With each new casting announcement for Supergirl, the upcoming CBS series starts to feel more like another DC Comics media entry. We’ve already learned who will be playing the Girl of Steel, her love interest and her birth mother, and now we know who will be playing the woman that the titular character will work for. It was announced today that Ally McBeal actress Calista Flockhart has joined the main cast as media mogul Cat Grant.
THR describes Cat as a former reporter who founded the corporation CatCo, which has become a “global powerhouse.” Last year’s batch of character descriptions labeled her as “J.Lo by way of Anna Wintour,” so that should give an idea of what her personality will be like. When she’s not helping people as Supergirl, Kara will serve as Cat’s assistant in the series.
In the comics, Cat is the gossip reporter at the Daily Planet who was briefly a love interest for Clark Kent. After working the TV station WGBS and briefly serving as President Lex Luthor’s press secretary, she eventually returned to the Daily Planet as its Entertainment and Arts editor. Writer Sterling Gates added Cat as a main character during his run of the Supergirl comic book. Originally Cat blamed Supergirl for being an irresponsible hero and used her media influence to turn Metropolis’ population against her. However, after Supergirl saved Cat from the supervillain Dollmaker, she reversed her stance and became a proponent for the Girl of Steel.
Being a former journalist, TV Cat’s curiosity will undoubtedly be piqued by a human-looking alien who is using her powers in benevolent ways. As such, it won’t be surprising if she dedicates all of CatCo’s resources towards figuring out who Supergirl is.
Flockhart is the fourth actor to be cast in the series after Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El, Mehcad Brooks as Jimmy Olsen and Laura Benanti as recurring character Alura Zor-El. This leaves three left to be cast: Kara’s sister Alexandra, DEO (Department of Extranormal Operations) head Hank Henshaw and CatCo programmer Winslow “Wynn” Schott.
This will be Flockhart’s first regular series role since ABC’s Brothers and Sisters (where she worked with Supergirl executive producer Greg Berlanti), although she's had recent recurring roles on the Showtime series Web Therapy and DirecTV’s Full Circle. Cat has previously been played in live-action by Tracy Scoggins in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Keri Lynn Pratt in Smallville.
Supergirl has earned a series commitment from CBS, although no air date has been announced yet.