If you’re a fan of a superhero or genre tv show, chances are it’s produced and guided by Greg Berlanti. The Flash? Check. God Friended Me? Check. Titans? Chilling Adventures of Sabrina? Black Lightning? Check, check, and check. And if you’re a fan of DC shows, he produces them all, and has helped make The CW into a veritable Hall of Justice. By the end of 2019, Berlanti will have a superhuman 18 shows airing at the same time on a wide variety of tv outlets, from Fox to Netflix to DC Universe, far more than any producer in history:
“Arrow” (season 8)
“The Flash” (season 6)
“Supergirl” (season 5)
“DC's Legends of Tomorrow” (season 5)
“Riverdale” (season 4)
“Black Lightning” (season 3)
“All American” (season 2)
“Batwoman” (season 1)
“Katy Keene” (season 1)
“Titans” (season 2)
“Doom Patrol” (season 1)
“Stargirl” (season 1)
“God Friended Me” (season 2)
“The Red Line” (miniseries)
“You” (season 2)
“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” (season 3)
“Blindspot” (season 5)
“Prodigal Son” (season 1)
So who is Greg Berlanti, and how is he able to continue creating and producing an ever-increasing number of tv shows, with no end in sight?
Greg Berlanti started out in television working on teen dramas, initially as a writer for Dawson’s Creek (1999-2002) before moving up to producer and eventually executive producer for that show, and also EP for Everwood (2002-2006).
Berlanti was the EP of the critically acclaimed series Jack & Bobby (2004) and Brothers & Sisters (2006-2011), before first dipping his toe into the superhero genre as EP on No Ordinary Family (2010), about an ordinary family that becomes extraordinary when they gain superpowers. Although it only lasted 20 episodes, the show had a fun concept and a great cast, lead by the husband and wife played by Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz.
In 2012, Berlanti started a show on The CW about a certain emerald archer that was an immediate hit. A grim and gritty take on DC Comics’ Green Arrow, the show was simply called Arrow, and was the beginning of a golden age of superhero adventures on tv. Arrow would inspire several spinoffs, The Flash (2014), DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (2016), and Batwoman (2019), the Berlanti-produced Supergirl would join the CW after its cancellation on CBS, and Black Lightning with its socio-racial commentary would be added in 2018.
Berlanti has found the right attitude and look for modern superhero dramas, a golden touch that makes each show he produces a hit. As well as each show having Berlanti's expert guidance, being well-written, well-cast, and boasting some of the best fight choreography and special effects on television, it’s also worth noting that in every Berlanti show the LGBT population is well-represented in a real-life manner that is neither pandering nor heavy-handed, but treated as a normal part of society.
Does Berlanti secretly have superhuman abilities to be able to handle this many shows at once? Not at all, says Berlanti, who acknowledges his Herculean work ethic, but is not one to get big-headed about his success, or take sole credit for the prolific output. He is quick to point out that one person cannot possibly do it all alone, “I have never had any success that wasn’t due in equal measure to all the people I’ve worked with.”
What a super team it must be!