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Lucifer is an American television series developed by Tom Kapinos that premiered on Fox on January 25, 2016.[2][3] It is based on the DC Comics character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg taken from the comic book series The Sandman, who later became the protagonist of a spin-off comic book series, both published by DC Comics' Vertigo imprint. The series is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Television, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television.

Lucifer
Lucifer, title.jpg
Genre
Based on
Developed byTom Kapinos
Starring
Composer(s)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes67 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
Production location(s)
Cinematography
  • Glen Keenan
  • Ryan McMaster
  • Tico Poulakakis
  • Stefan von Bjorn
  • Barry Donlevy
  • Christian Sebaldt
Editor(s)
  • Marc Pattavina
  • Ray Daniels III
  • Fred Peterson
  • Hector Carrillo
  • Matt Coleshill
  • Jill D'Agnenica
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time42–56 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network
Picture format
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original releaseJanuary 25, 2016 (2016-01-25) –
present (present)
External links
Website
Production website

The series revolves around Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), the Devil, who abandons Hell for Los Angeles where he runs his own nightclub and becomes a consultant to the LAPD. The ensemble and supporting cast include Lauren German as Detective Chloe Decker, Kevin Alejandro as Detective Daniel "Dan" Espinoza, D. B. Woodside as Amenadiel, Lesley-Ann Brandt as Mazikeen, and Rachael Harris as Dr. Linda Martin. Filming took place primarily in Vancouver, British Columbia before production was relocated entirely to Los Angeles, California beginning with the third season.

The series received initially mixed reviews from critics during its first season, though the subsequent seasons drew more favorable acclaim. Many critics particularly praised Ellis' performance. Despite initially high viewership for its debut, ratings remained consistently low throughout the series' run on Fox. On May 11, 2018, Fox cancelled Lucifer after three seasons. A month later, Netflix picked up the series for a fourth season of ten episodes, which was released on May 8, 2019. On June 6, 2019, Netflix renewed the series for the fifth and final season of 16 episodes.

Contents

PremiseEdit

The series focuses on Lucifer Morningstar, the Devil, who is bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell. He resigns his throne in defiance to his father (God) and abandons his kingdom for Los Angeles, where he ends up running his nightclub "Lux". He becomes involved in a murder case with Detective Chloe Decker, and is subsequently invited to be a consultant to the LAPD. Throughout the series, several celestial and demonic threats come to L.A.; at the same time, Lucifer and Chloe fall in love.

Cast and charactersEdit

  • Tom Ellis as Lucifer Morningstar: The Lord of Hell, who is bored with his life, abandons his throne and becomes a civilian consultant for the Los Angeles Police Department while running his own high-end nightclub called "Lux".[4]
  • Lauren German as Detective Chloe Decker: Like her late father, she is an LAPD homicide detective. She solves crimes with Lucifer after he takes an interest in her once she appears to be immune to his abilities.[5]
  • Kevin Alejandro as Detective Daniel "Dan" Espinoza: An LAPD homicide detective and Chloe's ex-husband.[6]
  • D. B. Woodside as Amenadiel: An angel, Lucifer's older brother, and the eldest of all their siblings. He arrives in Los Angeles to encourage Lucifer to go back to Hell, and failing that, he attempts to force Lucifer back in different ways.[7]
  • Lesley-Ann Brandt as Mazikeen: Confidante and devoted ally of Lucifer Morningstar, "Maze" for short. She is a demon who, having served as his head torturer, followed him from Hell to Los Angeles, and acted as a bartender and bodyguard at Lucifer's club. In the second season, Maze looks for a new direction on Earth and becomes a bounty hunter.[8][9]
  • Scarlett Estevez as Beatrice "Trixie" Espinoza: Chloe and Dan's daughter, who befriends Lucifer and Mazikeen.[10]
  • Rachael Harris as Dr. Linda Martin: Lucifer's Stanford-educated psychotherapist, who initially accepts "payments" from him in the form of sex.[7]
  • Kevin Rankin as Detective Malcolm Graham: A police officer who was shot prior to the beginning of the series. He briefly died but was then brought back from hell by Amenadiel to kill Lucifer.[11] (season 1)
  • Tricia Helfer as Charlotte Richards / "Mum": Lucifer and Amenadiel's mother and exiled wife of God, who has escaped her prison in Hell. She is described as "the goddess of all creation". On Earth, her soul occupies the body of Charlotte Richards, a murdered lawyer. After she leaves the universe at the end of the second season, the human Charlotte resurrects.[12] (season 2–3)
  • Aimee Garcia as Ella Lopez: A forensic scientist for the LAPD.[13] (season 2–present)
  • Tom Welling as Lieutenant Marcus Pierce / Cain: A highly respected police lieutenant who oversees the work of Chloe, Dan, and Ella at the LAPD. He is revealed to be the immortal Cain, the world's first murderer, condemned to wander the Earth forever.[14] (season 3)
  • Inbar Lavi as Eve: The world's first female human, Cain's mother and former lover of Lucifer.[15] (season 4)

