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Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant on Supergirl

Image Credit: CBS

Why 'Supergirl' needed Cat Grant back

Supergirl has everything it needs to take flight this fall on The CW. While much was made about the drop-off in audience during its freshman season on CBS, the fact remains that if the 6 million viewers who watched the season 1 finale tune in for season 2, it would instantly become the most-watched show on its new network.

Melissa Benoist has been a perfectly charming lead, and the writing managed to weave a solid if not spectacular blend of action, drama, and continuing subplots more often than not. Kara’s love life even had certain, dare I say, CW-esque qualities to it.

Throw all of that together with the benefits of closer ties to other DC superheroes on TV — indeed, Arrow‘s Stephen Amell has already teased a four-way crossover for the fall — and you’ve got the recipe for at least enough success to make the decision-makers happy they brought Supergirl back. And yet it almost lacked a key ingredient.

It nearly missed Cat Grant.

At least that’s certainly the way it seems if you followed news coverage of Supergirl during its somewhat hectic off-season. It began with nail-biting over whether the series would be renewed at all, then switched to euphoria when the announcement was made that it was moving to the place many felt it belonged all along.

That subsided somewhat when reports came in that a move to The CW likely meant a smaller budget, along with a change in shooting location from Los Angeles to Vancouver for season 2. Immediately, speculation centered on whether the series would part ways with Calista Flockhart, as she cost a fair amount of money and might not be keen on working so much so far from her family.

But so what if the show had to lose Grant, right? She was just Kara’s boss, after all, someone around to torment the Girl of Steel when she wasn’t saving National City from the latest alien menace. The series could go on without her. Someone could buy out CatCo, Kara would get a new boss, and that would be that.

Except it wouldn’t be quite that simple. Not only would writing off Cat Grant deprive Supergirl of its most instantly recognizable cast member, it would also deprive the show of its most interesting one. During the course of season 1, Flockhart helped transform Cat from the typical hardass boss with a heart of gold into something with quite a bit more nuance.

RELATED from FanSided: How The Flash season 2 finale could shake up Supergirl

We learned not only that Grant knew how to elbow her way to the top in a male-dominated profession, but also that some of her outward strength masks some internal insecurities. She isn’t just an unusual maternal figure for Kara, but an actual mom as well. Cat also has principles, slotting into the scale of morality below Kara herself but well above Maxwell Lord, who is in many ways the more self-serving reflection of Grant.

Take Cat out of the equation in season 2, and you remove the linchpin that was crucial to so many of the character interactions. Flockhart could be replaced in the cast, and new bosses are a dime a dozen, but what we got watching Cat in action would be difficult to recreate.

Fortunately, it’s not something we have to think about. Flockhart will be back, albeit in a recurring role instead of as a main cast member, which was probably the compromise the show’s creators needed to make for multiple reasons.

Less Cat is better than no Cat, in other words, and we look forward to seeing her chew up scenery any time she’s on. Supergirl just wouldn’t be the same without her.

Nick Tylwalk is Senior Entertainment Director for FanSided and an Entertainment Editor for FanSided.com.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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