Lucifer (TV series)

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Lucifer
Lucifer, title.jpg
Genre
Based on
Developed by Tom Kapinos
Starring
Composer(s)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 57 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
Location(s)
Cinematography
  • Glen Keenan
  • Ryan McMaster
  • Tico Poulakakis
  • Stefan von Bjorn
  • Barry Donlevy
  • Christian Sebaldt
Editor(s)
  • Marc Pattavina
  • Ray Daniels III
  • Fred Peterson
  • Hector Carrillo
  • Matt Coleshill
  • Jill D'Agnenica
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 43 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network Fox (2016–18)
Picture format 720p 16:9 (HDTV)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release January 25, 2016 (2016-01-25) – present (present)
External links
Website
Production website

Lucifer is an American fantasy police procedural drama television series developed by Tom Kapinos that premiered on Fox on January 25, 2016.[1][2] It is based on the DC Comics character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg taken from the comic book series The Sandman, who later became the protagonist of a spin-off comic book series, both published by DC Comics' Vertigo imprint. The series revolves around Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), the Devil, who abandons Hell for Los Angeles where he runs his own nightclub and becomes a consultant to the LAPD. The ensemble and supporting cast include Lauren German as Detective Chloe Decker, Kevin Alejandro as Detective Daniel "Dan" Espinoza, D. B. Woodside as Amenadiel, Lesley-Ann Brandt as Mazikeen and Rachael Harris as Dr. Linda Martin. Filming took place in Vancouver, British Columbia before production was relocated to Los Angeles, California beginning with the third season.

The series received initially mixed reviews from critics during its first season, though the second and third seasons drew more favorable acclaim. Praise was directed at Ellis' performance and the series' style of humor. Despite initially high viewership for its debut, ratings remained consistently low throughout the series' run on Fox. On May 11, 2018, Fox canceled Lucifer after three seasons. A month later, Netflix picked up the series for a fourth season of ten episodes.

Premise[edit]

The series focuses on Lucifer Morningstar, the Devil, who is bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell. He resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for Los Angeles, where he ends up running his nightclub "Lux". He becomes involved in a murder case with Detective Chloe Decker, and is subsequently invited to be a consultant to the LAPD.

Cast and characters[edit]

