When it was announced that the Supergirl pilot had been greenlit, television and comic book fans alike were hopeful. But when when the show was picked up by CBS for a full first season run, fans were ecstatic!
The arrival of Supergirl to the small screen is significant and historic in many ways. Supergirl is the first female superhero-centric television show since 1975 when Wonder Woman premiered on ABC. However, the character of Supergirl is no stranger to Hollywood. Supergirl was brought to life as a feature film in 1984 with Helen Slater playing the title character. Now, Melissa Benoist is taking her shot at playing the heroine. In this adaptation of the comic books, Supergirl is the cousin of Superman. The television show starts at the time when she begins to use her super abilities; some of these abilities include super strength and flying capabilities.
Another reason Supergirl is a big deal for the fall TV lineup? She’s one of few lead female characters on the docket. In fact, during the 2014-2015 television season, only 40 percent of all characters on broadcast, cable, and Netflix programs were portrayed by women. A more startling statistic is that in 2014, a mere 12 percent of television protagonists were female. For every 25 protagonists on television last year, only three were females! That’s a pretty small number, but Supergirl adds one more protagonist and many more female characters to the small screen.
This past weekend, the parents of the executive producers of Supergirl worked with a local theater in Cathedral City, California to show an exclusive screening of the pilot a month before its primetime premier. Many young girls attended this special event and left feeling empowered. After viewing the premier, Alana Firman told KESQ that she would watch the show “a million times because it’s just talking about how girls can do anything anyone else can.”
Besides fans knowing the significance of Supergirl, even the working minds behind the show and the actors of the show know. Executive producer Greg Berlanti shared, “Our character [Supergirl] says, ‘I’m not almost as powerful as Superman. I am as powerful as Superman.’ So, why is it, that when we see that ‘S’ [the family crest both Superman and Supergirl wear on their chest], we just associate it with a man?”
When Supergirl premieres at the end of October, I know I will wear my flannel PJs and have my popcorn ready. This show embodies how a woman does not need a man to be strong. In fact, we all have a little bit of Supergirl inside of us.
Cover image courtesy of Slash Gear.