Perhaps leaning a DC Comics’ villains group will help CBS find a comic book TV show of its own.
Yesterday, Deadline revealed CBS has comissioned a pilot based on DC Comics’ Secret Six. The original Silver Age premise focused on a covert strike team working at the behest of an unknown superior called “Mockingbird.” The premise was revived in the 1980s, but gained popularity when writer Gail Simone and artist Dale Eaglesham revived the concept in the Villains United miniseries. Simone later refined the concept in a Secret Six miniseries and ongoing series featuring Catman, Deadshot, Scandal Savage, Ragdoll, Bane and Jeanette. After their “Mockingbird” was revealed to be Lex Luthor, the majority of the group decided to continue working together.
According to Deadline, CBS will use the basic premise and Mockingbird in an upcoming pilot written by Suits executive producer Rick Muirragui. It is unclear if the series will use some of the character employed by Simone. In fact, it is unclear if it will use any established characters. Deadline’s description refers to it as centering on “six morally ambiguous strangers, each with their own unique specialties and secret pasts, who are brought together by an enigmatic figure who blackmails them into working as a team to expose the corruption of the corporate and political elite.” That leaves room for Catman, but it is also ambiguous enough to allow the producers to create their own new characters.
Either way, it represents another attempt by the network to find success with a comic book property. Their last attempt, Supergirl, moved to The CW when ratings proved insufficient to keep it on CBS. It was also a different sort of show for the network; which is dominated by procedurals like NCIS: New Orleans or drama remakes like Hawaii Five-O and Magnum P.I.
Of course, CBS’s track record with those sort of shows makes Secret Six a better fit than Supergirl. It’s an ensemble, like a NCIS, about a group of people trying to solve cases. Sure, they may not be the good guys, but the format works when scheduled next to FBI or MacGyver.
At this point, CBS is committed to a pilot, but it remains to be seen if Secret Six will make it to broadcast.