The CW is having such luck with its DC superhero shows The Flash, Supergirl, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow that this fall they're adding Black Lightning, produced by Greg Berlanti, who does the other four series. Below, check out the first picture of a fully suited Jefferson Pierce, played by Cress Williams. The 46-year-old's storied career includes runs on Friday Night Lights, ER, Grey's Anatomy, Hart of Dixie and Living Single.
“Resurrecting him at a time in our society when a sense of hope is lacking...Black Lightning will be that hope,” says executive producer/writer/director Salim Akil (Soul Food, Being Mary Jane and The Game, created by wife Mara Brock Akil). “And in updating the suit, it will signal to a new generation that it’s time to harness and release our power, and become our own superheroes.”
Black Lightning focuses on a retired Jefferson, "who’s pulled back into vigilante life as one daughter is hell-bent on justice and the other is being recruited by a local gang." His daughters—Anissa, played by Nafessa Williams, and Jennifer, played by China Anne McClain—are also main characters.
The comic book character debuted in 1977 as the first African American DC hero with a solo series. “Comics were a great way for me to escape,” Akil says. “I was about 13 when Black Lightning was created, and finally there was a black superhero that gave a damn about our neighborhood and our lives.” The character will now become The CW's first black lead superhero.
Greg Berlanti's CW shows have seen great crossovers this year, with all four programs dovetailing for the Heroes vs. Aliens arc last fall, plus Supergirl and The Flash reuniting for a musical episode (!) last week.
Next, check out Fuse's interview with the cast of the new Power Rangers: