Gotham (TV series)

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Gotham
GothamIntertitle.png
Genre
Based on Characters published 
by DC Comics
Developed by Bruno Heller
Starring
Composer(s)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 22 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) Scott White
Editor(s)
  • Daniel Gabbe
  • David Ekstrom
  • Mark C. Baldwin
Location(s) Manhattan, New York
Cinematography
Running time 44–49 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original channel Fox
Picture format 16:9 HDTV
Original release September 22, 2014 (2014-09-22) – present
External links
Official website

Gotham is an American crime-drama television series developed by Bruno Heller, based on characters appearing in and published by DC Comics in their Batman franchise, primarily those of James Gordon and Bruce Wayne. The series stars Ben McKenzie as the young Gordon, while Heller executive produces along with Danny Cannon, who also directed the pilot. As originally conceived, the series would have served as a straightforward story of Gordon's early days on the Gotham City police force. The idea evolved not only to include the Wayne character, but also to tell the origin stories of several Batman villains including Penguin,[3] Riddler,[3] Catwoman, Joker,[3] Poison Ivy,[4] Scarecrow,[5] Hugo Strange,[6] Two-Face,[6] and Mr. Freeze.[7]

The first season order originally consisted of 16 episodes, but was later extended to 22. Gotham premiered on Fox on September 22, 2014, and the first season concluded on May 4, 2015.

On January 17, 2015, the series was renewed for a second season,[8] which is scheduled to premiere on September 21, 2015.[9]

Premise[edit]

A new recruit in the Gotham City Police Department, James Gordon is paired with veteran detective Harvey Bullock to solve one of Gotham's highest-profile cases: the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne. During his investigation, Gordon meets the Waynes' son Bruce who is now in the care of his butler Alfred Pennyworth. Meeting the younger Wayne further compels Gordon to catch the mysterious killer. Along the way, Gordon becomes involved with Gotham's Mafia families and associates including gangster Fish Mooney, Don Carmine Falcone, and Don Salvatore Maroni. Eventually, Gordon is forced to form an unlikely friendship with Bruce, one that will help shape the boy's future in becoming the Batman.[3]

Cast and characters[edit]

  • Ben McKenzie as James Gordon – In September 2013, it was reported that Fox was developing a TV series centred on James Gordon's early days as a police detective and the origin stories of various Batman villains.[10] In February 2014, McKenzie was cast as the lead character.[11] When describing his character in an interview, McKenzie stated that Gordon "is a truly honest man. The last honest man in a city full of crooked people. He’s not an anti-hero, he’s a true hero – but he will have to compromise."[12]
  • Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock – In early 2014, it was announced that Logue was cast as Harvey Bullock, a character who serves as James Gordon's partner within the GCPD.[13]
  • David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne – In March 2014, Mazouz was cast as Bruce Wayne.[16] When discussing his character, Mazouz stated that "you never got to explore what Bruce Wayne was going through or his grieving process or what his anger makes him do. At this point in his life, he’s angry, he’s scared, he’s compulsive, and he’s lonely. He’s looking for any meaning to his parents’ death. You’ll see the things that he’ll do to himself and to other people while he’s grieving, and you’ll see how he becomes a regular kid again."[17]
  • Erin Richards as Barbara Kean – In February 2014, Richards was confirmed to have been cast in the show. Richards portrays James Gordon's fiancee, Barbara Kean, though their relationship deteriorates over the course of the season.[14][15] It would later become known that the Barbara Kean character would also have a romantic relationship with Renee Montoya.[18]
  • Camren Bicondova as Selina "Cat" Kyle – In March 2014, Bicondova was confirmed to have joined the show's cast.[16] According to Bicondova, "The main word that I can think of to characterize Selina is that she's just surviving. She's very mischievous and very challenging to play at times, because she feels emotions but she hides them. I realized that she isn't just a street thief and a survivor; she's actually a normal girl."[20]
  • Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma – Smith joined the cast in April 2014.[21][22] In May 2014, Smith was promoted to a series regular.[23][24] "What I love about the character's history is how diverse it is," says Smith. "When I was auditioning for Gotham, I got a handful of comics from different decades, so I had a perspective — it’s been around for 75 years, which is a long time. I wanted to see an evolution of the comics — and of the character. Going from this quite innocent, well-intentioned, joyful person to starting to find this other part of him that he didn’t know he had. He’s a person who’s constantly abused, and it’s out of anger and exhaustion, and then realizing that when you start taking control of situations like that, you can gain power that way — it’ll be something that he can start to enjoy."[25]
  • John Doman as Carmine "The Roman" Falcone – Doman first appeared in the series pilot as Carmine Falcone, a mob boss with ties to James Gordon's father.[27] Doman continued to appear throughout the season.
  • Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney – Smith was cast as Fish Mooney in February 2014.[28] Jada Pinkett Smith appeared as a major antagonist throughout the season until her character was seemingly killed in the show's Season 1 finale after falling off a tall building.[29] When asked if her character will return in future seasons, Smith replied, "If she survives the fall. I signed for a year. I don’t think any of us really thought that Fish would have the life that she’s had or be one of the favorite characters on the show. She was there to service a purpose, as far as helping to tell Penguin’s story. I’m a smart girl. I understood I was there to service Penguin. If she survives, I would definitely be willing to do whatever was necessarily to continue servicing the story of Gotham."[30]
  • Nicholas D'Agosto as Harvey Dent – In July 2014, it was announced that Harvey Dent would appear in the show.[33] D'Agosto was revealed to portray Harvey Dent in October 2014,[34] and was promoted to a series regular for the second season.[35]
  • Chris Chalk as Lucius Fox – In March 2015, Chalk was announced as Lucius Fox,[36] and was promoted to a series regular for the second season.[37]
  • James Frain as Theo Galavan – In June 2015, Frain was announced as a series regular for season two as Theo Galavan.[38]
  • Michael Chiklis as Nathaniel Barnes – In July 2015, Chiklis was announced as a series regular for season two as Captain Nathaniel Barne.[39]
  • Drew Powell as Butch Gilzean – Fish Mooney's right-hand man and mob enforcer. Victor Zsasz later "worked on" Butch, causing him to obey Oswald Cobblepot's every command. Powell was promoted to a series regular for the second season.[40]