  • Tom Ellis as Lucifer Morningstar:[3]
    The Lord of Hell, who is bored with his life, abdicates his throne and becomes a civilian consultant for the Los Angeles Police Department while running his own high-end nightclub called "Lux". Lucifer frequently tells people that he is the Devil and is very open about this, but very few take this seriously. He is a fallen angel, immortal, and besides powers such as superhuman strength and invulnerability, he has a supernatural ability to make people tell him their hidden desires. When he arrived in Los Angeles, he had his wings severed. Lucifer is highly sexual, and can make himself irresistible to most people. Neil Gaiman's Lucifer was partly inspired by David Bowie, but the show's creators decided against trying to mimic Bowie.[4] Tom Ellis saw the character as a sort of Oscar Wilde or Noël Coward character "with added rock and roll spirit", approaching his portrayal as if he were the "lovechild of Noël Coward and Mick Jagger, with a dash of British actor Terry-Thomas".[5]
  • Lauren German as Detective Chloe Decker:[6]
    Like her father before her, she is an LAPD homicide detective. She solves crimes with Lucifer after he takes an interest in her because she appears immune to his abilities. She on her part finds his "Lucifer-ness" both intriguing and hard to deal with. Due to an earlier incident concerning a cop shooting, she was ostracized by her fellow officers, resulting in her being partnered with Lucifer as her civilian consultant. When she is around Lucifer, he becomes vulnerable to physical harm. Her ex-husband, Dan, is also with the LAPD, and they have a daughter, Trixie. Chloe's widowed mother Penelope (Rebecca De Mornay) is an actress, as was Chloe herself, briefly. The events of season 2 reveal that Penelope was barren and Chloe's conception was the result of a miracle, performed by God with assistance from Amenadiel.
  • Kevin Alejandro as Detective Daniel "Dan" Espinoza:[7]
    An LAPD homicide detective and Chloe's ex-husband. He dislikes Lucifer's friendship with Chloe and Trixie, but as time passes Dan and Lucifer occasionally find common ground. Lucifer repeatedly calls him "Detective Douche". Originally Chloe's superior on the force, Dan was suspended due to the events of the Malcolm Graham case, then reinstated with a demotion to Detective. Dan has a complicated affair/relationship with Charlotte Richards, that started when she was inhabited by "Mum".
  • D. B. Woodside as Amenadiel:[8]
    An angel, Lucifer's older brother, and the eldest of all their siblings. His physical powers are similar to Lucifer's, and he can also stop time. He arrives in Los Angeles to encourage Lucifer to go back to Hell, and failing that, he attempts to force Lucifer back in different ways. Unlike Lucifer, Amenadiel has always followed God's orders, but comes to question his life-choices as events on Earth make him lose power and his wings.
  • Lesley-Ann Brandt as Mazikeen:[9][10]
    Confidante and devoted ally of Lucifer Morningstar, "Maze" for short. She is a demon who, having served as his head torturer, followed him from Hell to Los Angeles, and acted as a bartender and bodyguard at Lucifer's club. In season 2, Maze looks for a new direction on Earth and becomes a bounty hunter, having found something that feels right to her. In Season 3, she turns against Lucifer when he refuses to send her back to Hell.
  • Scarlett Estevez as Beatrice "Trixie" Espinoza:[11]
    Chloe and Dan's seven-year-old (at the start of the series) daughter, who befriends Lucifer and Mazikeen.
  • Rachael Harris as Dr. Linda Martin:[8]
    Lucifer's Stanford-educated psychotherapist, who initially accepts "payments" from him in the form of sex. Like almost everyone else, Dr. Martin does not take what Lucifer says at face value, and at first believes that Lucifer is using a religious metaphor to describe himself and his dysfunctional family relationships, until he reveals his true self in season 2, which leaves her visibly shaken. Prior to this her attempts to help Lucifer solve his emotional and personal problems have limited success, since she does not appreciate what he tells her is the truth, and because Lucifer himself has a tendency to misunderstand or misapply her advice. Eventually, Dr. Martin becomes part of Lucifer's circle of friends as well as his therapist. Her friendship with Amenadiel turns into a love-affair, which angers his previous lover Mazikeen.
  • Kevin Rankin as Detective Malcolm Graham (season 1):[12]
    A police officer who was shot prior to the beginning of the series. Chloe Decker witnessed the shooting, which occurred while Malcolm was secretly meeting with a suspected criminal. After the shooting, he was left in a coma. He briefly died but was then brought back from hell by Amenadiel to kill Lucifer, and is killed at the end of season one.
  • Tricia Helfer as Charlotte Richards/"Mum" (season 2–3):[13]
    Lucifer and Amenadiel's mother and exiled wife of God, who has escaped her prison in Hell. She is described as "the goddess of all creation", but her name and exact nature remain unrevealed. She is rumored to have caused plagues and floods before her imprisonment, and seeks revenge on her ex-husband. On Earth, her soul occupies the body of Charlotte Richards, a murdered lawyer. At the end of season 2, she leaves the universe, prompted by Lucifer to create her own world. This resurrects the human Charlotte, who has no memory of her time as "Mum", but does remember being in hell. Scared into trying to be a better person, Charlotte begins working for the DA's office in season 3. Lucifer and Amenadiel eventually tell Charlotte about Mum taking over her body. At the end of the season, she is killed by a bullet meant for Amenadiel, who takes her soul to heaven.
  • Aimee Garcia as Ella Lopez (seasons 2–present):[14]
    A forensic scientist for the LAPD who helps Chloe and Lucifer with their cases. Ella hails from Detroit, grew up with four brothers, and claims to have a somewhat criminal past. Ella wears a crucifix, leading both Lucifer and Chloe to ask questions about her Christian faith; according to Ella, she had an aunt who was a nun, but who taught her that to doubt things was all right, and so Ella believes questioning things makes her a better scientist.
  • Tom Welling as Lieutenant Marcus Pierce/Cain (season 3):
    A highly respected police lieutenant who oversees the work of Chloe, Dan, and Ella at the precinct.[15] He is revealed to be the immortal Cain, the world's first murderer, condemned to wander the Earth forever. Cain briefly allies with Lucifer in an attempt to make himself mortal, but they fall out as they compete over Chloe's affection.[16]

Episodes[edit]

In April 2016, Fox renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on September 19, 2016.[17] On October 31, 2016, the series received a 22-episode full second season pickup by Fox.[18] On February 13, 2017, Fox renewed the series for a third season initially of 22 episodes, which premiered on October 2, 2017.[19][20] However, in March 2017, it was revealed that the final four episodes of the second season would be removed and placed in the third season to air, meaning that the second season would consist of 18 episodes and the third season would consist of 26.[21][22] On January 22, 2018, writer Chris Rafferty indicated that the third season would instead contain 24 episodes.[23]

