The Season of Greg Berlanti: Producer Leads Super-Showrunner Pack With 6 Series

“Blindspot,” “Supergirl” and “Legends of Tomorrow” are Berlanti’s newest shows joining the 2015-16 network lineups

Last Updated: May 12, 2015 @ 9:21 AM

Move over, Shondaland. The 2015-16 television season is shaping up to be the season of Greg Berlanti, who will have oversight over no less than six primetime network shows.

Berlanti has always been prolific, but this season, with the addition of new series “Blindspot,” “Supergirl” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” the showrunner will be the most prolific of them all.

Cutting his teeth on youth-driven shows like “Dawson’s Creek” and “Young Americans” on the network that used to be called The WB, Berlanti has taken over to become a major force on what is now The CW. But he’s not sticking to just millennial comic book fans.

Berlanti’s “Mysteries of Laura,” which centers on Debra Messing as a woman trying to balance a hectic home life with being a top NYPD homicide detective, was just renewed for a second season by NBC. The series in a sense is most representative of the Berlanti of old.

From 2002-2011, he oversaw hit family-driven melodramas like “Everwood,” starring Gregory Smith and “Revenge” star Emily VanCamp, on The WB and “Brothers and Sisters” on ABC. But in a a landscape that increasingly favors genre fare that lend themselves easily to franchise-like “universes,” Berlanti has evolved with the times. With the exception of “Mysteries of Laura,” most of Berlanti’s current offerings are steeped in genre mythology, and four of them are all based on comic books.

“Arrow” and “The Flash,” Berlanti’s two returning series on The CW, have spawned not only a direct spinoff, titled “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” featuring characters who have already appeared on the aforementioned two shows which will air on the same network, but they at least indirectly led to CBS’ “Supergirl,” another live-action adaptation of an iconic DC comic book superhero.

Networks are clearly high on the Berlanti brand, even when he’s bringing a story slightly less well known than that of Superman’s cousin to the screen.

Berlanti’s only new show that’s not based on pre-existing properties is “Blindspot,” which follows Jaimie Alexander as a woman who wakes up naked in the middle of Times Square covered in tattoos with no idea of who she is. NBC just gave “Blindspot” the plum Monday at 10 p.m. ET timeslot after “The Voice.” It’s the slot that launched, among other shows, “The Blacklist,” the similarly high-concept thriller starring James Spader that’s proven to be one of the network’s hits, now entering its third season.

Berlanti does have competition in the super-showrunner race though. The aforementioned Shonda Rhimes, for example, will have no less than four shows on the air in the 2015-16 season, all on ABC. And on The CW, Berlanti will actually be tied, with 3 shows, with Julie Plec, who is ushering in new seasons of “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Originals” as well as new quarantine drama “Cordon.” Veteran NBC producer Dick Wolf adds “Chicago Med” to his trifecta of “SVU,” “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago PD” bringing his total 4.