Here's a thought: what if the pilot established that this was an alternate reality where Bruce was killed along with his parents, or else where the Waynes were never killed at all and Bruce just grew up to be a rich, shallow dilettante? But Gotham still descended into the mess it became, and so Gordon has to try to clean it up himself. Maybe with Harvey Dent as his ally, since he doesn't become Two-Face in this reality, but still has a darker side he keeps hidden. With no Batman, there's no Joker per se, but the gangster he was before the accident (known only as the Red Hood?) is still a dangerous psychopath. And so on. You could have a lot of the same bad guys, but not going the costume route because there's no Batman to counter. Thus you can "cape-proof" the concept and make it more accessible to the general audience, but also provide a simple explanation that would make sense of the premise for the comics audience: it's an Elseworlds story about a world without Batman.
Hmm, I like it. Can you imagine an opening with the Waynes leaving the cinema, little Bruce pretending to be Zorro and Joe Chill shadowing the family? Then, the familiar mugging gone wrong - except, this time, Chill fires three
shots and kills Bruce as well as his parents.
Cut to credits, then after the credits, a rookie Jim Gordon arriving on the scene, his first case as investigating officer.
Can't see them opening with something this shocking, but it would certainly grab attention!