CBS nabs rights to Supergirl TV series, but its horrible track record with genre television may ruin the future of female superheroes on television forever.
There’s been a lot of excitement over the news of a Supergirl television series finally coming to light. And recently, the series was picked up by a network. Unfortunately, that network was CBS. And because of that, this one is doomed to fail.
CBS has a really bad track record for genre television shows, even worse than FOX. In the past few years, shows with a lot of potential, like Under The Dome and Extant, have been not only promoted horribly, but also had later episodes go completely off the rails. Both series will probably face cancellation soon and that’s because CBS and those who write for the network just don’t know how to handle genre television shows.
So how does this ruin Supergirl and other female superhero shows for everyone? A lot is riding on Supergirl. She’ll be the first female live action superhero on TV since the 1970s (I could be wrong here, but the last one I remember is Wonder Woman). And with CBS not knowing how to handle this sort of genre story, it may start off with a lot of potential, but there’s a real possibility that after a few episodes, the writers won’t know how to continue writing something they’ve little experience with.
CBS is also one of the hold-out networks for putting episodes up online, although they’ve experimented recently with 5-day-later episodes on Amazon Prime. However, they refuse to work with services like Hulu, which are essential when you’re dealing with superhero fans who tend to be much more technologically savvy than those people watching one of the many iterations of CSI.
Finally, CBS has shown it has no idea who the audience is for these kind of shows. Although both Under The Dome and Extant are targeted towards people like me, I had no idea they even existed long after their premieres aired (Extant had aired three episodes before I’d ever even heard of it). CBS is probably the network seen least on social media, which means that people like me, again who are savvy to such things, are getting missed. Let’s face it, CBS is the network everyone’s grandparents watch, and that means they’re completely out of touch to market a show with a younger target audience.
Here’s the real problem, though: once Supergirl fails, other networks will take it as a sign that the world isn’t ready for a female superhero television series. That’s the very real reality here. It’s a sexist reality, because this rarely happens with male superhero TV and movies, but when it comes to women-led series, one failure dooms the lot. It’s b.s., but that’s just how it is.
So Supergirl and other female-led superhero shows are doomed before they even begin. And we’ll have CBS to thank for screwing it up.