Amid the big news at CBS’ TCA presentation today (by which we refer, of course, to the renewal of Madam Secretary), CBS entertainment chairman Nina Tassler took a moment to discuss Supergirl, the network’s first attempt at a superhero series since The Flash in 1990. While actual details about the character—like which actress will play her, or what that actress will be wearing in photos that will make people irrationally upset a few months from now—are still vague, Tassler confirmed one thing that should have been obvious when the show was picked up by CBS: Supergirl will contain elements of a crime procedural.
“The beauty of it is now with shows like Good Wife and Madam Secretary, you can have serialized story elements woven into a case of the week,” Tassler says. “She’s a crime solver, so she’s going to have to solve a crime. She’s going to get a bad guy.” Whether that’s the only kind of guy she will get is also somewhat vague; while the 1984 feature-film version of Supergirl boasted the tagline, “She has all the power of the universe, but she still has to learn about love,” Tassler takes a more feminist view of the character, saying,
“She’s coming into her own. She’s dealing with family issues. She’s dealing with work issues. It’s a female empowerment story. If you look at the strong female characters we have on the air, it really is resonant of that … We’re big feminists. It’s her intellect, it’s her skill, it’s her smarts. It’s all of those elements. It’s not just her strength, which she does have.”
But Tassler also trumpeted the character’s “relatability,” a word that too often translates into eating ice cream and crying about a guy as opposed to, say, sensible footwear when applied to superheroines. We’ll find out what exactly Tassler means when Supergirl premieres on CBS at some indeterminate future point, probably next fall.