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CBS' Supergirl Casting Jimmy Olsen, Cat Grant and Others

Supergirl Casting News

On the heels of sharing details about the casting for Supergirl‘s titular heroine and her foster sister, TVLine now has the scoop on four other series-regular roles to be filled on the drama, which already has a series commitment from CBS.

CAT GRANT | The project is eyeing females in their 40s, open ethnicity, to play the founder of CatCo, a media conglomerate that Cat built from the ground up. Kara (Supergirl’s mild-mannered alter ego) will work as a personal assistant to Cat, who is described as “J.Lo by way of Anna Wintour.”

JAMES OLSEN | In his late 20s/early 30s, open ethnicity, James is a smart, worldly and (duh) attractive photographer for CatCo. Though an alpha male, his salt-of-the-earth nature elicits a huge ol’ crush from Kara.

WINSLOW ‘WYNN’ SCHOTT | This twentysomething tech whiz/Comic-Con stalwart toils for CatCo as a programmer, unaware of his own (toying?) potential. Unware of her secret, he carries a torch for Kara, whom he lives next door to.

HANK HENSHAW | As an upstart CIA agent, Hank grew obsessed with intergalactic intel. Now in his 40s and lording over the DEO (Department of Extra-Normal Operations), he is on high alert when Supergirl reveals herself, worried that her otherworldly abilities pose a threat to humankind.

The Supergirl pilot was penned by Ali Adler (No Ordinary Family) and Greg Berlanti (Arrow), both of whom will exec-produce alongside Sarah Schechter (of Berlanti Productions) and Warner Bros. TV.

Look, up in the sky — it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… your cue to dream-cast!

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76 Comments
  1. Fan says:

    This all sounds so terrible…. I had high hopes knowing Berlanti was involved but this is just weird.

    • Ray says:

      It’s coming from the creator of No Ordinary Family. What do you expect?

    • Dr. M says:

      I dunno. So far Berlanti has mixed results. I’m just counting the episodes until they decide to make the Flash “darker”.

    • Apollos12 says:

      When I first heard about “Arrow,” I thought it was going to be horrible.I have been watching it from the beginning and think that it is pretty good. Because of it, I am now also a fan o “The Flash.” Give it a chance. You might be surprised.

  2. C says:

    I just can’t imagine this show on CBS…like, at all.

    • Playhouse says:

      Something tells me this will go one of two ways: Either it airs and tanks rather quickly, or CBS pulls a ‘Ringer’ and moves it over to the CW.

    • L says:

      Kara will take a job as an intern for CSI: Metropolis and solve “case of the week” mysteries.

  3. L says:

    Well Henshaw and Scott are both villains in the comics… Interesting that they are casting Jimmy Olsen… Still wondering how they are gonna do this series without at least having cameos from Superman.

    • Robby Horine says:

      Right now, in comics continuity, Lois, Clark and Jimmy no longer work for The Daily Planet. Both Clark and Lois started their own journalism start ups.

      Otherwise, I like where this is heading.

  4. Of course, because Supergirl can’t exist without taking from Superman.

  5. JJM says:

    I could see CBS not picking this up and passing it onto The CW. Same thing happened to Ringer…

    • Davey Elmer says:

      CBS already DID pick it up.

      Also, all of this whining about them just doing “Superman in a skirt”, that’s largely what the character of Supergirl has always been, so it’s ludicrous to me that it’s suddenly a problem NOW.

      • Vince says:

        Nice to see she at last has her own show, more so after she & Barry Flash were killed some yrs back.

      • L says:

        Its more an issue of doing Supergirl without having Superman…. or why in this age a 20something Kara would call herself Supergirl instead of “Super Woman”

        • Vince says:

          I guess for the same reasons they still say BOND GIRLS.
          You know when I saw the name CAT I was thinking it was that pain from the first season of
          LOIS & CLARK.
          I was this was on the CW so she could team up with Flash

          • Andy Swift says:

            I had the exact same thought when I saw Cat. You are not alone!

          • L says:

            Cat was also on a season of Smallville.. Technically CW and CBS are owned by the same people so they COULD do a teamup.

          • Vince says:

            Well there was a cross over of two David E. Kelly law shows and two from The Practice
            (ABC )did defend the vice principal on Boston Public (FOX

          • Karen MT says:

            I thought of the same character. Cat Grant is an established character in the DC Universe, usually as a gossip columnist for the Daily Planet, though I think she’s also been a TV reporter. I’m just surprised they’re casting 2 characters that are normally associated with Clark Kent.

      • She doesn’t have to be.

      • Ray says:

        It may still never make it to the air. The new trend in network television is to commit to a pilot airing and then pay the financial penalty when it doesn’t in order to save the embarrassment of having a lemon on their hands.

  6. It’s like working at Planet Express. “Good news everyone – they’re doing a live-action version of Hank Henshaw. Unfortunately, he’ll be in a show about Supergirl.”

