Why The CW Should Reconsider Making a Superman TV Show

Why the CW Network has no plans for Superman, and why they should reconsider.

By Jeffrey Misener

Sunday’s Television Critics Press Tour revealed that there are currently no plans for any appearances of Superman on The CW Network’s shared universe of DC Comics based shows. Actor Tyler Hoechlin debuted in the role this fall on “Supergirl” to wide spread approval. Many had hoped he would get his own series or become a recurring character across the shows, similar to the contract deal the network made with actor Wentworth Miller to play Captain Cold across their various shows. So why sit on a hot commodity? Perhaps they feel his presence and popularity would negatively impact their other Superman based properties. Would he make them redundant?

Kara Danvers and her cousin Clark Kent feel very much from the same family. Both characters are bespectacled adorkable journalists moonlighting in capes. So would that mean that adding Superman is redundant? No. While they are similar, it’s the difference in what’s expected of the gender norms which makes them unique. Both characters are mighty and resilient. Compassionate and gentle. For Supergirl it is her strength that makes the character a rebellion against outdated norms that linger on. Women are expected to be inherently nurturing and sweet, so her physical power and fighter’s spirit is what is highlighted in her character. By showcasing her strength the series reinforces the aspects of women that are sometimes neglected. Supergirl stands then as a role model to women, and a reminder to men of gender equality. So why do we need Superman if Supergirl is his equal?

In the same way Supergirl demonstrates less credited virtues, Superman shows a man of great power who promotes compassion. Men are expected to be strong, but under less encouragement to be gentle. In fact gentility would almost be considered to be an insulting word to some men who would perceive it as “weakness”. In a logical world, one who has power would also be secure enough to not need to lord it over others. Sadly that is not our world. We live in a world where even men who’ve achieved earning billions of dollars feel the need to treat women horribly as a display of power. They enjoy the feeling that their position enables them to “get away with it”. Ma Kent’s son doesn’t play by those rules. He treats everyone with respect and even affection. Superman is a much needed symbol of what men should strive to be in this day and age. Supergirl and Superman; cut from the same cloth, but each unique in what they impart to their audience. Tyler Hoechlin joining The CW on a regular basis wouldn’t diminish Supergirl… but would it step on Henry Cavill’s red boots?

Soaring across the multiplex as the Man of Steel since 2013 is actor Henry Cavill. After a solo debut film and last year’s slugfest “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, he will appear next this summer in DC’s mega crossover film “Justice League”. Amid the line up of DC’s hopeful attempt to replicate Disney’s success with Marvel’s “The Avengers” is The Flash played by Ezra Miller. A solo film starring Miller’s Flash is scheduled to follow on March 16th 2018. His casting was done after the celebrated debut performance of the character on TV by actor Grant Gustin. WB apparently does not think that launching a new Flash franchise while separately continuing an acclaimed television franchise would harm either property. So why would it be any different for Superman? At this moment there is no release date set for a solo Superman film. A renewed interest in the character generated by a possible television revival may even help the odds of a future solo movie.

The skies are big, and there is plenty of space for multiple heroes. We need them… especially now.

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Lana2k5
Member

I probably would have entitled this “Why the World Needs Superman on TV Again.” ;)

macca38
Member
To be honest we all need to wait perhaps 10yrs for Snyder films are played out. I wasn’t a big fan of Man Of Steel or Batman v Superman, I’ll not be in the queue for Justice League & look forward to either a Superman movie reboot or preferably a tv show. I imagine fans & readers of this website would like a Supergirl type production & not a Snyder feel. Also I personally wouldn’t like a Lois & Clark production but with plenty of action, a character theme (maybe Williams music) & bring Superman back to the top which… Read more »
Frogman
Member

Superman is best when he’s whimsical; that’s simply his purest form. Anything else is just a heap of junk. :)

MattComics
Member
Jefferey good on ya for this article, a pleasure to read especially now that we’re in an age that’s starting to feel like a bad alternate ending to the Legends mini-series IMO. I really liked that you pointed out that Superman is masculine without the tedious and tiresome macho bulls**t that says compassion and empathy somehow make one less of a man. I am more than onboard for a tv series with Tyler’s Superman (I would even be willing to take the re-occuring character across the shows route if that was only option) and that’s not even a knock against… Read more »
redcape
Member

I’m going to disagree.

We already have a SUPER show, Supergirl! You start to give too much and it becomes too common and the next thing you know the interest level goes out the window and it’s old news. If they flood the media with Superman environments then the attention regarding him will diminish and he’ll disappear. You know as good as chocolate is, if you stuff your face everyday with it, it won’t take long until you won’t care about it. Would not
want to make Superman subjected to that environment.

supertorresmo
Member

I think the real reason to not go ahead with a Superman show is that CW already got to much going on. They already said that they are at their limit for superhero shows. For a new Superman show to air one of the others would need to be cancelled.

Lana2k5
Member

Not just the network. Berlanti Productions currently has FIVE ongoing projects (Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Legends, and Riverdale) and possibly a sixth should Black Lightning get picked up.

Guest

I’d be all for it, but they got to do something about those leather cape straps. His costume makes the phrase “less is more” ring true in my opinion.

macca38
Member

Prefer costume to Cavill’s, much more true to Superman character in reference to comics, previous live action & animation. Cavill’s costume / suit is a little too dark for me. Wasn’t a fan of Brandon Routh’s costume but much better than Cavill’s. Personally be happy when Snyder has exhausted his Superman.

sundevil82
Member
As much As I would love a Superman-centric show and while I enjoyed Tyler’s portrayal, I’m starting to think that the CW shows drop in quality after 2 seasons. I really loved the first two season of both Flash and Arrow, but the following seasons have been so-so at best. I wouldn’t want superman to get stale after 2 seasons only to see him disappear from media for several years shortly after. I believe that is why we won’t see a show anytime soon. I think their intention is to rectify what they found wrong with the cinema version and… Read more »
Frogman
Member

I’m all for Superman on TV – The world needs someone other than Man of Steel Superman as a good hero example. :P – as long as it isn’t in the CW-DCU continuity. The CW shows do very well at turning really good superhero shows into either soap operas or just plain bad shows.

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