Black Lightning (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Black Lightning
Black Lightning (TV series).png
Genre
Based on
Developed by Salim Akil
Starring
Opening theme "Black Lightning" by Godholly
Composer(s) Kurt Farquhar[1]
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) Robert West
Production location(s) Atlanta, Georgia
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network The CW
Original release January 16, 2018 (2018-01-16) – present (present)
External links
Website
Production website

Black Lightning is an American superhero television series developed by Salim Akil, airing on The CW. It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name, created by Tony Isabella. It stars Cress Williams as the titular character alongside China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Marvin Jones III, Damon Gupton, and James Remar. The series sees the retired Black Lightning return to the hero life and its effects on his family life.

Development on the series began in September 2016 when Fox ordered a pilot production commitment for Black Lightning. In February 2017, Fox passed on the series, with it being picked up by The CW with a new script for the pilot. The CW officially ordered the series in May 2017. The first season premiered on January 16, 2018, for a 13-episode run. On April 2, 2018, The CW renewed the show for a second season, which is set to premiere on October 9, 2018.

Premise[edit]

High school principal Jefferson Pierce, who retired from his superhero persona Black Lightning nine years ago after seeing the effects it had on his family, is forced to become a vigilante again when the rise of the local gang called the 100 leads to increased crime and corruption in his community of Freeland.[2]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning: A retired superhero with the ability to harness and manipulate electricity who works as a principal at Garfield High School. He returns to fighting crime after his daughters are kidnapped by a local gang.[3][2] Kaden Washington Lewis portrays teenage Jefferson Pierce.
  • China Anne McClain as Jennifer Pierce: Jefferson's younger daughter, who is "an independent, outspoken scholar-athlete with a wild streak of her own",[4] who also possesses powers where her cells start generating energy; her electric power is orange unlike her father's which is blue.[5]
  • Nafessa Williams as Anissa Pierce / Thunder: Jefferson's elder daughter who is in medical school and teaches part-time at Jefferson's school.[4] Anissa is a metahuman like her father, having an ability to manipulate her density with her breathing and emotions, endowing herself with superhuman strength and near invulnerablity. She can also create powerful shockwaves against opponents with this power during combat. In addition, she has an accelerated healing factor. She eventually fights crime as Thunder,[5] and later becomes her father's protégée and partner. Describing her character as a positive role model, Williams said "I'm just really grateful to tell the story for young lesbians — and black lesbians in particular ... My hope is that when you watch Anissa, a young lesbian is inspired to walk boldly as who she is and to love herself and to love herself exactly how she looks."[6]
  • Christine Adams as Lynn Stewart: A neuroscientist at Bowman College and Jefferson's ex-wife.[7]
  • Marvin "Krondon" Jones III as Tobias Whale: A former politician who rose through the ranks of local government through corruption but was brought down by Jefferson's father, Alvin. After killing Alvin, Tobias was exiled and became the leader of the 100.[8] Despite being Black Lightning's chief adversary and wants to kill him, Whale also becomes involved with the A.S.A.'s efforts to capture and study him.
  • Damon Gupton as Billy Henderson: A veteran detective inspector with the police who becomes an unlikely ally to Jefferson, despite his role in the community. After exposing the dirty Deputy Chief, Cayman, he is appointed to replace him.[9]
  • James Remar as Peter Gambi: Jefferson's oldest friend who became a father figure and mentor to him and works as his "tailor" while having connections with Lady Eve. His real name is Peter Esposito and was a former member of the A.S.A. until he turned against the organization and gave information to Alvin Pierce, resulting in his murder.[9]

Recurring[edit]

  • Kyanna Simone Simpson as Kiesha Williams[10]: Jennifer Pierce's best friend, who encourages Jennifer to challenge her perfect image.[11]
  • Skye P. Marshall as Kara Fowdy: Garfield High's vice-principal. She is later revealed to be a spotter for the A.S.A. who reports on metahuman sightings at the school to them.[12]
  • William Catlett as Latavius "Lala" Johnson/Tattoo Man: A member of the 100 who is in charge of the Seahorse Motel that the 100 use as a front for their prostitution ring. He is killed by Tobias Whale for his repeated failures to dispose of Black Lightning, but is later resurrected by Lady Eve's magic dust and starts seeing Lawanda's ghost and Will's ghost where their tattoos appear on his body. In addition, he starts to demonstrate super-strength. After regaining control of Lala and mentioning the ghosts being a side effect of the reanimation project he was put through, Tobias uses him as a bomb mule in an attempt to kill Martin Proctor.
  • Dabier as Will: A member of the 100 and cousin of Lala who kidnaps Anissa and Jennifer. He is later killed by Lala for disappointing him and later appears as a ghost that only Lala can see.
  • Charlbi Dean as Syonide: Tobias Whale's henchwoman, hit person, and mob enforcer. As an infant, she was found in the dumpster with her umbilical cord wrapped around her. When she was eight years old, Tobias discovered her in an orphanage, where she was abused and malnourished. He took her in and trained her in the art of assassination while also having her put through a painful procedure that involved placing carbon fiber armor beneath her skin.
  • Eric Mendenhall as Joey Toledo: Tobias Whale's right-hand man and mob enforcer. He is killed by Gambi.
  • Tracey Bonner as Lawanda White: One of Jefferson's former students whose daughter was taken by the 100 under Lala's supervision. After Jefferson fails to help her as promised, Lawanda confronts Lala, who shoots and kills her mercilessly. Unknown to him, she recorded the entire exchange, which leads to his arrest and eventual death. Lawanda later turns up as a ghost that only Lala can see.[13]
  • Anthony Reynolds as Zeke Cayman: A corrupt deputy chief of the Freeland Police Department who has connections with the A.S.A and Tobias Whale. He is tasked by Kara with framing Jefferson for drug dealing, but is subsequently arrested by Henderson alongside those involved after Henderson got a confession from one of Cayman's accomplices.
  • Jordan Calloway as Khalil Payne / Painkiller: A track star at Garfield High and Jennifer's ex-boyfriend. After a bullet from Syonide's gun paralyzes him from the waist down, he becomes involved with Tobias Whale where he undergoes an experimental treatment done by the A.S.A. involving a spinal implant that gives him enhanced abilities, becomes a cyborg in the process. Tobias Whale is the one who names Khalil's new form of Painkiller.[14]
  • Chantal Thuy as Grace Choi: A bartender who becomes Anissa's girlfriend.[15]
  • Jill Scott as Evelyn Stillwater-Ferguson / Lady Eve: The owner of a funeral parlor who connects Tobias Whale with a secret group of corrupt leaders that gave him leadership over the 100. She was also a former agent of the A.S.A. [16] She is later murdered by Tobias as part of a plan to frame Black Lightning.
  • Edwina Findley as Tori Whale: Tobias Whale's younger sister who assists in his plot to destroy Black Lightning.[17] She is accidentally killed by a stray bullet while trying to escape from Black Lightning.
  • Gregg Henry as Martin Proctor: The leader of the A.S.A., who initially wants to kill Black Lightning, but changes his mind when he realizes that his DNA can be used to create metahuman soldiers. Peter Gambi is associated with him. During a confrontation at one of the warehouses storing the metahuman stasis pods, Martin is briefly attacked by Jennifer and shot by Gambi. Tobias Whale had his thumbs salvaged by an ally at the coroner's office in order to access the contents of his briefcase.

