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For the titular vigilante, see Jefferson Pierce.

"It is time that people know that Black Lightning is back."
Jefferson Pierce to Lynn Stewart[src]

Black Lightning is a television series based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The series premiered on January 16, 2018 and ended on May 24, 2021 on The CW.

The series was developed by Salim Akil, and stars Cress Williams in the role of Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning, alongside China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Marvin "Krondon" Jones III, Damon Gupton, James Remar, Jordan Calloway, and Chantal Thuy.



Main cast


September 2016, WB begin pitching Black Lightning to different networks.[1] The series was first put into development at Fox.[2] On February 2, 2017, FOX passed on Black Lightning[3] and the following day Black Lightning received a pilot order at The CW.[4] On February 24, Cress Williams was cast in the lead as Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning.[5] Several months later, in May, Black Lightning was ordered to series.[6] On August 10, Marvin "Krondon" Jones III was cast as the main villain Tobias Whale.[7]

Connection to the Arrowverse

Although Black Lightning aired on The CW and is connected to Greg Berlanti, Mark Pedowitz, president of The CW has stated that "at this time, is not part of the Arrowverse. It is a separate situation."[8] Berlanti had also stated previously that the series would not crossover with the Arrowverse shows while the series was still in development at Fox.[9]

However, future crossovers have not been ruled out by Akil.[10] Speaking in August 2017, Pedowitz noted that "If [the showrunners] wish to bring it in, that is their call. We had a long discussion with the studio, Mara, Salim and myself. We were fine with them making it separate from the Arrowverse, they have a different point a view. If they end up wanting to go that way, that will be their decision."[11]

Jefferson Pierce would appear in the new Suit Up trailer released by The CW to promote their superhero shows alongside several of the main characters from the various Arrowverse shows. Although appearing at the end of the trailer, he does not interact with any other character.

Discussing a potential Black Lightning crossover with the Arrowverse in July 2019, Cress Williams revealed that "there's been lots of talk [...] nothing official, but at this point, I wouldn't be surprised."[12] Two weeks later in August, Williams confirmed reports that characters from Black Lightning would appear in Crisis on Infinite Earths.[13][14]

The events of Crisis on Infinite Earths ultimately led to the creation of Earth-Prime, an Earth-1-like universe that also incorporates series-relevant aspects of Earth-38, the pre-Crisis setting of Supergirl, and Earth-TUD5, the pre-Crisis setting of Black Lightning.[15][16][17] As a result, the once-separate Black Lightning is now an Arrowverse series.




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Promotional images

External links