  7. When you can’t do a TV show with Superman, do one with Superman in a dress. This is trying too hard. If Supergirl had her own supporting cast of worth and her own arc, then there would be merit to this, but she doesn’t and never has. At least not the Kara Zor-El version. Now, if they were to do a show based on the Peter David version, THEN she’d have her own cast of characters.

    • L says:

      I would have liked them to do a Superman show using the cast from Smallville… but that never happened… and with the movies they probably cant use superman… this just seems like a really bad idea.

    • Lea says:

      If you can’t do a show about Batman, do one with a non-powered hero who draws much more from Nolan’s Batman than from his own counterpart in the comics. It’s still working.

  8. Luis says:

    I already want this cancelled

  9. Tran says:

    Can’t imagine if a blonde actress will be the “hottest” female superhero ever on prime time TV. Even Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman was the “hottest” female superhero on prime time TV.

  10. Vince says:

    Oh now they’re using Jimmy? What happen to him in the Man of Steel films? Am I the only one who noticed?

  11. analog says:

    I’m getting sick of superhero TV shows. It’s probably because all of these are origin stories and go through similar storylines. It’s formulaic.

  12. Davey Elmer says:

    My attempt to dream-cast these roles:
    Polly Walker for Cat Grant
    Aljin Abella for James Olsen
    Steven Skyler for Winslow Schott
    Sasha Roiz for Hank Henshaw

    • Davey Elmer says:

      Where is it written in stone that Jimmy has to be the ‘nerdy sidekick’? Making him an alpha-male personality who’s still caring, compassionate, and considerate is a neat and interesting take on the character (at least IMO).

      • Davey Elmer says:

        Ignore the above. I mis-replied to my own post.

      • Anthony says:

        This description of Jimmy Olsen (“compassionate alpha male”) reminds me of the “Mister Action” version of the character from the late 70s issues of “Superman Family,” where Jimmy was a top-notch photojournalist in his own right, a bit of a ladies man (always in polyester disco suits, of course). Drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger. I loved that version of Jimmy, which I don’t think has ever been used on any of the various Superman tv shows.

      • Alberto Roberto says:

        Supergirl doesn’t need any alpha-male, she’s ahead of the ordinary woman in the evolutionary scale, she’s her own alpha already. Let Jimmy Olsen be the nerd, maybe people can learn something new from a plot like that.

    • Vince says:

      We don’t know yet if he dies on GRIM as yet.
      I like this guy I don’t know any of these roles as my time with SG goes back to 1950s, 60s
      When she was LINDA LEE

  13. G says:

    The only thing I’m vehemently opposed to is Jimmy Olsen – Alpha Male…. what the hell?

    • Dan says:

      And attractive. That *really* doesn’t work. Couldn’t they just come up with another unrelated photopgrapher entirely?

      • Davey Elmer says:

        Where is it written in stone that Jimmy has to be the ‘nerdy sidekick’? Making him an alpha-male personality who’s still caring, compassionate, and considerate is a neat and interesting take on the character (at least IMO).

        • well… he’s always been depicted that way. In the comics, on the radio, in George Reeves’ show, in Christopher Reeve’s films, in Smallville, in Lois & Clark, in Superboy, in Superman Returns, in every animated feature. You know…. like always.

          If we’re going to change the elements that make him Jimmy – then hell – get rid of the camera too. Why not make him a body builder instead of a photographer? Hell – let’s make Jimmy deaf and mute too while we’re at it!

          There’s nothing wrong with Jimmy Olsen just being Jimmy Olsen. Making him Supergirl’s pal is more than enough of a deviation as is. If they want to make him an Alpha male too – make a new photographer character to fill that need.

          • Davey Elmer says:

            Just because he’s “always” been presented that way doesn’t mean that he HAS to be presented that way.

            Also, making him an “alpha male” doesn’t really change his personality, which is described as being “salt-of-the-earth”; it just changes the way his character interacts with people. “Alpha Males” are typically charming leaders, and seeing Jimmy in that role is going to be interesting.

            I’d also make the argument that Smallville’s Jimmy Olsen was very different from ‘classic’ Jimmy, both in function and in personality.

          • Angela says:

            Uhm the Justin Whalin version of Jimmy on Lois & Clark was far from nerdy

          • Vince says:

            Right and back when he had his own comic back in the 1950s to 70s he had a lot on the ball and was not at all “nerdy”

          • Actually I would suggest that making him an “alpha-male” very much does change his personality. The alpha-male is the individual in the community with the highest rank. The dominant male, the leader of the pack if you will. The classical definition derives from the animal kingdom and represents a physical form of dominance over other males. The alpha male lion, for example, claims sexual rights to all females, fights off other male lions to enforce it, eats first after every hunt and dominates a vast territory of land for hunting rights. Alphas may achieve their status by means of superior physical prowess and/or through social efforts and building alliances within the group.

