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2014-15 Upfront

Fox Is Batty for Gotham

Network orders Batman origin story to series

Fire up the Bat Signal, Chief O’Hara, because Fox officially has ordered Gotham to series.

Based upon characters published by DC Entertainment and produced by Warner Bros. Television, Gotham functions as a serialized origin story of Batman supervillians like Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova), the feline burglar better known as Catwoman.

(The draft of the pilot script that began circulating last winter suggests that Batman purists also will have to contend with the comic book’s goofiest bad guy. In the draft read by Adweek, The Riddler makes his first appearance in the guise of a coroner affiliated with Gotham’s finest.)

Ben McKenzie (The O.C., Southland) stars as a young Detective James Gordon, and David Mazouz, late of Fox’s Touch, plays the 12-year-old boy who eventually will grow into the cowl, Bruce Wayne.

Lastly, Jada Pinkett Smith will play Fish Mooney, a wholly original character to Gotham that has no precedent in the DC Comics universe.

Executive producer Bruno Heller (Rome, The Mentalist) wrote the Gotham pilot, which was directed and executive produced by Danny Cannon (Alcatraz, Nikita).   

Speaking in January at the TCA Winter Press Tour, Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly characterized Gotham as “an operatic soap that has a slightly larger-than-life quality to it.” He added that Batman is slated to appear at ”the end of the series.”

Fox will present its entire 2014-15 prime-time schedule to media buyers and advertisers next Monday afternoon (May 12). Among the other drama prospects that are likely to receive season orders are Red Band Society and Empire.

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