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired Nielsen ratings
First aired Last aired Rank Average viewership
(in millions)
1 22 September 22, 2014 (2014-09-22) May 4, 2015 (2015-05-04) 15 9.5[41]
2 TBA September 21, 2015 (2015-09-21)[42] TBA TBD TBD

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On September 24, 2013, Fox announced that it had bypassed the traditional pilot phase and placed a straight-to-series order for Gotham, to be written and executive produced by Bruno Heller.[43] Gotham received a series order from Fox on May 5, 2014,[44] with the first season reported to consist of 16 episodes, rather than the standard 13 or 22.[45] On January 17, 2015, the series was renewed for a second season.[8]

Fox's Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly stated, "We were only contractually obligated to order 13, and we ordered 16, because we think that’s the way that show, at least in its first iteration, will be very strong to arc to. Could we do more next season? We certainly could, but that’s where we're starting with that one. That show is going to have a very strong, serialized element."[46] On October 13, Fox ordered an additional six episodes for the show, bringing the first season order to a full 22 episodes.[47] Speaking of the project at the 2014 winter TCA press tour, Reilly described the series as "this operatic soap that has a slightly larger-than-life quality. This is not some adjunct companion series. This is the Batman franchise, just backing it up [in chronology]."[48] He later added that the series is separate from any DC film universe.[49]

Casting[edit]

In January 2014, rumors arose that Donal Logue would portray Gordon in the series. Logue denied these rumors via Twitter.[50] Logue was eventually cast as Harvey Bullock.[51] In February 2014, Ben McKenzie was cast as James Gordon.[52] In early March 2014, David Mazouz was cast as Bruce Wayne, while Camren Bicondova was cast as Selina Kyle.[53] At the 2014 Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, DC's Jim Cunningham said that Renee Montoya would be a character on the show.[54]

Filming[edit]

In February 2014, it was reported that production would begin in New York City in March.[51] Filming for the season was completed on March 24, 2015.[55]

Music[edit]

In July 2014, it was announced that Graeme Revell would be the composer for the series.[56]

Release[edit]

Broadcast[edit]

The series premiered in Australia on October 12, 2014.[57] In Canada, it is shown in simulcast on with the United States airing, and rerun later on another channel.[58] In New Zealand, it premiered on on September 28, 2014.[59] In the United Kingdom, it premiered on October 13, 2014.[60] In Ireland, it premiered on January 26, 2015.[61]

