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Though only loosely based on the comics, Lucifer is meant to take place between Lucifer’s exit in The Sandman and the beginning of the comic Lucifer, said Executive Producer Ildy Modrovich in an interview, rather than act as a television interpretation of the comic.

“At the end of Sandman, Lucifer leaves Hell to go to LA and open a piano bar,” Modrovich said. “So we’re sticking right there. Right there in the reality, the grounded world. We’re never going to go to Hell, we’re never going to go to Heaven. So it’s all about his fascination with humanity, trying to figure out if he can actually care about something other than himself.”

Modrovich also said some characters from The Sandman could show up in the show’s future, depending on whether DC would permit it.

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Set to air on Fox in 2016, Lucifer stars Tom Ellis as the devil, who has recently vacated Hell to explore life on Earth, where he begins to help the LAPD solve crimes. The show will use a hybrid of episodic and serialized storytelling, according to the producers.

Ellis said he was drawn to the character from the pilot’s script, but had no idea what the source material was.

“I didn’t know it was based on a comic until I read on Deadline that I’d got the job and it was based on a DC comic,” he said. “Which I’m kind of glad about, because it might have altered my approach slightly. But now I’m reading them avidly.”

Modrovich said adapting the series has come with its set of challenges, both from fans of the property and others who had religious objections.

“When it was first announced, there were a lot of haters. Because when you’re talking about comic books, people are serious. They’re not messing around. And I don’t blame them, because Lucifer is a gorgeous comic, it’s beautiful,” she said. “So I think they were upset to hear ‘Oh, they’re going to make a cop show.’ But I feel like if they watch it for what it is, they’ll like what it is.”

The religious objection Modrovich alluded to includes a petition from AFA website One Million Moms to prevent the show from airing, claiming the series will “glorify Satan as a caring, likable person in human flesh.”

Lucifer also stars DB Woodside as Amenadiel, Lesley-Ann Brandt as Maze, and Lauren German as Chloe Dance.