Guest[edit]

  • Clifton Powell as Jeremiah Holt: A reverend looking to challenge the 100.[18][19]
  • Jason Louder as Frank "Two-Bits" Tanner: Jefferson's childhood friend who sells drugs and bootleg DVDs on the streets, and an occasional informant for Black Lightning.[20][21]
  • Antonio Fargas as David Poe: The editor of the Freeland Gazette, who gives Anissa files that once belonged to her grandfather, Alvin. He is subsequently killed offscreen in a staged hit-and-run.[22]
  • Keith Arthur Bolden as Alvin Pierce: The father of Jefferson and friend of Peter Gambi who worked as a reporter. He was killed by Tobias Whale after exposing him for corruption.[23][24]
  • Josh Henry as Man in Lab Coat: An unnamed scientist working for the A.S.A. who oversees the stasis pods that the captured metahumans are in.[24][24]

Roland S. Martin and Nina Turner appeared as themselves in the pilot.[25] Journalist Amanda Davis has a posthumous cameo appearance in two episodes.[25][19]

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
11"The Resurrection"Salim AkilSalim AkilJanuary 16, 2018 (2018-01-16)T43.100012.31[26]
After his older daughter Anissa is arrested for protesting, high school principal and former superhero Jefferson Pierce is again pulled over for a crime he did not commit. The last straw comes when his youngest daughter, Jennifer, gets in trouble at a club owned by a gang called the "100" and he is forced to use his powers to rescue her. Peter Gambi, his mentor and friend, urges him to become Black Lightning again, but Jefferson refuses to break the promise he made to his ex-wife, Lynn, to give up heroics in hopes of reconciling with her. A 100 gangbanger named Will and his friends abduct Jennifer and Anissa despite an agreement between Jefferson and the gang. Lynn temporarily frees him from his promise in order to save their daughters. With Gambi's help, he rescues the girls from the 100 at the Seahorse Motel. However, he is unable to find Will's boss Lala. After being brought to the head of the 100, Tobias Whale, by his two underlings Syonide and Joey Toledo, Lala is instructed to kill Black Lightning. Anissa's trauma activates her own powers, causing her to break a sink in half.
22"Lawanda: The Book of Hope"Oz ScottSalim AkilJanuary 23, 2018 (2018-01-23)T43.100021.94[27]
Jefferson assures Lynn that he is giving up his Black Lightning identity for good. However, he learns that the 100 are still running prostitutes at the Seahorse Motel and that his daughters are being targeted as witnesses. Jefferson asks Gambi to help him find Lala by hacking the police's database. Anissa's girlfriend offers to get her a therapist. Will escapes police custody, but is captured and executed by Lala. Lawanda, a former student of Jefferson's, tries to free her daughter from the grip of the 100 and he promises to help her. Lawanda is killed when she confronts Lala at the Seahorse Motel. Blaming himself for her death, Jefferson throws aside his concerns and prepares to go after the 100. Lynn visits Gambi and asks him to convince her husband otherwise, but he refuses. Using information from Will's recovered phone, Jefferson suits up and storms the hotel where Lala is hiding, beating him severely just before the police arrive to arrest him. While out shopping, Anissa subdues a robber with her powers. Using his connections with Deputy Chief Zeke Cayman after the Seahorse Motel was shut down, Tobias gets access to Lala's cell and strangles him with only one hand.
33"Lawanda: The Book of Burial"Mark TonderaiJan NashJanuary 30, 2018 (2018-01-30)T43.100032.21[28]
Following Lawanda's death, Reverend Holt plans to orchestrate a peace march in light of the 100's crime waves, much to the dismay of Jefferson and Inspector Henderson. Anissa meets Grace Choi and experiments with her new abilities. Tobias has an talk with Lady Eve and instructs his minions to massacre the peace march in exchange for Lala's place in the ranks. Though Black Lightning succeeds in stopping the assailant, Tobias is nearby as Syonide shoots Reverend Holt. The bullet goes through Reverend Holt and hits Khalil, Jennifer’s boyfriend. At the hospital, Jefferson sees the mixed news about the opinions of Black Lightning from the peace marchers and Inspector Henderson. At the tailor shop, Gambi deletes evidence that Tobias was the one responsible for the reverend and Khalil being shot. Back at the hospital, Lynn assures Anissa that she will be there for her. Jefferson and Jennifer tell them that Reverend Holt is doing well but Khalil won't walk again. As Jefferson embraces his family, he continues to see the news about Black Lightning as other peace marchers praise his heroic actions.
44"Black Jesus"Michael SchultzPat CharlesFebruary 6, 2018 (2018-02-06)T43.100041.88[29]
One of Jefferson's students, Bernard, almost overdoses on a new strength-enhancing street drug, Green Light. Jefferson is forced to use his powers to knock him out. The school board wants Bernard expelled but lets him stay when Jefferson cedes final authority over student matters to the board. Gambi and Jefferson track Green Light to a mid-level dealer named Two Bits, an old friend of Jefferson's. When he dismisses Jefferson, Black Lightning gets him to reveal the location of a warehouse. Anissa and Grace are confronted outside a bar and Anissa uses her strength on the two thugs. Gambi erases the security footage, but keeps a photo of Anissa's footprint. Black Lightning saves Bernard from a drug den and Jefferson puts him in rehab. Jennifer quits track to focus on supporting Khalil. Lady Eve gets impatient with Tobias, who entered the criminal world after being forced out of city council for supposedly killing Black Lightning. Tobias has Joey Toledo murder the morgue doctor who told him Black Lighting was dead. Tobias' sister Tori arrives and proposes turning the people against Black Lightning. Tobias visits Khalil where he pays his medical bills and tells him it's Black Lightning's fault that he'll never walk again.
55"And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light"Rose TrocheAdam GiaudroneFebruary 13, 2018 (2018-02-13)T43.100051.81[30]