On May 11, 2018, Fox canceled the series after three seasons, stating it was a "ratings-based decision".[24][25] Before the series' cancellation, co-showrunner Ildy Modrovich stated that the final two episodes produced would be moved to a potential fourth season.[26] Instead, Fox broadcast both episodes on May 28, 2018 as a singular two-hour bonus episode.[27]

On June 15, 2018, it was announced that Netflix had picked the series up for a fourth season of ten episodes.[28]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
113January 25, 2016 (2016-01-25)April 25, 2016 (2016-04-25)Fox
218September 19, 2016 (2016-09-19)May 29, 2017 (2017-05-29)
326[a]October 2, 2017 (2017-10-02)May 28, 2018 (2018-05-28)[a]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In September 2014, it was reported that DC and Fox were developing a television series based on the Sandman character Lucifer, as originally written by Neil Gaiman.[1] The series is a "loose adaption" of the original comic-book.[31]

In May 2015, the series was officially picked up for 13 episodes for the 2015–16 season.[32][33] Fox then hired Almost Human alum Joe Henderson as showrunner, with Kapinos remaining on the series in a lesser capacity.[34]

Casting[edit]

In February 2015, it was announced that Tom Ellis had been cast as Lucifer Morningstar, and that Tom Kapinos would write the pilot, to be directed by Len Wiseman.[3] Lina Esco was originally cast as Maze (Mazikeen),[35] however, the role was later recast with Lesley-Ann Brandt.[9] Nicholas Gonzalez portrayed Dan in the pilot episode.[36] In June 2016, it was announced that Tricia Helfer had been cast as Lucifer and Amenadiel's mother, Charlotte, and that she was to appear in multiple episodes in season 2.[37] The character was promoted to series regular in July 2016.[38] Aimee Garcia had also been cast as a regular in season 2, playing L.A.P.D.'s forensic scientist Ella Lopez.[39] In August 2016, executive producer Ildy Modrovich announced the casting of Michael Imperioli as the angel Uriel, Amenadiel and Lucifer's younger brother with "a chip on his shoulder".[40]

Filming locations[edit]

Although the pilot was shot on location in Los Angeles, the rest of the first season and the entirety of the second were filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, with a relocation to California beginning with the third season,[41] taking advantage of tax incentives provided by the California Film Commission under its "Program 2.0" initiative.[42]

Music[edit]

The opening theme is a six-second clip from "Being Evil Has a Price", performed by the band Heavy Young Heathens.[43] In a lawsuit filed against Warner Bros., the song's composers, Robert and Aron Marderosian, claim the song has been used without giving them proper credit or a licensing agreement.[44]

Several episodes include musical performances by Tom Ellis, although he has stated in interviews that while it is his vocals, the piano accompaniment seen on screen is not actually his.[45] Neil Gaiman is a fan of David Bowie, and some of Bowie's music has been used on the show.[46]

Release[edit]

Season DVD and Blu-ray release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 August 23, 2016[47] October 17, 2016[48] October 19, 2016[49]
2 August 22, 2017[50] August 21, 2017[51] August 23, 2017[52]
3 August 28, 2018[53] September 3, 2018[54] TBA

Broadcast[edit]

In its first three seasons, Lucifer aired in the United States on Fox, in 720p, high definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. The first and second seasons aired on Monday at 9 pm EST, before moving to the 8 pm time slot on Monday for the third season. Hulu also owns exclusive streaming rights in the United States, with each season released after its broadcast on Fox.[55] CTV holds the broadcast rights for Canada.[56] In the United Kingdom, Amazon Video holds first-run broadcasting rights, with each episode airing less than 24 hours after the US broadcast.[57] It also airs on the television channel FOX. The series airs on FX in Australia[58]and on TVNZ1 in New Zealand.[59]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired TV season Rank Avg. viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
1 Monday 9:00 pm 13 January 25, 2016 (2016-01-25) 7.16[60] April 25, 2016 (2016-04-25) 3.89[61] 2015–16 62 7.17[62]
2 18 September 19, 2016 (2016-09-19) 4.36[63] May 29, 2017 (2017-05-29) 3.31[64] 2016–17 85 5.13[65]
3 Monday 8:00 pm 26[a] October 2, 2017 (2017-10-02) 3.92[66] May 28, 2018 (2018-05-28)[a] 2.42[67] 2017–18 119 4.16[68]

