TV Surf Report: Super Heroes, Sci Fi & Fantasy Still Trending Across Broadcast, Cable and Streaming Services


Santa Monica, CA — Just when you thought the small screen invasion of Super Heroes couldn’t possibly get any more crowded, look no further at the upcoming pilots and series in development featuring more DC Comics and Marvel Studios properties, among others.

Don’t get too attached to NBC’s Powerless, a half-hour comedy set in the DC Universe at a Wayne Enterprises-owned Insurance Company. Anemic ratings do not bode well.  Meanwhile, there’s Neil Gaiman’s American Gods at Starz, and Legion on FX, which has already been picked up for Season 2.  Plus, Netflix has just premiered Iron Fist, the latest Marvel character to be introduced prior to the team franchise debut of The Defenders.

iron-fist    charmed-s1

Trailer for Legion on FX

powerless-group   legion-solo-shot

On the air:

  • Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow at The CW.
  • Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at ABC.
  • Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher at Netflix.
  • Gotham, Lucifer on FOX.
  • Preacher at AMC.
  • Legion at FX

defenders   watchmen

Pilots in development include:

  • Untitled X-Men Pilot at FOX.  Bryan Singer directs.  Matt Nix (Burn Notice) writes and exec produces this story of a family led by two ordinary parents forced to take their Mutant kids on the run from a hostile government.  They discover an underground network of mutant families while on the lam. Sounds like This Is Us meets Running On Empty…but with Mutants!
  • The Defenders on Netflix.  Series order for the group franchise featuring Marvel’s Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
  • Inhumans at ABC.  Reportedly, not a spin-off of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Charmed at The CW.  Re-boot of the Aaron Spelling series from the writers of the netlet’s Jane the Virgin.  New set of three sisters in the Northeast in the ’70s.
  • Krypton at SyFy.  David Goyer executive produces this prequel featuring Superman’s grandfather who is an environmental lawyer fighting to save the planet. Poor guy.
  • Cloak & Dagger on Freeform.  Another Marvel property.  Cast just announced.

cloak-and-dagger   squirrel-girl

  • Xena at NBC.  Re-boot written by Javier Grillo-Marxuach seems to have stalled.  G-M is no longer involved.
  • The Passage at FOX.  Okay, this adaptation of Justin Cronin’s fantastically dark novel about genetically created Vampires is not technically super hero-ish, however, the fantastic element, and the quasi-futuristic setting does take it to that Fantasy/Sci Fi realm, so I’ve included it.  Great book.  Highly recommend but it’s disturbing (because it’s so plausible and emotionally troubling).
  • Watchmen at HBO.  Zack Snyder’s feature was creatively not great, but that’s not stopping him from giving it the small screen treatment in a bit of corporate synergy at WB’s sister company.
  • Star Trek: Discovery at CBS All Access.  Series premiere has been delayed but casting is underway. Again, not Super Heroes, yet still super Science Fiction.
  • Squirrel Girl and the New Warriors at Freeform. Series order. Another Marvel property, but this will be a live-action comedy. Premiere set for 2018.
  • Future Man at Hulu.  Seth Rogen exec produces with Josh Hutcherson (Hunger Games).  Janitor by night. Gamer who saves the Universe by day?
  • Black Lightning at The CW.  Pilot commitment.  Greg Berlanti exec produces this DC Comics adaptation.  Project was originally set up at Fox.
  • Warrior at Cinemax.  Bruce Lee’s passion project is directed by Justin Lin.
  • The Tick at Amazon. Creator Ben Edlund’s darker and more grounded take stars Peter Serafinowicz.
  • Marvel’s Runaways at Hulu.  Teenagers on the run from their evil parents.
  • Damage Control at ABC.  Rollover from last year, but probably too late if Powerless succeeds.
  • Star Wars: The Series at ABC.  Get ready for the Star Wars Extended Universe to hit the small screen.



N E X T   U P:

Deadpool. Oscar Nominations. Profanity.


About Surfing Hollywood

Steve La Rue is an internationally recognized leader in Film & Television with 20+ years experience as a Development Executive championing such series as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape. He writes, blogs, and consults on All Things Entertainment from his home at the beach in Santa Monica, CA, where he balances his life by surfing every damn day.
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