There’s something beautiful about television in that it always seems to be way ahead of the film industry in terms of increasing diversity, and the CW has been leading that charge. This is no more apparent than in the small network’s three upcoming new series, which are each centered around a single lead female character. I’m talking, of course, about Batwoman, Nancy Drew, and Katy Keene. Let’s take a closer look at these three shows.
Batwoman (premieres October 6) - The sixth of the CW’s DC superhero shows, this is the first superhero series to ever be led by a queer character (as an ensemble show, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow doesn’t count). Played by Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black), Kate Kane is an out lesbian (Rose is also gay) who returns to Gotham three years after her cousin, Bruce Wayne/Batman, disappeared. Bringing her back to the city is the kidnapping of her former lover Sophie Moore (Meagan Tandy) by the Alice in Wonderland gang, led by the somewhat insane Alice (Rachel Skarsten), who will be the Big Bad of the season. Alice is described as a Joker-like character who will challenge Kate in all sorts of ways. With Gotham overrun by crime in a way that even private security company The Crows, run by Kate’s father Jacob Kane (Dougray Scott), can’t protect, Kate realizes it’s time for the Bat to return to the city, and takes on the mantle herself, becoming Batwoman. Another show from super-producer Greg Berlanti, the series’ showrunner is executive producer Caroline Dries (The Vampire Diaries).
Nancy Drew (premieres October 9) - You know her name, but this is a new kind of Nancy. The popular book series has been adapted for television and film many times before, most recently in the March of 2019 film, Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, but this iteration of the character has a couple of key differences. One: This Nancy is not a kid. She’s 18, has already graduated from high school, and is figuring out her life as she puts off college and deals with her mother’s recent passing. Two: There’s a supernatural element to the series. The show seems to be taking its cues from Riverdale as it goes for a darker tone. Nancy (Kennedy McMann) and her friends - George (Leah Lewis), Bess (Maddison Jaizani), Ace (Alex Saxon), and Nancy’s casual boyfriend, Nick (Tunji Kassim) - all discover the dead body of a town socialite one night. Having solved smaller mysteries throughout her childhood, Nancy can’t resist investigating this one. The twist is that it looks like local legendary ghost, Dead Lucy is involved, and according to the producers of the series, the ghost is real. The show is executive produced by Noga Landau, Melinda Hsu-Taylor, and Stephanie Savage.
Katy Keene (premieres sometime in 2020) - Hang on to your hats because there is more Riverdale coming your way. This is not the first, but the second Riverdale spin-off to be ordered to series, the first being Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix. This one centers around Archie Comics character Katy Keene, played by CW alum Lucy Hale (Life Sentence, Pretty Little Liars). The series takes place five years post Riverdale, and features Katy and her friends trying to make it in New York City. Katy is an aspiring fashion designer, and is joined by Riverdale cast member Ashleigh Murray as an adult Josie McCoy, who is still trying to make her music dreams come true. Katy’s serious boyfriend, a boxer named KO Kelly, is played by Zane Holtz. Jonny Beauchamp also stars as Jorge/Ginger Lopez, a drag performer who is trying to make it on Broadway. The tone of the series is supposed to be lighter than Riverdale and Sabrina, and is going for a Sex and the City vibe. It’s also described as being a musical dramedy. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (who also created Riverdale and Sabrina) and Michael Grassi are executive producing the series.