With a new network and a new season, yes fans will see Supergirl change. But moving from the more broad audience of CBS to the much more DC Comics-centric The CW could be a Kryptonic blessing in disguise for the series.
Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg told Entertainment Weekly‘s Natalie Abrams that indeed, the new home for Supergirl will allow writers to let their geek out. But the show also has evolved through its stories and how comfortable the writers have come with bringing television’s first major female superhero in recent decades.
“Because it was the first female superhero on TV in a long time, and then the first female superhero especially in the current explosion of comic book properties, the show had expectations to it, and the show had preconceived notions. And the show had, I don’t want to say limitations, but everybody had an opinion on what a female superhero should do and be and say.
“I think all of us collectively — as a studio, as a network, as showrunners, as cast — we all got locked into answering that question a lot oat the early stages. Once we got past that, and were able to just do a show every week about a superhero and not get so caught up in what was this show saying for everyone at every single moment, it started to become more what it wants to be.”
Yet, being on a smaller network with likely a smaller budget, Kreisberg and his crew must find creative ways to spend money in the budget. One cost savings was moving the production from Los Angeles to Vancouver. There, the production gets tax breaks it won’t see anywhere else, specially California. That leaves money, Kreisberg said, for more outdoor scenes. Something that was cost-prohibitive on an L.A. budget.
“We couldn’t afford to do all the visual effects and go on location, so there were a lot of episodes towards the end of last season where we never left the lot, so we weren’t even getting the benefit of being in Los Angeles. I would rather be overcast and thus have the ability to go out into some streets, and make this show feel huge and cinematic, than having the villain show up at her apartment like four episodes in a row last season, which again I think we got away with it, but I think it would’ve started to feel very small if we continued in L.A.
“That was one of the reasons that we made the decision to move it to Vancouver, so that we could get scope, so we could go out in the streets.”
When the show comes back on Monday, Supergirl will be joined by someone we saw only flashes of during the CBS run. Superman, played by Tyler Hoechlin, will drop by National City. But he won’t be the only major face we see this season.
Lynda Carter, who was the title role in the 1970s superhero series Wonder Woman joins the cast in Season 2 as the U.S. president.
Kreisberg said he was shocked when Carter agreed to come on the show, and they actually wrote her into the first season finale. However, Carter’s schedule didn’t line up, so instead of recasting, they decided to pull it out and hope there would be a second season to invite her.
Carter has joined a long list of people from the superhero past who has taken the time to come work with the current generation.
“When we got the pick-up, literally one of our first phone calls was to (Lynda Carter) to see what dates she had available. I got to talk to Lynda Carter on the phone. When I scroll down my phone list sometimes looking for a number, I’ll pass and I’ll see Lynda Carter is in there, Helen Slater is in there, John Wesley Shipp is in there, and it blows my mind that these actors, who were such a part of my life and so part of the national conversation about heroes, I get to work with them.”
If you don’t recognize those names, first hand over your geek card. And then go and watch 1984’s Supergirl or the 1990s version of The Flash. Seriously, it’s worth the time.
Supergirl, starring Melissa Benoist, is back Monday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
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