Gambi alters Black Lightning's suit for flight. Jefferson experiences severe headaches. Tobias pays Gambi a visit, looking for the identity of Black Lightning but Gambi says he doesn't know; and that Tobias is breaking their deal by coming to him. Tracking Green Light, Black Lightning finds out it is coming from Joey Toledo. Jennifer defends herself against two girls at a skating rink. One girl's family is furious. While Jefferson and Lynn take responsibility upon being confronted by the family, they are impressed. Tori says Tobias needs to finally deal with their abusive father, Eldridge. Now an old man, Tobias breaks his father's back and convinces Tori to let him die. Anissa discovers that, decades ago, her grandfather, reporter Alvin Pierce, had a story on the disappearance of nine enhanced teenagers. The newspaper wouldn't print the story and Alvin was murdered a week later. Anissa visits the paper's editor who says "they" are still watching. Nevertheless, he gives her some files and Anissa suits up to explore a storage unit after putting together a costume from different clothes she purchases. On a tip from Inspector Henderson, Black Lightning confronts Toledo, but his headaches incapacitate him. This allows Toledo to escape as he vows to Black Lightning that Tobias Whale will kill him.
66"Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder"Benny BoomCharles HollandFebruary 27, 2018 (2018-02-27)T43.100061.64[31]
After Joey Toledo contacts Deputy Chief Cayman about Black Lightning's sighting, Gambi picks up Black Lightning before the police can find him and informs Lynn. The next day, Jefferson deals with Anissa getting in trouble with the police in relation to vandalism of a Confederate general's statue, as well as Fowdy showing cyber-bullying videos about Jennifer. Meanwhile, Lynn compares the brain scans of those on Green Light and Black Lightning. While Black Lightning prepares for a confrontation with Tobias, Anissa uses her powers to destroy the Confederate general's statue after she learns that someone was killed over it. Afterwards, Anissa contacts Lynn to reveal her powers. Due to an attack at the hospital, Black Lightning cancels his planned attack on Tobias. Anissa shows up and fights off the thieves; Black Lightning battles and injures her, thinking that she was a metahuman who attacked Lynn. After realizing who she is, Lynn and Jefferson call Gambi for help. Gambi visits Lady Eve, having trained her, and makes a deal to keep the Pierce family off-limits to The 100, who want to stop Lynn's research. Meanwhile, Khalil takes up Tobias's offer to walk again. Anissa awakes and finally discovers that her father is Black Lightning.
77"Equinox: The Book of Fate"Bille WoodruffLamont MageeMarch 6, 2018 (2018-03-06)T43.100071.46[32]
Since the discovery of Anissa having developed metahuman powers, Lynn examines Anissa while Gambi comes clean to Jefferson about not telling him that Tobias Whale is back in town. Investigating the break-in at the hospital, Inspector Henderson gets the description of the criminals responsible and thinks the 100 is behind this though the two thieves are killed. After visiting Lady Eve about Tobias Whale, a disguised Gambi enters Tobias's club and kills Toledo to make Tobias fall in line. Lynn asks Gambi to make a suit for Anissa. At a club that Tobias is attending, Black Lightning fights him and his henchmen which results in Tobias getting wounded and Tori accidentally getting killed by a stray bullet. During this time, Tobias Whale's henchmen use special electrical guns to kill Lady Eve and her minions. After a talk with Anissa, Black Lightning gets a call from Henderson believing he killed Lady Eve. In the final scene, Lala is in a hotel room as he is brought back to life with Lawanda's head tattooed on his chest.
88"The Book of Revelations"Tanya HamiltonJan NashMarch 13, 2018 (2018-03-13)T43.100081.45[33]
Two henchmen are surprised to see Lala back from the dead; while Lawanda talks to him encouraging violence and seducing him. Gambi meets with A.S.A. member Martin Proctor who wants Black Lightning dead as a threat to the Freeland experiment. Examining Lady Eve's body, Jefferson and Anissa trace the weapon's radiation; finding it and the body of Lady Eve's killer. Meanwhile, Jennifer is startled at school, causing her to unlock her own electrical powers. After calling Henderson, Jefferson and Anissa hide nearby when they see someone coming close. While Jefferson sneaks up on the person, Anissa sees that it is about to explode and activates her powers to shield her father. Jefferson suspects The 100 intercepted his call to Henderson. Lynn finds that Greenlight was similar to a vaccine that was found in Alvin Pierce's locker from 30 years ago. Gambi admits that his real name is Peter Esposito and that he withheld some things to protect Jefferson and his family from the A.S.A. who made the vaccine and hunt metahumans. Jefferson warns Gambi to stay away from his family. In the final scene, Jennifer confides in Anissa about her electrical powers.
99"The Book of Little Black Lies"Tawnia McKernanKeli GoffMarch 20, 2018 (2018-03-20)T43.100091.55[34]
Anissa reveals her own powers and the fact their father is Black Lightning to Jennifer; and she feels lied to by her parents all her life. Three separate investigations of Inspector Henderson into the corrupt police officers, Gambi into the electrical weapons, and Jefferson and Anissa into Green Light from Alvin's research all lead to the same lab where the drug is currently being manufactured. Gambi gives Anissa her costume as Thunder and says he made a mistake in keeping secrets, but he was just trying to protect the ones he loves. With help from her mother, Jennifer is able to see why her parents lied but doesn't want to save the world, mourning her loss of her chance at a normal life. Black Lightning and Thunder attack the Green Light lab together and Inspector Henderson is able to make a few arrests before they blow it up. A.S.A. agents attack with weapons to disable Black Lightning's powers, but Thunder saves him. At home, Jennifer is able to forgive her father who promises to be honest with her from now on as they watch The Princess and the Frog.
