It looks like we’ll be saying farewell to the extraordinary Pierce family sooner than later. Per Variety, the CW’s Black Lightning will end after its fourth season. The news arrives just one week after the network announced plans for a Painkiller spin-off series starring Jordan Calloway. The fourth season is slated to premiere sometime in 2021. Black Lightning’s series developer and EP Salim Akil is also the creator behind Painkiller and will write, executive produce, and direct the pilot.
Black Lightning made history as the first DC series with a Black lead. And while Batwoman was initially heralded as the first superhero show with a queer hero in the forefront, Black Lightning—which premiered a year and nine months prior to Batwoman—featured prominent lesbian superhero Anissa Pierce (Nafessa Williams). It’s the second DC show to end this season after Supergirl announced its impending conclusion last month.
Here’s the full statement from Akil:
“When we first started the Black Lighting journey, I knew that Jefferson Pierce and his family of powerful Black Women would be a unique addition to the super hero genre,” Akil said in a statement. “The love that Blerds and all comic book fans around the globe have shown this series over the past three seasons proved what we imagined, Black People Want To See Themselves in all their complexities.
Thank you to the phenomenal cast, writers and crew without whom none of this would’ve been possible. I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve been able to do and the moments we’ve been able to create in bringing DC’s first African-American family of super heroes to life for the culture.
I’m very grateful to Peter Roth, Warner Bros. TV, Mark Pedowitz, The CW Network and Greg Berlanti for their partnership and support of my vision at every step of this journey. While Season Four may be the end of one journey, I’m extremely excited to usher in a new chapter and continued collaboration with The CW as we tell the story of Painkiller.”