Just as Disney/Marvel was launching its first foray into primetime TV with the debut of AGENTS OF SHIELD, Warner Bros—already a seasoned vet of “the tube” with Smallville and Arrow—one upped them a bit by announcing the oft rumoredGOTHAM, a show focusing on James Gordon, pre Batman. The show will be run by Sam Heller, creator of The Mentalist and it will air on Fox, which has already ordered a series.

It explores the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon and the villains who made Gotham City famous. In Gotham, Gordon is still a detective with the Gotham City Police Department and has yet to meet Batman, who will not be part of the series. The Gordon character was introduced in 1939 in the very first Batman comic. {snip}

While Superman spawned the long-running series Smallville, this is the first series featuring a character from the world of Batman in a very long time as WBTV had been exploring a Gotham City-set show for more than a year. It is the second high-profile WBTV/DC drama in the works for next season, along with Flash at the CW. In addition to Gotham, WME-repped Heller has the Mars drama Red at the CW. Gotham joins CBS’ sci-fi drama Extant as the two hottest drama projects this season, both sparking bidding wars and landing a series commitment and series order, respectively.

The show was reportedly the basis of a bidding war, and the fact it ended up on Fox as opposed to the CW is significant. As is the fact it went to series wihout the need for a pilot. Because, let’s face it, the idea of a young detective running around a dark city fighting outre villains is about the easiest idea a TV show has ever had to do.

And there is ample comics fodder for the show from the excellent Ed Brubaker/Greg Rucka/Michael Lark Gotham Central series which was rumored to be in TV development all the way back in 2003.


  1. Interesting news, but I don’t think this “one-upped” the debut of S.H.I.E.L.D … ABC actually broadcast this show, while “Gotham” is in the announcement-stage. Personally, I’m more excited for a program I can watch. When the Gordon show rolls out to the public, then I’ll be happy.

  2. Smallville was fine and all, but is anyone else tired of superhero shows without superheroes? We love this stuff for a reason–why can’t that reason be on television?

  3. Honestly, Gordon and Gotham are interesting but they’re interesting because of their relationship to Batman. If Batman’s not there I don’t really see the point. A supporting character is designed to support. You have protagonists and supporting characters not a group of protags waiting to happen. Yes Gordon is a good character but he’s a good character as part of Batman’s world. Same goes for Robin and Catwoman.

    @Jerry Smith. I couldn’t agree more. Also can we stop being ashamed of their names and costumes while we’re at it?

  4. Brilliant.
    DC and WB produce a show which has low production costs.
    (It’s a police procedural.)

    It’s set in a world widely recognized by the general public. It’s easy to sell and hook people. “What’s it like working as a cop in Gotham City, a city filled with crazy people wearing strange clothing?”

    Just as Disney/ABC beat WBE to the starting line with “Once Upon A Time”, WBE beats Disney/Marvel/Bendis’s “Powers” with “GCPD”. (And them with the collected tome written by Brubaker and Rucka.)

    As for “supporting characters”… you mean like Dick Grayson? Rene Montoya? And have you read “GCPD”? Apparently a book about “supporting characters” was good enough to win a few Eisner and Harvey awards.

    Why can’t there be a superhero show on TV? Because superheroes, the type seen in comic books, look pretty silly on television. Because the production costs get expensive. Because after a while, you either have to go the lighthearted route, bordering on camp, or you go the serious route, where the villains are terrorists, and ordinary people crack under the constant threat of some crazy blowing up a bus. And that last route… that’s when McGyver meets Aurora.

    The middle route is that of David Banner… a strange man in a strange land. It’s the X-Files. It’s Runaways. It’s Smallville. It’s SHIELD.

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