mercoledì 2 ottobre 2013
WALL STREET JOURNAL
I super-poteri della seconda stagione di "Arrow"
"For the coming second season of its superhero series "Arrow," the CW Network is adding actual superpowers. "Arrow" is based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, who was introduced in 1941, and it features a costumed crime fighter, played by Stephen Amell, who is great with a bow but doesn't have any supernatural abilities.
To differentiate the TV hero from the comic-book character, the series splits its time between the Arrow and his alter ego, a billionaire playboy named Oliver Queen who picked up his archery skills when he was marooned on a mysterious island for five years.
Rather than rely on superheroes, the show's first season featured high-octane fight scenes and high-tech weaponry. The result was the network's most watched show in the 2012-2013 season, with a premiere that drew 4.1 million total viewers, the largest audience for any show on the network in three years. The CW is owned by CBS Corp. CBS +1.09% and Time Warner TWX +1.32%Inc..
"We always pitched this show more like Jason Bourne than a comic book," says Greg Berlanti, a writer, executive producer and co-creator of "Arrow." "But we're changing some of it up this season."
Those changes include a shift in genre, from action-adventure series to superhero-driven drama.
Arrow "doesn't want to be the vigilante anymore, he wants to be the hero," says Marc Guggenheim, a writer, executive producer and co-creator of "Arrow."
As the CW seeks to continue broadening its programming beyond its core demographic of women 18 to 34 years old, the show's creators have teamed up with DC Entertainment's chief creative officer, Geoff Johns, to introduce another DC character, Barry Allen/the Flash, played by "Glee" co-star Grant Gustin, into three of this season's 22 episodes.
Allen is a forensic police scientist who gets struck by lightning and transforms himself into the Flash, a costumed hero who is imbued with super speed.
Season 2 of "Arrow" will start Oct. 9, just a few weeks after "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."—Marvel Entertainment's first live-action series since it was acquired by Walt Disney Co. DIS +0.53%—arrived on ABC with 11.9 million viewers, the highest-rated network-drama debut in four years.
DC Entertainment is owned by Time Warner, as is Warner Bros. Television, which produces and distributes the series. In addition to the Flash, "Arrow" is also incorporating the Black Canary and the Bronze Tiger, two other DC characters, into its sophomore season.
Culling a greater number of characters from the DC universe is a big synergetic move for Warner Bros., whose film studio has grossed more than $6 billion world-wide because of its DC film properties such as Batman, Superman and the Dark Knight trilogy.
Translating that relationship to the small screen, Warner Bros. Television announced two DC-related projects that are in development, "Constantine," an NBC drama about a con man turned detective, and "Gotham," a Fox show that takes on the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon and some of the fictional city's villains.
Fox Broadcasting Corp. is part of 21st Century Fox Inc., FOX +1.62%and until recently it was part of the same company as The Wall Street Journal.
Last season 51% of the audience for "Arrow" was men. To increase those numbers, the network created its first two-hour TV special recap for a continuing show titled "Arrow: Year One," a nod to the titling style of DC's graphic novels. The recap will air Oct. 2.
"We approached season two of 'Arrow' like a sequel," said Mr. Guggenheim, "and we've all seen how superhero sequels have performed. We want to tap into that."—To see an exclusive clip of a scene from the second season of "Arrow," go to WSJ.com/Speakeasy.
Write to Alexandra Cheney at email@example.com