TV last year, I’ve long wondered whether television would be the new battleground between Marvel and DC. Yes, DC is there first, but Marvel’s luring Battlestar Galactica producer David Eick and Guillermo del Toro onboard the new Hulk show felt like it was raising the bar considerably above where Smallville and Human Target were comfortably, entertainably, relaxing, and let’s be honest, David E. Kelley doesn’t really have the same kind of cache as del Toro, no matter how much you might have liked Ally McBeal at the time.

But then I see this news today: Producer Greg Berlanti is released early from his ABC Studios contract for a four-year deal with Warner Bros. TV. That would be Greg Berlanti, writer of both Green Lantern and The Flash. That would be Warner Bros., parent company of DC Entertainment. I think you see where I’m going with this.

Like I said, it’s entirely idle speculation, with nothing to back it up. But he clearly knows the DC Comics characters, has a relationship with DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns through his work on Lantern and Flash and has a background in superheroic television – He co-created No Ordinary Family for ABC during his tenure there. I’m not saying that he’s going to become DC’s Jeph Loeb – I don’t think that he necessarily wants to put all of his eggs in that basket, especially if Deadline’s idea of his wanting to do comedy is correct – but I can’t help but wonder if one of the deciders in Warners making what is reported to be a massive deal on the level of those made with JJ Abrams and Chuck Lorre is that he’ll come in and help raise DC’s television presence to a level closer to what Marvel is already approaching…


  • jb

    Sounds like a fair assumption. It would be awesome if this were the case so got to cross our fingers and hope I suppose

  • ATK

    Brilliant Holmes, but do you think they will miscalculate and produce an Aquaman series?

    In all seriousness this is a good sign and I hope your right. DC has a large base for properties to try on TV. My request; Gotham City Sirens.

  • Jason Tippitt

    Another thread tying Greg Berlanti to DC Comics indirectly: He was co-creator and co-producer of a short-lived drama called JACK AND BOBBY that aired for one season on The WB. His co-creator on the series was Brad Meltzer, I believe after his GREEN ARROW arc but before IDENTITY CRISIS and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA.

  • Dawnell_do

    Hopefully this well give rise too awesome DC shows.

  • Jason Tippitt

    I’d love to see GOTHAM CENTRAL turned into a television series, but the time may have passed. THE QUESTION could work, though it would be better on cable than network.

  • demoncat_4

    i hope with Greg new deal it leads to more dc shows. espically maybe room for a green arrow spin off from smallville. and also would love to see Greg push for some thing like suicide squad. we just have to see what he has in mind with his new deal.

  • Not Daniel

    If he created NO ORDINARY FAMILY, he’s *already* DC’s Jeph Loeb.

  • Jacob

    “Also, does anyone remember that screen test for a Blue Beetle show? Whatever happened to that?”

    You don’t pay much attention to your own site, do you? Right here on spin-off there has been casting news about Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, and Ted Kord.

  • 2000filmfan

    Sure, Fox helped Marvel own the contemporary feature film, but DC has 5 decades owning TV.

    Even if you consider all of the good animation, I don’t understand this notion that DC is playing catch up with Marvel on the boob tube. Since 1950, DC has had at least four characters maintain live action shows lasting at least one season on TV. Marvel only has the Incredible Hulk. Despite their plans here Marvel has it’s work cut out for them.

  • Tophman

    @2000filmfan: actually, I think you can count the short-lived “Blade” TV series on the Marvel column, not to mention various incarnations of their characters in animated form (a few of which were pretty good).

    Needless to say, more genre TV is a good thing (be it from Marvel or DC). Please, enough so called ‘reality’ TV. Hopefully they learn their lesson from “The Cape” (who obviously didn’t learn it from “Nightman”) that a good story will win out on camp and flash.

    Studios should try and use TV movies as a way to find their audiences.