Wednesday, October 01, 2008

CW Developing New Show Around Dick Grayson

With SMALLVILLE winding down, it looks like the CW is preparing a similar-minded show starring everyone's favorite Titan: Dick Grayson. I'll always been iffy on SMALLVILLE, so this project leaves me feeling a little... dubious.

Variety Reports:

Holy prequel, Boy Wonder, the CW is prepping a series based on Batman sidekick Robin’s pre-Caped Crusader days.

"Smallville" exec producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson, as well as "Supernatural" exec producer McG, are behind "The Graysons," which has landed a put pilot commitment at the netlet.

Just as "Smallville" focused on Clark Kent in the years before he became Superman, "The Graysons" will follow the world of Dick "DJ" Grayson before he takes on the iconic Robin identity and aligns himself with Batman.

Project reps the latest DC Comics franchise to be mined for the smallscreen by sibling Warner Bros. TV. McG’s Wonderland Sound and Vision label is also attached.

Souders, Peterson, McG and Wonderland’s Peter Johnson will exec produce.

"The Graysons" is seen as a potential replacement for "Smallville" should that show end its run this season, which has been speculated. Should "Smallville" return next year, "The Graysons" might also make a strong companion piece.

CW insiders said they also see the "Graysons" development as a validating gesture by Warner Bros. that the company is still behind its 50% investment in the netlet, particularly following this fall’s strong openings for "Gossip Girl" and newbie "90210." They believe the studio wouldn’t risk bringing one of its prized franchises to CW if it believed the net was in dire straits.

In the one-hour "Graysons," which will be set in modern times, young DJ will face challenges involving first loves, young rivals and his family as he grows up. Souders and Peterson have come up with an original take on the character.

In the original Batman mythology, Grayson was a young acrobat and part of the family act called "The Flying Graysons." He was orphaned when a gangster sabotaged his parents’ trapeze equipment. Bruce Wayne took him under his wing and trained him to help fight crime.

Grayson later morphed into the character of Nightwing, as part of "The New Teen Titans," and a series of new Robin replacements were introduced.

Souders and Peterson serve as showrunners (along with Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer) on "Smallville," which has just entered its eighth season. They’ve been with the hit drama since season two, and helped successfully transition the show following the departure of longtime toppers Miles Millar and Al Gough.

In features, Peterson wrote "But I’m a Cheerleader," while Souders was behind "Tell Me."

McG’s credits also include NBC’s "Chuck" and the upcoming feature "Terminator Salvation." "The Graysons" reps McG’s second DC Comics sale this year: Wonderland is also behind the Fox project "Human Target," which Jon Steinberg is writing.

CW predecessor the WB tackled the Batman mythology with 2002’s short-lived "Birds of Prey," which followed a group of female superheroes who flew in to protect Gotham after Batman disappeared.

Burt Ward, of course, played Dick Grayson/Robin in the campy 1965-68 TV series "Batman." And several animated versions of the Batman story have appeared on the smallscreen through the years, most recently KidsWB’s "The Batman."

Bob Kane created the DC Comics characters.


  • At 9:11 AM, Blogger Mr. Allison Blaire said…

    It's kinda hard for me to imagine how a pre-Batman Dick Grayson show would work. Is he still going to be a circus acrobat ? Will his parents ever die ?

    They should have just tried something about a solo college aged Nightwing, imho.

  • At 11:12 AM, Blogger Johny Ho said…

    I agree with mr. allison blaire.

    We would end up getting only pseudo robin, like what they have with pseudo superman in Smallville.

    For some reason, I really don't want this to work out.

  • At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Redbird03 said…

    I'm with you guys on this. I'm not sure how they can tell the tale of Dick Grayson and make it workable. Don't get me wrong, I would love to see a series all about the first Robin, but the premise of this series... I dunno...

    I mean, first off, this is going to mess up his continuity with Batman. In the original stories Dick's parents died when he was 10-12 years old, and was taken in by Bruce Wayne at that time, during which he trained to be the Boy Wonder. But chances are this series will have Dick Grayson at the age of 15-16 years old to draw in the teenagers. The series would likely have a 2-8 year run (depending on how well it's picked up by the audience), making Dick 24 roughly when the series ends. How do they explain why a legal adult becomes Batman's ward/sidekick? Fans had to suspend belief during BATMAN FOREVER for cripe's sake.

    And then of course there is the question of what the premise will be? Dick Grayson grew up in the circus. It's his thing. He's a highly skilled acrobat and that's one of his special edges. I highly doubt the WB will have the story revolve around a traveling circus, because that would require major scene changes from episode to episode. They'll probably push the circus part to the side, and replace it with them settling down in a nice suburb of Gotham or something like that.

    Then of course, this sets Dick up to never needing Batman. The series would start out with the freak of the week formula, before getting into big battles against monsters and aliens. Not to mention the introduction of characters like Starfire, Speedy, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, and Jericho would start popping up, making it to where Dick would be a hero in his own right and would never need to worry about being a sidekick, when he's been on his own.

    And what's up with this 'DJ' stuff? Okay, I get that they don't want to use the word "Dick" because that's obviously fodder for endless sex jokes at the character's expense, and since this is network TV, they avoid anything that can be construed as blatant potty/sexual humor. But why not call him "Richard" or "Rich" like they've been doing in the comics. Yeah, I know that his full name is Richard "Dick" John Grayson. So DJ is a convenient appreciation, but I keep thinking about that girl from Full House every time I hear that name.

    The best thing they could do for this series it like mr. allison blaire said and do a Nightwing story line in his college years. They use Batman in the first episode like in BIRDS OF PREY, and talk about him, but he doesn't appear. And yes, they would have to do away with that stupid 'no tights no flights' rule somewhat. But instead of giving Dick a full costume, all they would need to do is give him a make. The rest of his outfit can be street attire, with his Nightwing insignia embroidered on it.

  • At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This sounds lame. if its just a travelling circus teen with a gay name like DJ why bother making it dick grayson? i'm not a dick grayson fan so i might be a little biased when i say that this show sounds retarded. but does anyone like circuses? no. so it'll flop.

  • At 5:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is going to suck more than all the Hoover uprights and quicksand pits and leeches and remoras and riptides and black holes in existence.

    It will suck more than the final scene in the movie "Alien", where Sigourney Weaver strapped herself in and pushed that big red button, and the space alien got sucked out into space.

    In other words, it will suck.

    Why aren't they doing a teenage Bruce Wayne movie, where he was in prep school with the spoiled and popular, uber-rich classmate who everybody called "the Joker"?

    That would be very, very cool. But this idea? This sucketh.

  • At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Did we not learn from Birds of Prey & Catwoman???? Batman characters are too linked together to him to stand on their own?

    Why not do Static to cash on his being on the team or Cyborg since we have seen him on Smallville.

  • At 9:53 PM, Blogger Hellfyre D said…

    Why not just make a live action series on the Titans? Maybe the original 5 ... have them hang out and solve some crimes while dealing with their "parental" figures and the problems of growing up super?

  • At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Southern Boy said…

    Im not a Huge comic book fan, but batman is my favorite hero and from some one like me (16 y/0 blakc male) this si not a good idea for a series, if it is the young Robin.

    The Nightwing idea is good but how about go farther than that. Put him in his 30's make him the top hero in the new JL. let him have a family(not knowing of his other life)

    I Also like the Static Idea, you already dont have to deal with the (tights) i dont know about flying. I think it would atract a better audience. you could use batman and superman in that to.

    Green Arrow spin off would work all


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