‘Gotham’ showrunner: Superhero shows don’t work on TV

First there was Batman v Superman. Then there was Captain America: Civil War. Now there”s a new rivalry brewing: Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller vs. every superhero TV show.

At the Edinburgh Television Festival, Heller decided to take on programs like his. At the Scotland-based event, he said superhero shows just aren”t made for the small screen.

“I don”t think superheroes work very well on TV,” Heller said, this according to THR.com.  “Probably because of the costume thing.”

Heller didn”t stop there. The man behind the FOX show went on to explain his logic when he said, “TV is about real people and faces, and not so much about magic and the supernatural things…It”s a tricky combination, because you have to keep it real and unreal at the same time.”

Gotham is certainly atypical in its approach. Rather than centering on Batman or even one of the villains that torment the city, the program focuses on Commissioner Gordon, played by Ben McKenzie. Since the program debuted in September 2014, it”s seen a steady decline in ratings. While it opened to 8.2 million viewers, the finale of Season 2 brought in a disappointing 3.62 million fans, the second lowest numbers of the series.  

The CW, on the other hand, hasn”t experienced nearly the same issues with its programs like The Flash and Arrow. Those shows (which center on the superhero) have held steady in the 3 million – 4 million viewer range on a network that has a much smaller audience than any of the Big 4 networks. If this wasn”t evidence enough that there”s perhaps a flaw in Heller”s thought process, one could just as easily look at Netflix and the heavy investment it”s putting into projects like Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and others that are on the way.  

Gotham is back on FOX on September 19 at 8 p.m.