1010"Sins of the Father: The Book of Redemption"Eric LaneuvillePat CharlesMarch 27, 2018 (2018-03-27)T43.100101.55[35]
Thunder investigates Gambi's tip about the kids from 30 years ago and finds they are still alive. When she brings Black Lightning to the lab, it's empty and they fight off ASA agents again. Two Bits sees one of Jefferson's students display powers and get kidnapped, telling Jefferson. Meanwhile, Lala begins seeing Will, now also tattooed on his chest, as a ghost while taking over The 100 to sell traditional drugs again while planning revenge on Tobias Whale. He even displayed increased strength on anyone who disagrees with the plan. Anissa and Jennifer argue about powers again causing Jennifer's whole body to flare up with electricity. Lynn finds that while their father is like a battery manipulating electricity, Jennifer can generate it. Martin Proctor and the A.S.A. kidnap and torture Gambi, demanding Black Lightning's identity. Under orders of Martin, two A.S.A. agents take Jefferson away while he mentors a child to get Gambi to talk. Jefferson uses his powers, allowing Gambi to kill two A.S.A. agents. Gambi begins healing in his basement base and the Pierce family hides in Alvin's old house. Gambi tells Jefferson to find the new A.S.A. spotter in the community that finds kids with powers. At the new location of the stasis pods holding the kids, Martin has realized that Jefferson is Black Lightning after putting two and two together and informs Vice-Principal Fowdy about it as she is revealed to be the A.S.A.'s new spotter.
1111"Black Jesus: The Book of Crucifixion"Michael SchultzMelora RiveraApril 3, 2018 (2018-04-03)T43.100111.50[36]
Black Lightning and Thunder raid another location and find that the bodies have been moved again. Vice-Principal Kara Fowdy tells a scientist to keep an eye on the stasis pods stable, but one teenager from 30 years ago dies. From the shadows, Fowdy instructs Deputy Chief Cayman to have Jefferson framed for possession of Greenlight. In an online discussion with her bosses, Fowdy is told that the federal agents will take Jefferson to the black site to determine if he is Black Lightning. While Lynn tries to find a lawyer that can defend Jefferson, Henderson visits Jefferson's cell, as he acts out an interrogation with Jefferson by talking about why his daughters were kidnapped by Lala. Thanks to Gambi, Thunder runs after his remote-controlled car using a hologram of Black Lightning; to fool everyone into believing Jefferson cannot be Black Lightning. Henderson is able to catch Detective Grunion and convinces him to snitch on the rest. Henderson has Jefferson released and Cayman is arrested for his corruption. Jefferson has been exonerated and Henderson has been sworn in as the new Deputy Chief of Police. Gambi joins the Pierce family for dinner to celebrate Jefferson's exoneration.
1212"The Resurrection and the Light: The Book of Pain"Oz ScottJan Nash & Adam GiaudroneApril 10, 2018 (2018-04-10)T13.100121.54[37]
After recuperating, Tobias Whale is told by Martin Proctor to capture Black Lightning alive. To aid in this mission, Khalil emerges where he was given a spinal implant to help him walk again. Gambi confronts a weapon maker for information about Martin Proctor. While the weapon maker finds the information, he is confronted by Lala, who acted strange after hearing the phrase "The devil deals the cards." Meanwhile, Lynn works to help Jennifer with her condition. Under orders of Tobias Whale, Khalil as Painkiller attacks Jefferson High using paralysis needles based from a toxin his implant now creates; to draw out Black Lightning so that they can find out who he is. When Black Lightning confronts Khalil, Tobias joins the fight. As Jennifer works to get control of her abilities, Thunder faces off against Syonide where she manages to get a cut in Syonide's left arm under her internal body armor. As Tobias restrains Black Lightning, Khalil does a strike that accidentally stops Black Lightning's heart. Tobias reprimands Khalil for that action. When Thunder appears, Syonide covers their escape as Jennifer builds up enough energy to resuscitate Black Lightning. Falling back to a cabin in the woods at North Freeland, Gambi cloaks them from tracking. Following the incident at the school, Martin Proctor tells Kara Fowdy to find Black Lightning even if she has to burn Freeland to do it. Meanwhile, Lala is brought to Tobias Whale by Syonide, who is unsurprised to see Lala alive. Using the phrase, Tobias is able to control Lala and plans on taking out Martin Proctor next.
1313"Shadow of Death: The Book of War"Salim AkilCharles D. HollandApril 17, 2018 (2018-04-17)T43.100131.68[38]
Near death in North Freeland, Jefferson speaks with his late father Alvin, who motivates him to wake up, though his powers are gone. With the metahuman occupants are dying, Martin Proctor demands Lala be brought to him for information on Tobias. Tobias had Lala revived and placed under his control while mentioning that the ghosts of his victims and the tattoos of their heads on him are a side effect of his revival. Tobias then sends him with a bomb inside his stomach to the A.S.A. which kills a few agents. As Proctor sends agents to the cabin, Inspector Henderson gets word and the police pursue. Jennifer uses her powers to restore her father's, increasing her family’s and Gambi's chances of survival against the A.S.A. agents and avoid the police. Tobias’s group attack the A.S.A. headquarters and only Martin is able to escape. The Pierce family confronts Martin and Gambi realizes he is running a rogue operation; Gambi then kills Procter. When the scientist states that he needs the briefcase to deal with the pods' inhabitants, Lynn states that she knows someone who can help them. The details of the A.S.A's experiments are exposed to the media, causing a government scandal. The public recognizes Black Lightning and Thunder as public heroes for having stopped the rogue government conspiracy. Tobias opens Martin's briefcase using his severed thumbs; this provides Tobias the means he needs to eliminate Black Lightning.

