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The CW picks up 'Naomi' series, passes on 'Black Lightning' spinoff, and retools 'Powerpuff Girls'
The CW's promising slate of fresh genre programming just got a little bit smaller. According to a new report from Variety, the network has handed down a full series order to Naomi, a brand-new Arrowverse series from executive producers Ava DuVernay and Jill Blankenship. Based on the limited comic book series from Brian Michael Bendis (Jessica Jones), David F. Walker (Bitter Root), and Jamal Campbell, the show will star Kaci Walfall (an alum of Broadway's The Lion King) in the title role of a young adopted girl who begins to discover her superpowers after Superman comes to her town for a showdown with the villain known as Mogul.
While The CW has provided the green-light to Naomi, it has not extended the same courtesy to another DC-inspired offering, Painkiller, writes Deadline. The network flirted with the idea of a potential spinoff project for Jordan Calloway's Black Lightning character with a backdoor pilot episode in the final season of Lightning. "With Khalil, I wanted to get into the idea of the duality of Black men," creator Salim Akil told SYFY WIRE earlier this year. "How, in some cases, you're one person in one area of your life and you have to be another person. I'm trying to figure that out with this character: how do you bring those two parts of you together without sacrificing who you truly are?"
Over in the city of Townsville, Diablo Cody's grown-up version of The Powerpuff Girls will go back to the drawing board in Professor Utonium's lab in order to "rework its pilot," as Variety puts it. "The network will film a new pilot for the series off-cycle." Based on the beloved animated Cartoon Network show of the same name, Powerpuff stars Chloe Bennet (Blossom), Dove Cameron (Bubbles), Yana Perrault (Buttercup), Donald Faison (Professor Utonium), and Nicholas Podany (Mojo Jojo Jr.).
In conversation with SYFY WIRE at the start of 2021, animator Craig McCracken (the creator of The Powerpuff Girls) said he had zero involvement with the live-action version, but was interested to see where it would go. "The initial concept of Powerpuff Girls was the idea that they were little kids being superheroes, so the fact that they're making them grow up, that sort of changes that initial concept," he said. "But we'll see what they do with it."