EpisodesEdit

In April 2016, Fox renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on September 19, 2016.[16] On October 31, 2016, the series received a 22-episode full second season pickup by Fox.[17] On February 13, 2017, Fox renewed the series for a third season initially of 22 episodes, which premiered on October 2, 2017.[18][19] However, in March 2017, it was revealed that the final four episodes of the second season would be removed and placed in the third season to air, meaning that the second season would consist of 18 episodes and the third season would consist of 26.[20][21] On January 22, 2018, writer Chris Rafferty indicated that the third season would instead contain 24 episodes.[22]

On May 11, 2018, Fox canceled the series after three seasons, stating it was a "ratings-based decision".[23][24] Before the series' cancellation, co-showrunner Ildy Modrovich stated that the final two episodes produced would be moved to a potential fourth season.[25] Instead, Fox broadcast both episodes on May 28, 2018, as a singular two-hour bonus episode.[26]

On June 15, 2018, it was announced that Netflix had picked the series up for a fourth season of ten episodes, which was released on May 8, 2019.[27][28][29] On June 6, 2019, Netflix renewed the series for a fifth and final season of ten episodes.[30][31] The episode count for the fifth season was later raised to 16.[32]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast releasedNetwork
113January 25, 2016 (2016-01-25)April 25, 2016 (2016-04-25)Fox
218September 19, 2016 (2016-09-19)May 29, 2017 (2017-05-29)
3[a]26October 2, 2017 (2017-10-02)May 28, 2018 (2018-05-28)
410May 8, 2019 (2019-05-08)Netflix

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

In September 2014, it was reported that DC and Fox were developing a television series based on the Sandman character Lucifer, as originally written by Neil Gaiman.[2] The series is a "loose adaptation" of the original comic-book.[35]

In May 2015, the series was officially picked up for 13 episodes for the 2015–16 season.[36][37] Fox then hired Almost Human alum Joe Henderson as showrunner, with Kapinos remaining on the series in a lesser capacity.[38]

CastingEdit

In February 2015, it was announced that Tom Ellis had been cast as Lucifer Morningstar, and that Tom Kapinos would write the pilot, to be directed by Len Wiseman.[4] Lina Esco was originally cast as Maze (Mazikeen),[39] however, the role was later recast with Lesley-Ann Brandt.[8] Nicholas Gonzalez portrayed Dan in the pilot episode.[40] In June 2016, it was announced that Tricia Helfer had been cast as Lucifer and Amenadiel's mother, Charlotte, and that she was to appear in multiple episodes in the second season.[41] The character was promoted to series regular in July 2016.[42] Aimee Garcia had also been cast as a regular in the second season, playing L.A.P.D.'s forensic scientist Ella Lopez.[43] In August 2016, executive producer Ildy Modrovich announced the casting of Michael Imperioli as the angel Uriel, Amenadiel and Lucifer's younger brother with "a chip on his shoulder".[44] For the fourth season, Graham McTavish and Inbar Lavi were cast as Father Kinley and Eve respectively.[45][46]

Filming locationsEdit

Although the pilot was shot on location in Los Angeles, the rest of the first season and the entirety of the second were filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia with some exterior filming in Los Angeles. Production relocated to California beginning with the third season,[47] taking advantage of tax incentives provided by the California Film Commission under its "Program 2.0" initiative[48] and spending $92.1 million on production.[49] Season four was also shot on location in Los Angeles, as well as at Warner Bros.' Burbank studio lot,[50] spending $35.8 million on production.[51]

MusicEdit

The opening theme is a six-second clip from "Being Evil Has a Price", performed by the band Heavy Young Heathens.[52] In a lawsuit filed against Warner Bros., the song's composers, Robert and Aron Marderosian, claim the song has been used without giving them proper credit or a licensing agreement.[53]

Several episodes include musical performances by Tom Ellis, although he has stated in interviews that while it is his vocals, the piano accompaniment seen on screen is not actually his.[54] Neil Gaiman is a fan of David Bowie, and some of Bowie's music has been used on the series.[55]

ReleaseEdit

Season DVD and Blu-ray release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 August 23, 2016[56] October 17, 2016[57] October 19, 2016[58]
2 August 22, 2017[59] August 21, 2017[60] August 23, 2017[61]
3 August 28, 2018[62] September 3, 2018[63] TBA

BroadcastEdit

In its first three seasons, Lucifer aired in the United States on Fox, in 720p, high definition, and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. The first and second seasons aired on Monday at 9 pm EST, before moving to the 8 pm time slot on Monday for the third season. Hulu owned the exclusive streaming rights in the United States, with each season released after its broadcast on Fox but moved over to Netflix in December 2018.[64][65] CTV holds the broadcast rights for Canada.[66] In the United Kingdom, Amazon Video holds first-run broadcasting rights, with each episode airing less than 24 hours after the US broadcast.[67] It also airs on the television channel FOX. The series aired on FX in Australia[68] before moving to FOX8 during its third season when FX closed[69] and on TVNZ1 in New Zealand.[70]

