DC ON TV: A Guide to Everything DC Is Developing for the Small Screen

Nightwing & Starfire
Credit: DC Comics

With three reports in just the past couple weeks about even more "in-development" TV projects from DC Entertainment (including Titans, Supergirl, and Lucifer), it's looking like DC properties are garnering a lot of excitement among television networks these days.

As Newsarama pointed out earlier this month, leveraging DC properties across other media was one of the main goals when DC Entertainment was formed in 2009, when new Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns was specifically tasked with bringing DC properties to television.

Five years later, there's quite a list of properties in development — plus several new and returning series premiering soon. Here's a look at the growing list of the company's comic book properties being developed for — or soon aired on — the small screen.

The Sure Things

Gotham: The new show, which debuts on FOX on September 22nd, focuses on Gotham City Police Detective Jim Gordon, played by Ben McKenzie, but co-stars plenty of other Batman-universe characters, including a young Bruce Wayne.

Arrow: The CW show starring DC superhero Green Arrow returns for its third season on October 8th. Starring Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, the show hasn't shied away from costumed heroes and has introduced many other DC superheroes to live action on the small screen.

The Flash: A spin-off from Arrow, the show stars Grant Gustin as the scarlet speedster and premieres on The CW on October 7th. The lead character is a forensic scientist, and after gaining super speed after an accident, he uses his powers to protect Central City from crime.

Constantine: Starring the wisecracking, British supernatural hero John Constantine, this series has Matt Ryan in the title role and debuts on NBC on October 24th. Constantine is described as a "master of the occult" who's struggling with his past while working to protect humanity from a gathering forces of darkness.

I, Zombie: The only female-helmed show on the "sure thing" list, I, Zombie is based on the DC/Vertigo comic of the same name and will begin airing on The CW later this year. The I, Zombie show stars Rose McIver as Liv, a "high-functioning" zombie that lives secretly among humans and takes a job with the medical examiner so she can feed on human brains. Although that might not seem like a superhero story at first glance, Liv absorbs the memories from each brain she ingests, and with murdered folks among them, she ends up using her powers and immortality to solve crimes and save lives.

In Development

Lucifer: Fox has committed to a pilot for this drama series, with Californication creator/executive producer Tom Kapinos attached. Lucifer Morningstar is a character from Neil Gaiman's Sandman series who became hugely popular in his own spin-off series by Mike Carey. According to reports, the series focuses on a Lucifer who is "bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell," who "resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the gorgeous, shimmering insanity of Los Angeles, where he opens an exclusive piano bar called Lux."

Titans: This unusual team, live action superhero project was recently reported by Deadline as being "close to pilot" at TNT (and was confirmed-via-tweet by Johns, the comics-writer-turned-executive who's behind DC's recent "in development" activity). The team will be young adults — not "Teen" Titans — and would focus on a Dick Grayson who has shed his former Robin alter ego to become Nightwing. Word is that Starfire and Raven will join Nightwing on the show (which is nice to hear, since previous TV plans for both Grayson and Raven were scrapped).

Supergirl: Let's hear it for the sole lady-focused show in development (besides the aforementioned I, Zombie, a soon-to-be-series). Although there were some conflicting reports when the news about Supergirl first broke, it's looking like the project is being handled by Arrow's Greg Berlanti and The New Normal's Ali Adler (who's slated to write). Described as a "fresh take" on super powered alien Kara Zor-El's origin, the show hasn't even been picked up by a network yet, but it spawned a lot of buzz among fans since it was revealed.

Preacher: Writers and executive producers Seth Rogen and Adam Goldberg are developing this Garth Ennis-penned comic series for AMC, as the network looks to follow up on their comic-book-turned-hit-TV-series The Walking Dead. The project appears to be moving along, as Rogen and Goldberg have been joined by Breaking Bad 's Sam Catlin as showrunner, and Neal Moritz and Vivian Cannon as executive producers.

Scalped: Announced just a few months ago, the crime drama Scalped, based on the DC/Vertigo comic of the same name, is in development at WGN America in conjunction with Warner Home Television. Created for DC/Vertigo by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera, Scalped is often described as "Sopranos on a Native American reservation."

DMZ: In development at SyFy, this project, announced in February, is based on another DC/Vertigo comic (and this grittier corner of DC's pantheon seem to be getting a lot of attention from TV these days, probably because of the success of The Walking Dead). Created by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli, DMZ tells the story of a near-future New York City that's been isolated as a demilitarized zone in the wake of a civil war.

Ronin: According to a report in April, Frank Miller's DC series Ronin is being developed as a mini-series at SyFy. Warner Horizon Television and DC Entertainment are working on the series, which takes place eight centuries after a Japanese Ronin samurai failed to protect his master from a demon. He awakens in modern day New York, in the body of a medical experiment named Billy, and must face the demon again and control the magical sword they both seek.

The Spectre: In 2011, Deadline announced that Fox had bought The Spectre, with a list of Hollywood folks writing and producing. The show's title character was described as a former cop who's "serving time in afterlife limbo," hunting down criminals on earth. That three-year-old project is almost certainly dead, but just this week, the writers on NBC's Constantine series announced that they were using a character named Jim Corrigan who could become The Spectre on the show. With the show's executive producer, David S. Goyer, insinuating that Constantine has the potential for spin-off shows for DC's other supernatural characters, the Spectre's "in development" status has renewed hope.

Hourman: It's been 10 months since we heard anything about this proposed project, so it's very possibly dead (10 months is practically an eternity in Hollywood development terms). But Johns once confirmed at that time that DC is working with The CW to develop an Hourman TV drama. According to reports, the TV show's version of Hourman can see into the future, one hour at a time, and he tries to prevent anything bad he sees in his vision from coming to pass. Sounding like something of an Early Edition-Person of Interest-24 mash-up/spin on the procedural than any version of DC Comics’ three Hourmans, it may not have been an expansion of the Arrow-The Flash DCUTV-verse anyway.

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