            In a modern/human sense, younger males (teens, early 20s) will subscribe to the classical form. Like a lion, they will often be the strongest, most intimidating, hit on all of the women beta males want, are usually the first to have new sexual experiences and often dominate a set territory in thier ‘hunt’ for new women, such as local nightclub scenes.

            Older alpha males, however, will evolve the classical traits of stength, intimidation and dominance beyond the physical by gaining power over men through thier very means of living and professional reputation. A powerful business executive, for example, will hire, promote, demote and fire others according to how well they serve his own interests. Rock stars, famous actors and other individuals of ‘power’ hold very simular capabilities over others in thier respective professions.

            “Alpha” males are those at the top of the social status hierarchy. They have greater access to power, money, and mates, which they gain through physical prowess, intimidation, and domination. Alphas are typically described as the “real men.” In contrast are the “Beta” males: the weak, submissive, subordinate guys who are low status, and only get access to mates once women decide to settle down and go searching for a “nice guy.”

            Now – taking into consideration even just a fraction of that as the basis of an “alpha male” – I challenge anyone to read all that and come away thinking – YES – that’s the Jimmy Olsen I’ve always wanted to see depicted!

            How about no thank you. Jimmy isn’t broken – leave Jimmy as he has always been. The pal. Not the alpha male.

          • Vince and Angela – I never said Jimmy was a nerd. But he definitely isn’t an alpha male. He’s the pal – and that is how he always has been depicted.

          • Cideric Rhyes says:

            Or they could call him Hery James Olsen…runaway before angry Smallville fans arrive.

        • Dan says:

          Nothing is ever “written in stone”. So I’d rather people stopped using an expression that doesn’t make any sense. Now, do you want to talk reality? Read what george above first replied. THAT is Jimmy Olsen. If you want an attractive alpha male type, then that’s pretty simple: come up with someone else, another name and history. Maybe he’ll become memorable on his own right. Jimmy Olsen is not even related to the particular Supergirl universe to begin with. They shouldn’t mess with what is proven solid out of shock value instead of coming up with something new and just as remarkable.

  14. herman1959 says:

    The fact that the casting is being done by the same people as Arrow and The Flash is great because the casting on those shows is superb. That said, I think I’ll pass on this series, but when the Wonder Woman series comes out, I’m in!

  15. Jared says:

    I wish this was on The CW : (

  16. Chris says:

    Cam Gigandet for either James Olsen or Wynn Schott!

  17. steve says:

    people do realize that there are alternate universe’s in comics where there is no superman and supergirl is the superhero of metropolis right?

    • Davey Elmer says:

      There doesn’t have to be “no Superman” for this premise to work, and there’s been no evidence that the series’ original description – which made reference to him existing – has been changed since the series started casting.

  18. Lauren says:

    These character descriptions, very CW-ish, the show ain’t even in CW. I understand this another take at the origins but this is like Smallville with the genders changed.

    • Davey Elmer says:

      “this is like Smallville with the genders changed”.

      No, it’s not. it’s more like “Lois & Clark with the genders changed” – or the DC Comics version of “The Secret World of Alex Mack” – and I don’t see how that’s a bad thing.

  19. christine says:

    I am reserving judgement. Supergirl is not Superman in a skirt these days. She is actually pretty complicated. I loved the Peter David run on the series with Linda Danvers as a flawed young woman trying to be a better person. I hope they dont cast some supermodel vapid bimbo type. No Laura Vandervort either. I’d like her to be more relatable. Girls dont need another crap role model.

  20. AW says:

    I’m looking forward to this Supergirl without Superman (at least in the beginning)! Somewhere down the line, Supergirl will include Superman (like Smallville included Supergirl in 7th season), and Supergirl will have a long run on TV!

  21. meatwad says:

    I’m amazed at how uninspiring this sounds

  22. Dr. M says:

    For Cat Grant they need to cast Helen Slater.

  23. Joey says:

    It’d be interesting if in this Supergirl universe, Kara came to earth and Kal-El didn’t, and this whole story is about her become earths protector in the same way Superman is in every other story. If done that way, it certainly has potential to be interesting. I still don’t really see this working with CBS. They’ll either have to make it way more interesting for the old folks that watch CBS, or hope they can somehow pull the younger demographic that Supergirl is clearly intended for. If they continue following through with this series, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up on CW

    • Davey Elmer says:

      If this were going to air on The CW, that network would’ve committed to it. Yes, CBS and The CW are sister networks, but this isn’t another “Ringer” situation. CBS gave Supergirl a full series commitment based solely on Berlanti and Adler’s premise. Unless the network reverses itself and pays a penalty, Supergirl will be joining the likes of CSI, Criminal Minds, The Big Bang Theory, and Two and a Half Men, just to name a few, on its lineup at some point within the next year.

  24. Cast Amanda Bynes so that crazy lady can put her creativity into a character.

  25. filmtvcritic says:

    They are not keeping to the comics and Supergirl film that pisses me off