MARCH 6, 2015 | 01:00PM PT
Elizabeth Wagmeister

“Supergirl” has finally arrived.

The first photos of Melissa Benoist as Supergirl were released Friday, just as production begins on the CBS pilot, which is based on characters from DC Comics.

The costume (pictured) was designed by three-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood, who also designed the suits for two other DC Comics television properties, “The Flash” and “Arrow” of the CW.

Atwood, who’s been nominated for Academy Awards an additional eight times, was also the costume designer behind “Into the Woods,” “Snow White and the Huntsman,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Chicago,” among others.

“Supergirl,” in contention for the 2015-16 season, follows Kara Danvers/Kara Zor-El (Benoist, “Glee,” “Whiplash”), Superman’s cousin, at age 24, when she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be, after leaving Krypton and hiding her powers.

Other series regulars include Calista Flockhart (“Ally McBeal,” “Brothers & Sisters”), who will play Kara’s tough boss at CatCo, Cat Grant; Mehcad Brooks (“Desparate Housewives,” “True Blood”), who will co-star as Kara’s love interest, Jimmy Olsen; Chyler Leigh (“Grey’s Anatomy”), who’s been cast as Kara’s doctor sister, Alex Danvers; and David Harewood (“Homeland”), as supervillain Hank Henshaw, better known as Cyborg Superman in the DC Comics world.

Laura Benanti will appear in a major recurring arc, playing Kara’s birth mother, Alura Zor-El.

Helen Slater, who starred in the 1984 “Supergirl” feature, and Superman vet Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”) are set for secret roles.

The project hails from exec producers and writers Greg Berlanti (“The Flash,” “Arrow”), Ali Adler and Andrew Kreisberg. Sarah Schechter will also serve as an exec producer, and Glen Winter will direct the pilot. Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television will produce.

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Other Earth also becomes confusing when, say, the Flash of both worlds meet and each refers to the other guy's planet as Other Earth.

Marvel has always ignored it since they use other dimensions so rarely. Their main world was eventually numbered Earth-616, but I've never read a comic actually calling it that except for Secret Wars where it said Earth-616 no longer existed. Marvel has said the Squadron Supreme's world was Earth-712, but was that ever mentioned in a comic book?

Where did they come up with the number "616?"

A few more thoughts on the Supergirl renewal question:

I believe Les Moonves, the big boss at CBS, said earlier this months that he plans to renew all five of the new CBS shows, which includes Supergirl. For some odd reason he announced the renewal of the older shows separately. None of the new shows were announced as renewed at that time.

The networks have (finally) learned a lesson: dropping an existing show that has low ratings but shows promise only to replace it with a show that goes belly-up in a few weeks makes no sense. Many of the longest-running, highest-rated shows (Cheers, Friends, etc) started out with miserable ratings. A smart TV executive has to have JUDGMENT, not just be able to read numbers. New shows coming along now have the option of running during what used to be re-run season. If your competitor is showing new material your re-runs won't make any money, so new material is more available at all times of the year today.

CBS is part-owner (with Warner Bros) of The CW. I believe CBS charges advertisers more than The CW, so the ratings don't have to be as high on The CW. I don't think Supergirl is any more expensive than The Flash. Like other technology, I think that special effects are probably cheaper today than they used to be. A lot of businesses can do them, so competition should keep the price under control.

Because Fantastic Four #1 came out in June 1961 or 61/6.
Richard Willis said:

Where did they come up with the number "616?"

Thanks, Philip.

On the Supergirl/Flash episode, there was an observation I intended to make and forgot.

When Barry is in the presence of Cat Grant he hears her call Kara "Keira." I was hoping he would say "I thought your name was Kara."

I just watched Supergirl/Flash last night and loved it. Great chemistry, great lines. Lots o' fun! 

My favorite line was Cat Grant's CW comment. (Flash airs on The CW.) Vaguely non-threatening! *snort*

Also, her speech about being very insightful and snapping her fingers in Kara's face made me think she DOES know, but is keeping mum for reasons of her own.

Incidentally, Marvel always resisted using 616, Tom Brevoort didn't like it, and supposedly Secret Wars put it to bed. I had heard the number was chosen randomly, and was a big number to show that Marvel Earth had no great importance in the scheme of things and to sort of make fun of DC's self-important Earth-1, Earth-2. Where did the 61/6 concept come from?

There's a translation of the Bible that says the number of the Beast is 616 instead of 666. Someone might have given Marvel that number as a joke on how he felt he was being treated there.

"Where did the 61/6 concept come from?"

It came from an Alan Moore Captain Britain story referencing, as Philip pointed out, the cover date of FF #1 (6/61 to us Yanks, but 61/6 to the Brits).

Was Captain Britain ever reprinted in America?

The Jamie Delano issues were reprinted as X-Men Archives Featuring Captain Britain (1995), six issues.

The Jamie Delano issues and the Alan Moore issues and everything else back to 1976 and ahead to U.S. guest appearances in Captain America and X-Men was reprinted in three volumes of Captain Britain Omnibus editions.

In last night's episode, Harrison Ford asks Cat Grant out on a date and she shoots him down.

NEXT WEEK: Season finale.

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