When the stellar ratings for the recent season premieres of Supernatural and Smallville came in, I wrote an article wondering why the CW doesn’t develop more sci-fi and horror properties. The network has spent a lot of energy creating its image as the place to see rich teen girls backstab one another, but shows like 90210 and Gossip Girl don’t get nearly the ratings that the typical episode of Smallville does.
Maybe the CW was listening to me. Variety is reporting that Smallville executive producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson are developing The Graysons, which will follow the world of a young Dick “DJ” Grayson before he takes on the role of Batman’s sidekick, Robin. The show is seen as a potential replacement for Smallville if it ends its run this season, or as a companion to the series if it returns next year.
Supernatural executive producer McG is also involved in the project, which has landed a pilot commitment at the CW. According to Variety, the one-hour live-action drama will allow DJ to “face challenges involving first loves, young rivals and his family as he grows up.” Souders and Peterson have come up with a fresh take on the character that will likely depart from his acrobatic comic book origins.
I don’t know what to make of this news. On the one hand, I think it’s a good idea for the CW to develop another superhero series. Smallville can’t last forever, and projects like Birds of Prey and the never-seen Aquaman series have failed to capitalize on its success. On the other hand, how do you make a prequel series about Robin? The character has no super powers and certainly didn’t fight crime before meeting Bruce Wayne. Unless Souders and Peterson plan to make a touching drama about a family of acrobats, the character of Dick Grayson will have to be heavily reimagined.
Another issue with a Robin series is that Batman could likely never appear in it. The rights issues surrounding the character have prevented him from appearing on Smallville over the years, so it’s unlikely he’d ever show up on The Graysons. I realize it’d be a prequel series, but what fun is Dick Grayson without Batman?
My issues aside, I’ll definitely tune in to the pilot of The Graysons if and when it airs on the CW. I’d rather have a Green Arrow spin-off, but I’ll take whatever superhero I can get.
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of Warner Bros.)