Fox has officially given a series order to Batman prequel Gotham for the 2014-2015 season.
Gotham’s pickup should come as no surprise, given reports of the strong script from Bruno Heller (The Mentalist, Rome). Fox gave Gotham a series commitment months ago, which ensured Fox would pay a penalty fee if they opted not to order the project to series.
Anchored by The OC and Southland alum Ben McKenzie, the Gotham prequel explores the origin stories of a young Det. James Gordon (McKenzie) as he combats a growing criminal element of villains in Gotham City. Other characters from the DC Universe expected to play a major role in the series includes a young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Camren Bicondova), Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) and Riddler (Cory Michael Smith).
Bringing the additional star power to the series is Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney and Donal Logue as Det. Harvey Bullock.
Emmy nominee Danny Cannon directed and executive produced the pilot, from Warner Bros. Television. John Stephens will serve as an executive producer.
Fox plans to delve heavily into the Batman mythos by exploring what Gotham was like before Batman’s creation. Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly touted the series’ serialized nature during the Television Critics Association winter press tour in January and said he hoped to give the series a 22-episode order. “It gives a real focus as to what this show is about and what stories we’re telling.”
Check out the Gotham trailer below
It will be interesting to see how Fox handles the show with the rabid Batman fan base. A Batman franchise should be a go for any project, but recent attempts at exploring the Batman universe (The WB’s Birds of Prey for example) have been an epic failure. Birds of Prey’s pitfall, besides the terrible plot and even worse casting, was expecting Batman fans to watch a show involving the Batman universe, without actually featuring Batman. Gotham faces the same challenge.
Fox should commit to 13 episode no matter what the ratings are. I know that seems like a far-fetched scenario, but given Fox’s penchant for prematurely canceling series, there’s no way viewers will invest if they feel the series will be canceled on a short-sighted whim. I’d like to see Fox take a cable approach and air the series in 13-episode blocks, take short hiatus, then air the rest of the episodes. Promote each 13-episode block as a chapter with a beginning, middle and cliffhanger end.