Greg Berlanti.

Greg Berlanti Universe Just Keeps Growing: What New Shows Are Coming?

It’s a cliché to say that someone is the busiest man in Hollywood, but Greg Berlanti really is. As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, Berlanti is on the verge of breaking the record for the most shows in production. The previous record was 10 shows held by Jerry Bruckheimer, but if things go as planned, Berlanti will have 11 shows in production this fall.

Berlanti And The CW

The bulk of Greg Berlanti’s current television universe can be found on The CW. Over the last five years, Berlanti and his crew have created an astonishing and engaging realization of the DC universe on the small screen. However well, or badly, depending on your perspective, the DC movie universe is going right now, the DC TV universe is in great shape thanks to Berlanti and his team.

It all started out with a single show that most people probably thought wouldn’t have a chance of actually succeeding: Arrow. But this one series organically grew into The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. Berlanti himself has suggested that one of the keys to success in this genre is that the shows can actually be far more than just standard superhero shows:

“In a particular moment they can be anything. Some days on The Flash, we’re making a family show, and there are other days where we’re making a crime show. Then, in the next hour, the whole cast might have to turn around and do a huge visual-effects sequence, and then in the next hour, they’ll have to turn around and do something comedic. At the same time, they’re really grounded in basic truths of, Can you overcome? What does it take?”

The Upcoming Shows

Greg Berlanti isn’t resting on his laurels – no pun intended. This season, The CW will see yet another superhero joining the ranks of Berlanti’s ever burgeoning squad of superheroes. The character of Black Lightning – an African-American superhero with electrical powers – will finally be making his appearance on the small screen.

In fact, most people feel that with the addition of Supergirl this season and Black Lightning this fall, The CW as essentially assembled the Justice League on television. Certainly, the addition of Superman from Supergirl and perhaps Nightwing from the Batman universe would give us the complete set.

As for Black Lightning, instead of one of the young newcomers to the superhero world – like Barry on The Flash or Ray Palmer on Legends of Tomorrow – this character will actually be a retired grizzled veteran who finds himself drawn back into his vigilante role when it becomes necessary to protect those around him, including his family.

Some people have suggested critically that the universe shown by Greg Berlanti on The CW is dark, violent, and negative. But he sees superheroes and superhero shows very differently.

“Hope and optimism have always been a part of who these characters are. They’re beacons of hope in scary times, and that’s perhaps why they’re resonating again. It’s an uncertain era, and there’s a certitude about these characters. A big part of that is that they see a better outcome.”

And certainly, when contrasted to the incredible darkness and even melancholy of Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman, the Greg Berlanti superhero squad on The CW network is virtually a ray of positive sunshine. At the very least, these television superheroes do occasionally crack a joke or go on a date. If Berlanti and his staff can keep this up, Warner Bros. might want to think about bringing them in to do the movies as well.

[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly]