Looks like the public isn’t suffering superhero fatigue — or maybe they are, and that’s why they’ve embraced a superheroine so warmly.
The ratings are in for CBS’s series premiere of “Supergirl,” and it’s a bona fide hit. The caped crusader, played by Melissa Benoist (“Glee”), did impressive numbers on Monday — the series is tied for the biggest fall premiere this year among adults 18-49 and 25-54 (its counterpart is NBC’s “Blindspot,” which is produced by Greg Berlanti, the creator of “Supergirl”).
Nearly 13 million viewers turned in, exceeding most predictions.
Berlanti was recently interviewed by Vulture and spoke about why he feels it is so important to offer a feminist take on the superheroine. “It’s part of who she would be as a character,” he said. “Kara’s life experience is going to be different because she is a woman, and that’s part of the story. She’s out in the world working, and we want to get at things like that, but in our way. Not in a preachy way.” Instead of delivering lectures on gender equality, sexism will be integrated into the story: “There’s an episode early on where we deal with Kara’s rage and anger and why is it okay for a man to yell and scream in a workplace, but if a woman does it, she’s called nuts. Kara lives in the world we live in.”
Our TV critic, Sara Stewart, noted that the series “bares feminist conflicts, not abs.”
So, did a show with an empowered female protagonist scare off male viewers? Nope — not even close. Variety revealed that “Supergirl” is “the fall’s top-rated new series in all key male demos” and that the majority of viewers in multiple age groups were male.
TV (and movie) execs, take note: Stop underestimating male viewers and mistakenly assuming that they aren’t interested in women-centric stories.