Season 2[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
141"The Book of Consequences: Chapter One: Rise of the Green Light Babies"[39]Salim AkilSalim AkilOctober 9, 2018 (2018-10-09)TBATBD

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In September 2016, after being in various stages of development, Warner Bros. Television began pitching Black Lightning to networks.[40] The project was being developed by Mara Brock Akil and her husband, Salim Akil. They were partnered with Greg Berlanti, who was behind several DC Comics properties for the studio, eventually landing at Fox with a pilot production commitment.[41] In February 2017, Fox opted not to go forward with the project, deciding that it was "not a good fit into its already crowded genre drama space".[42] Warner Bros. Television presented the project to other networks, with The CW officially ordering a pilot for Black Lightning.[43] The CW also opted to discard the original pilot script, as it had been written for Fox, and shoot a short presentation instead.[44] The CW officially ordered Black Lightning to series on May 10, 2017.[45]

On April 2, 2018, The CW renewed the show for a second season, which is set to premiere on October 9, 2018.[46][47]

Writing[edit]

Salim Akil stated that Black Lightning would not follow the villain of the week format or be a procedural, because he wanted to "explore the characters, even the villains".[48]

Casting[edit]

In late February 2017, Cress Williams was cast as Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning,[3] followed a month later by the casting of China Anne McClain and Nafessa Williams as his daughters, Jennifer Pierce and Anissa Pierce, respectively,[4] and Christine Adams was cast as Lynn Pierce, Jefferson's ex-wife.[7] At the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con International, it was announced that James Remar and Damon Gupton had joined the cast as Pierce's friend Peter Gambi and detective inspector Henderson, respectively.[9] The following month, Marvin "Krondon" Jones III of the hip hop group Strong Arm Steady was cast as Tobias Whale.[8]

At the end of September 2017, Kyanna Simone Simpson was cast as the recurring role Kiesha.[11] The following month, Edwina Findley joined the cast as Tori Whale,[17] while Chantal Thuy was cast as Grace Choi.[15] In January 2018, it was revealed that Skye Marshall had been cast as Mrs. Fowdy.[12]

Design[edit]

Black Lightning's costume was designed by Laura Jean Shannon.[49]

Filming[edit]

Filming for the series takes place in Atlanta.[2][50] Filming for the first season began August 14, 2017.[51] Filming for the second season began June 28, 2018[52]

Music[edit]

Kurt Farquhar composes the soundtrack for the series while Godholly provides original music for the series. These tracks include "Black Lightning", "Power", "Green Light", "Welcome to Freeland", "Can't Go" and "Thunder".[citation needed]

Release[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired DVD and Blu-ray release dates
First aired Last aired Timeslot (EST) Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 13 January 16, 2018 (2018-01-16) April 17, 2018 (2018-04-17) Tuesday 9:00 pm July 26, 2018[53] N/A[a] 2018[55]
2 TBA October 9, 2018 (2018-10-09)[56] TBA TBA TBA TBA

Broadcast[edit]

Black Lightning began airing on The CW on January 16, 2018,[57] and ran for 13 episodes.[58] Each episode aired a week after the US premiere on Netflix across Western Europe.[59]

Home media[edit]

