CBS Chairperson Says Supergirl Has An Awesome Costume



Every Television Critics Association press tour generates a wealth of information and announcements about all kinds of projects – and the current event is no exception. What is perhaps different this time is the number of highly anticipated shows that are currently in development, and that we are gradually hearing more about. Supergirl is one such show.

From the makers of Arrow and The Flash – but this time headed for parent network CBS, instead of The CW – Supergirl has a 13 episode series commitment and is an adaptation of the comic book character that is Superman’s cousin. Answering questions at the TCA event, CBS Chairperson Nina Tassler gave the most detailed update of the project yet.

Firstly, audiences have long associated CBS with crime procedural dramas, and Supergirl will be no exception. But, her crime-fighting role will not detract from a solid character arc that is set to play out over the course of the series.

“There will be [crime] cases, but what [executive producers] Ali Adler and Greg Berlanti pitched was a real series arc for her. The beauty of it now with shows like The Good Wife and Madam Secretary [is] you can have serialised story elements woven into a case of the week. She’s a crime solver, so she’s going to have to solve a crime. She’s going to get a bad guy.”

The role is not yet cast, however, and the priority for the production is to find the right performer to place at the centre of all this action.

“She’s got to be an every woman. She’s got to be specific. She’s got to be a terrific actor. I think back to having [had] the good fortune of being at Warner Bros when we were doing Lois & Clark – the chemistry between Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher was really wonderful. So, I think in this case, it’s looking for someone who embodies both the freshness and exuberance of being a young woman in today’s challenging climate, and being someone who can carry this kind of series on her shoulders. It’s a big, big show.”

In terms of the character herself, Supergirl – or Kara, as she is otherwise known – is every bit the modern woman.

“[She’s] a very strong, independent young woman. She’s coming into her own. She’s dealing with family issues. She’s dealing with work issues. It’s a female empowerment story. If you look at the strong female characters we have on the air, it’s really resonant of that… We’re big feminists. It’s her intellect, it’s her skill, it’s her smarts. It’s all of those elements. It’s not just her strength – which she does have.”

Supergirl is a big shift for CBS, which has not broadcast a superhero show since The Flash in 1990, which starred John Wesley Shipp and Amanda Pays. Nevertheless, Tassler pointed out that the network is throwing its whole weight behind the project.

“I think we’re watching an evolution with regard to the way that superhero characters are portrayed. There’s a humanity. They’re flawed. There’s a relatability. For our network right now, what we did respond to was the character’s humanity – the other characters in the show as well – the story trajectory and the character’s arc and growth. These are all things that made her just eminently relatable, and made the story exciting. We made a decision based on the pitch we heard.”

Perhaps most important, however, is the news that there is a finished costume that has been designed by Academy Award winner Colleen Atwood – who also worked on Arrow and The Flash. Nina Tassler addressed the issue that has been on everybody’s minds since the prospective show was first announced, when she confirmed, “We have seen the costume. Awesome costume.”

Production and premiere dates for Supergirl have yet to be announced, but the next bit of information we hope to hear from CBS will be confirmation of casting for the lead role.

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