Based on the DC character of the same name, “Black Lightning” centers around Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), a high school principal who is forced to don his superhero suit once again after years of retirement when a local gang arises and recruits one of his star students. The show also stars Christine Adams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, James Remar, Marvin Jones III, Jordan Calloway and Damon Gupton. Season 4 of the series is slated to air early next year.
“When we first started the ‘Black Lighting’ journey, I knew that Jefferson Pierce and his family of powerful Black Women would be a unique addition to the super hero genre,” series developer and executive producer Salim Akil said in a statement. “The love that Blerds and all comic book fans around the globe have shown this series over the past three seasons proved what we imagined, Black People Want To See Themselves in all their complexities.”
News of the series ending comes over a week after The CW ordered a backdoor pilot for a potential spinoff centered on the “Black Lightning” character Painkiller. Calloway will star in that project, with Akil writing, executive producing and directing the pilot.
“Thank you to the phenomenal cast, writers and crew without whom none of this would’ve been possible,” Akil continued. “I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve been able to do and the moments we’ve been able to create in bringing DC’s first African-American family of super heroes to life for the culture. I’m very grateful to Peter Roth, Warner Bros. TV, Mark Pedowitz, The CW Network and Greg Berlanti for their partnership and support of my vision at every step of this journey. While Season Four may be the end of one journey, I’m extremely excited to usher in a new chapter and continued collaboration with The CW as we tell the story of Painkiller.”
“Black Lightning” hails from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. The series was developed for TV by Akil. Mara Brock Akil also executive produces, along with Berlanti and Sarah Schechter of Berlanti Productions, Charles D. Holland and Pat Charles.
The CW has found great success with its lineup of DC shows. Along with “Black Lightning,” the broadcaster has aired shows like “Arrow” — which ended earlier this year after eight seasons — as well as “The Flash,” “Supergirl,” “Legends of Tomorrow” and “Batwoman.” It was also announced last year that The CW was plotting an “Arrow” spinoff about the Canaries, which aired as a backdoor pilot during “Arrow’s” final season. Most recently, it acquired the shows “Swamp Thing” and “Stargirl” from the now-defunct streaming service DC Universe.
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