The first season was released on Blu-ray and DVD in Region 1 on June 26, 2018.[53]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

No. Title Air date Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "The Resurrection" January 16, 2018 0.8/3 2.31[26] N/A 1.32 N/A 3.63[60]
2 "Lawanda: The Book of Hope" January 23, 2018 0.6/2 1.94[27] 0.7 1.54 1.3 3.48[61]
3 "Lawanda: The Book of Burial" January 30, 2018 0.8/3 2.21[28] 0.6 1.54 1.4 3.77[62]
4 "Black Jesus" February 6, 2018 0.6/2 1.88[29] 0.6 1.39 1.2 3.27[63]
5 "And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light" February 13, 2018 0.5/2 1.81[30] N/A N/A N/A N/A
6 "Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder" February 27, 2018 0.5/2 1.64[31] 0.5 1.17 1.0 2.80[64]
7 "Equinox: The Book of Fate" March 6, 2018 0.5/2 1.46[32] 0.4 1.03 0.9 2.48[65]
8 "The Book of Revelations" March 13, 2018 0.5/2 1.45[33] 0.4 0.96 0.9 2.41[66]
9 "The Book of Little Black Lies" March 20, 2018 0.5/2 1.55[34] 0.4 0.91 0.9 2.47[67]
10 "Sins of the Father: The Book of Redemption" March 27, 2018 0.5/2 1.55[35] 0.4 0.92 0.9 2.47[68]
11 "Black Jesus: The Book of Crucifixion" April 3, 2018 0.5/2 1.50[36] 0.3 0.83 0.8 2.33[69]
12 "The Resurrection and the Light: The Book of Pain" April 10, 2018 0.5/2 1.54[37] 0.3 0.86 0.8 2.40[70]
13 "Shadow of Death: The Book of War" April 17, 2018 0.5/2 1.68[38] 0.4 0.83 0.9 2.51[71]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has received a 97% approval rating, with an average rating of 8.3/10, based on 43 reviews.[72] The website's critical consensus reads, "Black Lightning doesn't reinvent superhero TV, but it does give the genre a necessary jolt with real-world plots, scary new villains, and a star-making performance from Cress Williams."[72] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 79 out of 100 based on 24 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[73]

Daniel Fienberg, in a review for The Hollywood Reporter, praised the series for being "smart and relevant and full of an attitude that's all its own."[74] The portrayal of Anissa Pierce as Thunder has received praise for making television history as the first black lesbian superhero.[75][76][77]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 People's Choice Awards The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2018 Black Lightning Pending [78]
Saturn Awards Best Superhero Television Series Black Lightning Nominated [79]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Breakout TV Show Black Lightning Nominated [80]
Choice Breakout TV Star Nafessa Williams Nominated

Connection to the Arrowverse[edit]