ReceptionEdit

RatingsEdit

Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired TV season Rank Avg. viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
1 Monday 9:00 pm 13 January 25, 2016 (2016-01-25) 7.16[71] April 25, 2016 (2016-04-25) 3.89[72] 2015–16 62 7.17[73]
2 18 September 19, 2016 (2016-09-19) 4.36[74] May 29, 2017 (2017-05-29) 3.31[75] 2016–17 85 5.13[76]
3 Monday 8:00 pm 26[a] October 2, 2017 (2017-10-02) 3.92[77] May 28, 2018 (2018-05-28)[a] 2.42[78] 2017–18 119 4.16[79]

Critical receptionEdit

The pilot episode was screened in July at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con. The pilot was met positively by the viewers, with Bleeding Cool's Dan Wickline praising the episode, saying "the show itself is enjoyable because of the great dialogue and flawless delivery from its lead" and "This version of Lucifer refuses to take almost anything seriously and the show is better for it."[80] Max Nicholson of IGN rated the pilot episode a 6.9/10, praising Tom Ellis's performance as Lucifer and the lighthearted tone of the series, but criticizing the series for essentially being another crime procedural series.[81]

The first season received mixed reviews. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 50% of critics gave it a positive review based on 42 reviews, with an average rating of 5.6/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Lucifer's got sex appeal, but the show's hackneyed cop procedural format undermines a potentially entertaining premise."[82] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 49 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[83]

Critics were much more appreciative of the second and third seasons. At Rotten Tomatoes, 100% of critics gave both seasons a positive review based on 8 reviews and 6 reviews respectively, with an average rating of 7.83/10 for the second season,[84] and 9.33/10 for the third season.[85] Several critics praised the second season for its atmosphere and Tom Ellis' performance as Lucifer Morningstar. Ed Power of the Telegraph gave the second-season premiere a 4/5, stating that "It is entirely beguiled by its own preposterousness."[86] Bernard Boo of We Got This Covered gave the premiere 3.5/5 stars, saying "Lucifer's second season gets off to a nice start, building on the show's strengths while retaining some of the weaknesses. It remains an unapologetically sordid, demonically fun hour of TV."[87] LaToya Ferguson of The A.V. Club gave it a B, calling the episode funny with "genuinely funny moments to come from" and saying that the premiere "starts the season off on a good note." She praised Tom Ellis' performance calling it "pitch perfect."[88]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Nominee(s) Category Result Source(s)
2016 Teen Choice Awards Tom Ellis Choice TV: Breakout Star Nominated [89]
Lucifer Choice TV: Breakout Show Nominated
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Crime Drama Nominated [90]
Saturn Awards Best Fantasy Television Series Nominated [91]
Dragon Awards Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Series Nominated [92]

Censorship campaignEdit

On May 28, 2015, the American Family Association (AFA) website One Million Moms launched a petition to prevent the series' airing.[93] The petition stated that the series would "glorify Satan as a caring, likable person in human flesh."[94] It launched the petition and 31,312 people had signed it by the series' premiere date.[95] Posted the same date on the main AFA website, the petition garnered 134,331 signatures by the premiere date.[96][97] In response to the petition, character creator Neil Gaiman commented on his Tumblr page:

Ah. It seems like only yesterday (but it was 1991) that the "Concerned Mothers of America" announced that they were boycotting The Sandman because it contained lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and trans characters. It was Wanda that upset them most: the idea of a trans-woman in a comic book... They told us they were organizing a boycott of The Sandman, which they would only stop if we wrote to the American Family Association and promised to reform. I wonder if they noticed it didn't work last time, either..."[98]

Regardless of the campaign, Fox renewed the series in April 2016 for a second season.[99]

Cancellation reactionsEdit

On May 11, 2018, following the series' initial cancellation, co-showrunner Joe Henderson indicated that the third season finale would feature a "huge cliffhanger" that was meant to deter Fox from cancelling the series and encouraged fans to "make noise" with the hashtag #SaveLucifer.[100][101] Fans, as well as the cast and crew, rallied on Twitter and #SaveLucifer soon became the #1 trending topic.[102][103][104] A second hashtag, #PickUpLucifer, emerged as a trending topic as well.[105][106] An online petition also began circulating aimed at renewing Lucifer for a fourth season on a new network.[107] Warner Bros. Television subsequently began shopping the series around to premium cable and streaming services.[108][109][110] On June 15, 2018, Netflix picked up the series for a fourth season.[27] The penultimate episode of the fourth season is titled "Save Lucifer" in honor of the campaign.[111]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Before the series was cancelled,[33] co-showrunner Ildy Modrovich stated that two episodes produced for the third season were set to be moved to a potential fourth season.[34] Both episodes were broadcast on Fox on May 28, 2018 as a singular two-hour bonus episode.[26]

ReferencesEdit

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