In a move certainly not timed to undermine the attention focused tonight's debut of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, news has broke that Warner Bros. Television and Fox are moving forward with a new television series based on DC Comics' Batman characters. Titled Gotham, the police drama will focus on James Gordon long before he became the city's police commissioner and Dark Knight confidant; when he was just a detective investigating what Deadline reports will be some of Gotham's most famous criminals.

A police procedural set in Gotham City is an approach familiar to longtime Batman fans. Bill Finger and Bob Kane's legendary gotham cop was the star of Chuck Dixon and Jim Aparo's underrated 1996 miniseries Batman: GCPD, but it was the cult favorite Gotham Central by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka and MIchael Lark that made plain, in those creators' words, how well a Homicide: Life on the Street approach could work in Batman's world. The book featured a vast cast of characters including Gordon and Detectives Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya, numerous subplots and extremely few appearances by the Dark Knight himself.

The influence of Brubaker and Rucka's Batman comic books have been seen on screen in the very recent past, in the Dark Knight Trilogy created by Christopher Nolan. Asked about the possibility of a Gotham Central TV series just the other day by USA Today, Brubaker had this to say:

The book is actually more popular now than when we were doing it. There's been talk of Gotham Central on TV since when we were doing the comic even (in the mid-2000s). Everyone at Warner Bros. really loved it. Chris Nolan, after they did Birds of Prey, had asked them to just please not do any Batman-related stuff until he was done with his trilogy — looking at Birds of Prey, you can see why. It was not the world's greatest pilot.

Every season, I wait to see if they're going to announce something like that, and just a couple of months ago there was some article in the Hollywood Reporter about them supposedly developing it. I haven't heard any confirmation on it or anything. You can easily see it.

Gotham is being developed by Mentalist creator Bruno Heller.

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