Gotham shows another side of Batman, as Fox green lights a new show starring The OC actor Ben McKenzie as Commissioner James Gordon at the beginning of his infamous career. The show begins with his induction to the police force and continues on to rise to Commissioner and his mission to find the killers of Bruce Wayne’s parents; expanding more on the police force attempts to solve the crime, and the evolution of how Bruce Wayne became Batman through his traumatic experience as a child. Fox is counting on this sort of “ultimate” origin story bringing them good ratings and numbers.
This week is the busiest deal making week of the year for executives, there will be presentations to advertisers and decisions whether to renew or cancel shows, which pilots are getting series orders, etc. Gotham has been given an order of at least 13 episodes, as part of a “series commitment”. Fox will have to pay a penalty if they decided not to do the series, but there still wasn’t a definite plan earlier this week. Although the potential for a built in audience is there, Batman fans might not enjoy a show about Batman that doesn’t have Batman in it – Gotham shows another side of Batman, Bruce Wayne is 12 years old. Some fans worry about the darkness of typical Batman story. One of the quirks of the older television series was the camp and fun. The movies have centered a lot on the more serious side of the tale with only bits of humor thanks to characters such as the Riddler and Penguin. If Gotham shows a little lighter side it will help the chances of this show being successful as well. Fox executives are taking some definite action to get the word out – the first trailer was released during the premier of the new 24 series, and executives saw it as a strong launching vehicle. Fox has also already put a lot of money in the trust of success of the series. Therefore, Fox already has invested in the show being a success before it has even started.
Gotham shows another side of Batman and his foes as well, including many untold tales of Penguin (portrayed by Robin Lord Taylor), Riddler (portrayed by Cory Michael Smith) and Catwoman (portrayed by Camren Bicondova). The cast also includes Sons of Anarchy actor Donal Logue and Jada Pinkett-Smith portraying an original character, Fish Mooney. The character of Mooney is a nightclub owner, and Logue acting as Detective Harvey Bullock. The show will focus on the rise of Gordon’s importance in Gotham City before Batman came to be. The show is directed and executive produced by Danny Cannon (CSI), and is written by Bruno Heller and John Stephens (who is also executive producing). An air date has not yet been set, but Fox is planning on the 2014-15 season for the premier. Telling the Batman story in a different way may prove to be a good move, but hopefully the fans will not be overworked with the upcoming film starring Ben Affleck as the Dark Knight coming out soon as well.
By Sharon A. Daws