Especially after they already tried that with Birds of Prey.
I don't think that's a good example. That show had a number of more fundamental problems, like trying to do a Burton/Schumacher-style superhero show at a time when that style was starting to give way to something more sophisticated, or evidently being under network pressure to be a Charmed
clone rather than just a Batman-family series. (I don't know for sure that such pressure existed, but the show sure felt to me like it was trying to imitate Charmed
.) So it's not really evidence that a Gotham-without-Batman show can't work, any more than Elektra
is evidence that a female-led superhero movie can't work. A bad (or at least fatally flawed) movie or show doesn't invalidate its whole genre.
I think if any non-hero DC character could anchor a show, Jim Gordon is a likely candidate. He's been a lead character before, in Batman: Year One
(which was really more Gordon's story than Batman's) and Gotham Central
. He's well-regarded as a heroic figure in his own right, and he's got a memorable narrative as the one honest cop who cleans up the corrupt GCPD.
But on the other hand, it's kind of like having a show about Watson without Holmes. Gordon works best as a counterpart to Batman. And having Gordon take on formative versions of Batman's rogues seems like it could be an awkward idea.
You know what, I take it back. The one DC character I'd most like to see as the star of a solo series is Lois Lane. I think her character has grown to the point where she can stand on her own as a solo heroine without needing Superman to save her all the time (as demonstrated in the great Tales of Metropolis with Lois Lane
short on DC Nation), and her adventures as an intrepid reporter could be pretty cool. It might be nice to see a prequel series about how she establishes her reputation as the Daily Planet
's star investigator.