Critical reception[edit]

The pilot episode was screened in July at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con. The pilot was met positively by the viewers, with Bleeding Cool's Dan Wickline praising the episode, saying "the show itself is enjoyable because of the great dialogue and flawless delivery from its lead" and "This version of Lucifer refuses to take almost anything seriously and the show is better for it."[69] Max Nicholson of IGN rated the pilot episode a 6.9/10, praising Tom Ellis's performance as Lucifer and the lighthearted tone of the show, but criticizing the show for essentially being another crime procedural show.[70]

The first season received mixed reviews. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports a 47% approval rating based on 38 reviews, with an average rating of 5.24/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Lucifer's got sex appeal, but the show's hackneyed cop procedural format undermines a potentially entertaining premise."[71] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 49 out of 100, based 24 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[72]

Critics were much more appreciative of the second and third seasons. Both hold a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 5 reviews, with an average score of 7.75 out of 10.[73] and 9.33 out of 10,[74] Several critics praised the second season for its atmosphere and Tom Ellis' performance as Lucifer Morningstar. Ed Power of the Telegraph gave the season 2 premiere a 4/5 stating that "It is entirely beguiled by its own preposterousness."[75] Bernard Boo of We Got This Covered gave the premiere 3.5/5 stars saying "Lucifer's second season gets off to a nice start, building on the show's strengths while retaining some of the weaknesses. It remains an unapologetically sordid, demonically fun hour of TV."[76] LaToya Ferguson of The A.V. Club gave it a B, calling the episode funny with "genuinely funny moments to come from" and saying that the premiere "starts the season off on a good note." She praised Tom Ellis' performance calling it "pitch perfect."[77]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards show Nominee(s) Categories Result(s) Source(s)
2016 Teen Choice Awards Tom Ellis Choice TV: Breakout Star Nominated [78]
Lucifer Choice TV: Breakout Show Nominated
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Crime Drama Nominated [79]
Saturn Awards Best Fantasy Television Series Nominated [80]
Dragon Awards Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Series Nominated [81]

Censorship campaign[edit]

On May 28, 2015, the American Family Association (AFA) website One Million Moms launched a petition to prevent the show's airing.[82] The petition says the new series "will glorify Satan as a caring, likable person in human flesh."[83] It posted the petition on that date and 31,312 had signed the petition by the series' premiere date.[84] The petition on the main AFA website, posted the same date, garnered 134,331 signatures by the premiere date.[85][86] In response to the petition, character creator Neil Gaiman commented on his Tumblr page: "Ah. It seems like only yesterday (but it was 1991) that the "Concerned Mothers of America" announced that they were boycotting The Sandman because it contained lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans characters. It was Wanda that upset them most: the idea of a trans-woman in a comic book... They told us they were organizing a boycott of The Sandman, which they would only stop if we wrote to the American Family Association and promised to reform. I wonder if they noticed it didn't work last time, either..."[87] Regardless of the campaign, Fox renewed the series in April 2016 for a second season.[88]

Cancellation reactions[edit]

On May 11, 2018, following the series' initial cancellation, executive producer Joe Henderson indicated that the third season finale was not intended to be a series finale and that it would feature a "huge cliffhanger" that was meant to deter Fox from cancelling the series.[89][90] Fans rallied on Twitter and #SaveLucifer soon became the #1 trending topic worldwide with the hashtag being used approximately 1 million times that day.[91][92][93][94] The day after the #SaveLucifer campaign began, a second hashtag, #PickUpLucifer, also spent time as the number one worldwide trending tag, and returned to the top five during the finale, according to showrunner Ildy Modrovich.[95][96] That tag reached 1 million later that day.[97] An online petition also began circulating aimed at renewing Lucifer for season 4 on a new network.[98] Warner Bros. Television subsequently began shopping the series around to premium cable and streaming services;[99][100][101] the series was later picked up by Netflix for a fourth season.[28]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Before the series was cancelled,[29] co-showrunner Ildy Modrovich stated that two episodes produced for the third season were set to be moved to a potential fourth season.[30] Both episodes were broadcast on Fox on May 28, 2018 as a singular two-hour bonus episode.[27]

References[edit]

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