Despite airing on The CW and being created by Berlanti, Mark Pedowitz, president of The CW said in May 2017 that the series "at this time, is not part of the Arrowverse. It is a separate situation."[2] Berlanti had previously stated when the series was in development at Fox that it would not crossover with his other DC Comics television properties on The CW nor would it exist in the Arrowverse.[81] However, Akil later stated that they were not ruling out eventual crossovers.[48] In August 2017, Pedowitz added, "If [the showrunners] wish to bring it in, that is their call. We had a long discussion with the studio, Mara, Salim, and myself. We were fine with them making it separate from the Arrowverse, they have a different point of view. If they end up wanting to go that way, that will be their decision."[82] Salim Akil noted references in the first season to the Arrowverse heroes Vixen and Supergirl were a "fun" way "to tease the fans". He also further reiterated that the series existed on a separate Earth from the other Arrowverse series (like Earth-1 from Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow and Earth-38 from Supergirl) and was hopeful that any future crossover would involve the heroes of the other series visiting the Earth that is associated with Black Lightning.[83]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Black Lightning was never released in Region 2 on DVD as it was first premiered on Netflix.[54]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kurt Farquhar [@KurtFarquhar] (March 29, 2017). "So happy to be composer for Black Lightning! Thanks Akils! #gregberlanti #tvmusic #blacklightning #kurtfarquhar" (Tweet). Retrieved August 19, 2017 – via Twitter. 
  2. ^ a b c d Abrams, Natalie (May 18, 2017). "The CW's Black Lightning not part of Arrowverse, crossover unlikely". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 22, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Swift, Andy (February 24, 2017). "Black Lightning: Cress Williams to Star in The CW's Latest DC Comics Pilot". TVLine. Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (March 2, 2017). "'Black Lightning' CW Pilot: Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Agard, Chancellor (January 4, 2018). "Black Lightning unveils first look at Thunder". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 9, 2018. 
  6. ^ Agard, Chancellor (January 30, 2018). "Black Lightning breakout talks playing a black lesbian superhero". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 7 February 2018. 
  7. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (March 10, 2017). "'Black Lightning': Christine Adams Cast As Jefferson's Ex-Wife". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Ramos, Dino-Ray (August 10, 2017). "'Black Lightning' Adds Marvin "Krondon" Jones III As Villain Tobias Whale". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 10, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c Petski, Denise (July 22, 2017). "'Black Lightning' Casts James Remar & Damon Gupton As Series Regulars, Watch Trailer – Comic-Con". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 23, 2017. 
  10. ^ Nash, Jan (writer) & Hamilton, Tanya (director) (March 13, 2018). "The Book of Revelations". Black Lightning. Season 1. Episode 8. The CW. 
  11. ^ a b Petski, Denise (September 26, 2017). "'Black Lightning': Kyanna Simone Simpson Set To Recur In the CW Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 27, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Petski, Denise (January 16, 2018). "'Black Lightning': Skye Marshall To Recur On the CW Series". Deadline Hollywood. 
  13. ^ Magee, Lamont; Woodruff, Bille (March 6, 2018). "Equinox: The Book of Fate". Black Lightning. Season 1. Episode 7. The CW. 
  14. ^ http://comicbook.com/dc/2018/01/24/black-lightnings-china-anne-mcclain-talks-her-characters-relatio/
  15. ^ a b Bryant, Jacob (October 30, 2017). "'Black Lightning' Casts Chantal Thuy as DC Comics' Grace Choi (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  16. ^ Petski, Denise (October 5, 2017). "'Black Lightning': Jill Scott Cast As Lady Eve In the CW Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 7, 2017. 
  17. ^ a b Petski, Denise (October 12, 2017). "'Black Lightning': Edwina Findley Set To Recur In the CW Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 1, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Lawanda: The Book of Hope". Black Lightning. Season 1. Episode 2. January 23, 2018. The CW. 
  19. ^ a b "Lawanda: The Book of Burial". Black Lightning. Season 1. Episode 3. January 30, 2018. The CW. 
  20. ^ "Black Jesus". Black Lightning. Season 1. Episode 4. February 6, 2018. The CW. 
  21. ^ "Sins of the Father: The Book of Redemption". Black Lightning. Season 1. Episode 10. March 27, 2018. The CW. 
  22. ^ "And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light". Black Lightning. Season 1. Episode 5. February 13, 2018. The CW. 
  23. ^ "Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder". Black Lightning. Season 1. Episode 6. February 27, 2018. The CW. 
  24. ^ a b c "Shadow of Death: The Book of War". Black Lightning. Season 1. Episode 13. April 17, 2018. The CW. 
  25. ^ a b "The Resurrection". Black Lightning. Season 1. Episode 1. January 16, 2018. The CW. 
  26. ^ a b Porter, Rick (January 18, 2018). "Originals all hold, 'Modern Family' rerun adjusts down: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 
  27. ^ a b Welch, Alex (January 24, 2018). "'LA to Vegas' and 'Bull' adjust down: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 24, 2018. 
  28. ^ a b Porter, Rick (January 31, 2018). "'Fresh Off the Boat' adjusts down, plus State of the Union analysis numbers: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 31, 2018. 
  29. ^ a b Porter, Rick (February 7, 2018). "'NCIS' and 'Bull' adjust up: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 7, 2018. 
  30. ^ a b Porter, Rick (February 14, 2018). "Olympics, 'Bachelor Winter Games,' all others hold: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 14, 2018. 
  31. ^ a b Porter, Rick (February 28, 2018). "'The Voice' and 'Kevin (Probably) Saves the World' adjust up: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 28, 2018. 
  32. ^ a b Porter, Rick (March 7, 2018). "'This Is Us' adjusts up, 'Lethal Weapon' adjusts down: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 7, 2018. 
  33. ^ a b Porter, Rick (March 14, 2018). "'This Is Us,' 'The Voice,' 'NCIS,' 'Black-ish' adjust up, 'Rise' adjusts down: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 14, 2018. 
  34. ^ a b Porter, Rick (March 21, 2018). "'The Voice,' 'The Middle' and 'LA to Vegas' adjust up: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 21, 2018. 
  35. ^ a b Porter, Rick (March 28, 2018). "'Roseanne,' 'The Voice' & 'The Mick' adjust up, 'Bull' and 'Splitting Up Together' down: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 28, 2018. 
  36. ^ a b Porter, Rick (April 4, 2018). "'Rise' adjusts down: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 5, 2018. 
  37. ^ a b Porter, Rick (April 11, 2018). "Roseanne,' 'The Middle,' 'Lethal Weapon' adjust up, 'Black-ish' down: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 11, 2018. 
  38. ^ a b Porter, Rick (April 18, 2018). "'NCIS,' 'Alex, Inc,' 'Lethal Weapon,' 'The Flash' adjust up, 'For The People' down: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 18, 2018. 