Marketing[edit]

The pilot was screened at the Warner Bros. Television and DC Entertainment panel at San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2014.[62]

Home media[edit]

In September 2014, Warner Bros. Television Distribution sold the worldwide video on demand rights for the series to Netflix.[63] The first season will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 8, 2015.[64]

Reception[edit]

In early October 2014, market research firm Survata polled more than 1,400 viewers to determine that Gotham was the major TV premiere, out of 24, that viewers were most interested to watch that year.[65]

Ratings[edit]

In Australia, the first and second episodes received 1.24 million and 896,000 viewers, respectively.[66] The timeshifted broadcasts were watched by 1.43 and 1.03 million, respectively.[67] The Canadian debut got 3.38 million viewers, making it the second most-watched telecast of the night and week.[68] The UK premiere was watched by 3.20 million viewers. The airings on the 1 hour and 24 hour timeshift channels were watched by 597,000 and 142,000 viewers, respectively.[69] In New Zealand, it was the most-watched program on the network, with 278,540 viewers.[70] The timeshifted version was watched by 39,580 viewers.[71]

Critical response[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Gotham received generally positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the first season of the show a rating of 90%, based on 86 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site's consensus states, "High production values, a talented cast, and an appealingly stylized approach to the Batman mythos help Gotham overcome its occasionally familiar themes."[72] Metacritic gives the show a score of 71 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[73]

David Hinckley of the New York Daily News praised the first episode for playing "like a 45-minute movie, with stunning visuals that never feel like a shrunken TV version of the Batman films against which it will inevitably be measured" and lauded Logue's Harvey Bullock as a scene-stealer.[74] The San Jose Mercury News‍ '​ Chuck Barney called the pilot "a fun, dark, moody and well-paced first hour" and McKenzie's James Gordon a commanding lead, while saying Jada Pinkett Smith is "an absolute blast to watch."[75] Matt Brennan of Indiewire said that Gotham was "the perfect antidote to superhero fatigue", praising the "bright, pop-inflected aesthetic, with urban backdrops that appear as though cut out from the panels of a comic book."[76]

Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly criticized the first half of season one along with the mid-season premiere. He found the personalities of the most characters "already nearly fully formed; all they can become is more or less than what they already are." Jensen added that Gordon not being Gotham's redeemer hurt the premise of the show and heavily criticized how Jada Pinkett Smith is underused. In the end, he does not see Gotham "as a show for comic book fanboys" but rather as "a post-fanboy, or fanboy-irrelevant."[77] Oliver Sava of The A.V. Club was also critical, lamenting "there have been dozens of interpretations of Batman and his city in the 75 years since their creation, and Gotham has trouble finding the right balance of influences."[78]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref
2014 Critics' Choice Television Award Most Exciting New Series Gotham Won [79]
2015 American Society of Cinematographers Episode of a Regular Series Christopher Norr
"Spirit of the Goat"
Nominated [80][81]
Television Movie, Miniseries or Pilot David Stockton
"Pilot"
Nominated
Art Directors Guild One-hour period or fantasy single-camera television series Doug Kraner
"Pilot," "Selina Kyle," "Arkham"
Nominated [82][83]
Gracie Awards Outstanding Drama Gotham Won [84]
Motion Picture Sound Editors TV Short Form Music Score Ashley Revell
"Lovecraft"
Nominated [85][86]
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Jada Pinkett Smith Nominated [87]
People's Choice Awards Favorite New TV Drama Gotham Nominated [88][89]
Favorite Actor In A New TV Series Benjamin McKenzie Nominated
Favorite Actress In A New TV Series Jada Pinkett Smith Nominated
Saturn Award Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series Gotham Nominated [90]
Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series Camren Bicondova Nominated
Creative Arts Emmy Award Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Contemporary Or Fantasy Program (One Hour Or More) Doug Kraner
"Pilot"
Pending [91]
Outstanding Costumes For A Contemporary Series, Limited Series or Movie Lisa Padovani
"Under the Knife"
Pending
Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series George Haddad
"All Happy Families Are Alike"
Pending
Outstanding Special Visual Effects In A Supporting Role Joseph Bell
"Lovecraft"
Pending

References[edit]

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External links[edit]