  39. ^ "(#201) "The Book of Consequences: Chapter One: Rise of the Green Light Babies"". Retrieved September 21, 2018.  Unknown parameter |source= ignored (help)
  40. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 1, 2016). "'Black Lightning' DC Superhero Series In Works From Greg Berlanti, Mara Brock Akil & Salim Akil". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  41. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 8, 2016). "Fox Nabs 'Black Lightning' DC Superhero Drama With Pilot Production Commitment". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  42. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 2, 2017). "'Black Lightning' Drama Eyes Move To the CW To Join Greg Berlanti Comic Lineup". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  43. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 3, 2017). "'Black Lightning' DC Drama From Greg Berlanti & 'The Game' Duo Gets The CW Pilot Order". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  44. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (April 12, 2017). "PILOTS 2017: Very, Very Early Buzz Edition". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  45. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 10, 2017). "'Black Lightning' & Lucy Hale's 'Life Sentence' Picked Up To Series By The CW". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  46. ^ Goldberg, Leslie (April 2, 2018). "'Riverdale,' 'Flash,' 'Supernatural' Among 10 CW Renewals". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 2, 2018. 
  47. ^ Swift, Andy (June 20, 2018). "The CW Sets Fall Premiere Dates, Including New 'Super' Sunday". TVLine. Retrieved June 20, 2018. 
  48. ^ a b Massabrook, Nicole (June 11, 2017). "'Black Lightning' TV Show Spoilers: What The EPs Revealed At ATX". International Business Times. Retrieved July 17, 2017. 
  49. ^ Goldman, Eric (March 29, 2017). "First Look At Black Lightning From The CW's New DC Comics Pilot". IGN. Retrieved March 30, 2017. 
  50. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 7, 2017). "Pilot Locations 2017: NY, Vancouver & Atlanta Tick Up; LA, Toronto, Chicago Slip". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  51. ^ "Black Lightning Starts Filming In August". July 3, 2017. 
  52. ^ "'Black Lightning' Season 2 Has Begun Production". comicbook.com. June 28, 2017. 
  53. ^ a b "Black Lightning: Season 1". Amazon. 
  54. ^ Munn, Patrick (December 15, 2017). "Netflix Sets UK Premiere Date For 'Black Lightning'". TV Wise. Retrieved February 3, 2017. 
  55. ^ "AU $26 BUY: Black Lightning – Season 1 on DVD in Australia". DVD Shelf. Retrieved 3 September 2018. 
  56. ^ Cite error: The named reference S2PremiereDate was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  57. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 16, 2017). "'Black Lightning' Gets Premiere Date, Post-'Flash' Time Slot By the CW". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 16, 2017. 
  58. ^ Sydney Bucksbaum [@SydneyBucksbaum] (August 2, 2017). "#TheOriginals final season and #BlackLightning will also be 13 episodes each this year. #TCA17" (Tweet). Retrieved August 2, 2017 – via Twitter. 
  59. ^ Munn, Patrick (December 15, 2017). "Netflix Sets UK Premiere Date For 'Black Lightning'". TV Wise. Retrieved February 3, 2017. 
  60. ^ Porter, Rick (February 1, 2018). "'This Is Us,' 'The Good Doctor' both double in week 17 broadcast Live +7 ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 1, 2018. 
  61. ^ Porter, Rick (February 8, 2018). "'This Is Us' sets NBC records in week 18 broadcast Live +7 ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 8, 2018. 
  62. ^ Porter, Rick (February 15, 2018). "Closing the book on the Super Bowl 'This Is Us': Week 19 broadcast Live +7 ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 15, 2018. 
  63. ^ Porter, Rick (February 22, 2018). "'The Good Doctor' and 'This Is Us' on top again: Week 20 broadcast Live +7 ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 22, 2018. 
  64. ^ Porter, Rick (March 15, 2018). "'Agents of SHIELD,' 16 other shows double in week 23 broadcast Live +7 ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 15, 2018. 
  65. ^ Porter, Rick (March 22, 2018). "'This Is Us' leads the week 24 broadcast Live +7 ratings – by quite a bit". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  66. ^ Porter, Rick (March 29, 2018). "'This Is Us' goes out on top: Week 25 broadcast Live +7 ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 29, 2018. 
  67. ^ Porter, Rick (April 6, 2018). "'The Good Doctor' scores highest in week 26 broadcast Live +7 ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 6, 2018. 
  68. ^ Porter, Rick (April 11, 2018). "'Roseanne' premiere sets a record in week 27 broadcast Live +7 ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 11, 2018. 
  69. ^ Pucci, Douglas (April 18, 2018). "Live+7 Weekly Ratings: 'Jane the Virgin' on CW Leads in Percentage Lifts". Programming Insider. Retrieved April 18, 2018. 
  70. ^ Pucci, Douglas (April 24, 2018). "Live+7 Weekly Ratings: 'Designated Survivor' on ABC More Than Doubles its Same-Day Figures and Leads All of Broadcast in Percentage Boosts". Programming Insider. Retrieved April 24, 2018. 
  71. ^ Pucci, Douglas (May 1, 2018). "Live+7 Weekly Ratings: 'Scandal' Series Finale on ABC Ranks 7th Among Broadcast Network Prime Time Telecasts in Adults 18-49 Raw Lifts". Programming Insider. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  72. ^ a b "Black Lightning: Season 1 (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 18, 2018. 
  73. ^ "Black Lightning: Season 1". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 7, 2018. 
  74. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (January 15, 2018). "'Black Lightning': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 16, 2018. 
  75. ^ Massabrook, Nicole (January 23, 2018). "'Black Lightning' Star Nafessa Williams Hopes Her Lesbian Superhero Inspires Viewers". International Business Times. Retrieved 7 February 2018. 
  76. ^ Avery, Dan (January 16, 2018). ""Black Lightning" Is Bringing One Of The Few Lesbian Superheroes Of Color To Television". NewNowNext. Retrieved 7 February 2018. 
  77. ^ Scott, Sydney (January 16, 2018). "'Black Lightning' Star Nafessa Williams On Her History-Making Role And Repping Philly". Essence. Retrieved 7 February 2018. 
  78. ^ "2018 People's Choice Awards: Complete List of Nominations". E! News. September 5, 2018. Retrieved September 5, 2018. 
  79. ^ McNary, Dave (March 15, 2018). "'Black Panther,' 'Walking Dead' Rule Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018. 
  80. ^ Douglas, Esme. "Teen Choice Awards 2018: See the full list of winners". EW. Archived from the original on August 13, 2018. Retrieved August 13, 2018. 
  81. ^ Gerding, Stephen (January 9, 2017). "Fox's Black Lightning Show Won't Cross Over With The Arrowverse". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 3, 2017. 
  82. ^ Schwartz, Terri (August 2, 2017). "This Arrowverse Crossover Will Fully Take Place Across Every Show From Supergirl To Legends of Tomorrow". IGN. Archived from the original on August 7, 2017. Retrieved August 7, 2017. 
  83. ^ Agard, Chancellor (April 16, 2018). "Black Lightning boss addresses those Arrowverse references". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 17, 2018. 

External links[edit]