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Is the 2018 Black Lightning TV show considered part of the Arrowverse franchise (consisting of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Constantine, and several web series)? It airs on the CW channel and has Greg Berlanti as Executive Producer, like the other DC Comics superhero shows. Does that mean that it's part of the same shared multiverse?

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    It's funny you should mention Supergirl, because originally she wasn't part of the Arrowverse either. It also shows how Black Lightning could be easily retrofitted into the Arrowverse without (seriously) messing with the continuity of either 'verse: simply state that his adventures are happening on a parallel earth. Rule of Cool (and viewer curiosity) practically demand that some crossover happen at some time, even if it's just a modest one... but we'll have to wait and see. – Jeroen Mostert Feb 1 '18 at 8:14
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    You forgot one show: with his crossovers, Constantine retroactively slid into the Arrowverse as well. – Keith Morrison Feb 1 '18 at 17:59
  • @KeithMorrison Added. – Thunderforge Feb 1 '18 at 22:24
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As of now, no.

According to this io9.Gizmodo article, Black Lightning will not be part of the Arrowverse, at this time.

“We do not aim to do a five-way crossover,” Pedowitz said. “Black Lightning, at this time, is not part of the Arrowverse. It is a separate situation.”

It is unclear what the reasons for the decision were. One possible reason for the separation is any cross-overs would require moving the team from the Arrowverse base of operations in Vancouver, to the Black Lightning base of operations in Atlanta (or vice versa).

In another interview with Black Girl Nerds, Pedowitz reveals similar sentiments:

It was different from all of our other superhero shows and it was never designed to be apart of the Arrowverse.
BGN Exclusive interview with Mark Pedowitz, President of the CW - Black Girl Nerds

This is re-iterated by executive producer Salim Akil in an interview with the Wrap:

“I say this with all due respect, but they’re not really relevant to the show that we’re doing,” executive producer Salim Akil explained at the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday. “The great thing that Warner Bros. and CW allowed us to do was create our own world. We really wanted folk to get to know this family before we started branching out.”
‘Black Lightning’ Executive Producer Explains Why Newest CW Superhero Isn’t Part of the Arrowverse - The Wrap

And finally, according to Greg Berlanti in an interview with Variety, he responds to the question of "[Black Lightning]'s going to exist outside the Arrowverse, correct?" with the following:

Yes. As far as I know everyone’s always wanted that. Salim wants that. And the studio and the network want that. They’re very different tonal shows. As people watch them. I’m not sure they could sort of ever quite imagine yet how we would be able to ever connect those things. It’s always existed outside.
Greg Berlanti Opens Up About Andrew Kreisberg: ‘I Was Shocked, I Was Disappointed, I Was Confused’ - Variety

While from the above it is clear that it is not part of the Arrowverse, executive producer Salim Akil has definitely thought about which Earth number Freeland would have:

"You know it," he said with a smile. "You know it. Yes."
'Black Lightning' EP Salim Akil, Star Cress Williams on 'Arrowverse' Crossover Potential

And on a side note (as pointed out by @Thunderforge), it would appear that Black Lightning featured a Big Belly Burger; as you’d expect given season 2 of the Flash, when Hunter Zolomon (posing as Jay Garrick) remarked "Every Earth has a Big Belly Burger".

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    Apparently episode 3 threw in a Big Belly Burger reference and Salim Akil seemed to indicate it was a nod to the Arrowverse (and according to The Flash, every parallel earth in the Arrowverse has a Big Belly Burger). Might be worth adding to your excellent answer. – Thunderforge Feb 1 '18 at 18:27
  • An ironic note to this: in one of his first appearances after his book was cancelled, Black Lightning was asked to join the Justice League of America. He refused, as he felt this would interfere with his ability to deal with local issues. Moved by his argument, Green Arrow quit the Justice League. – RDFozz Mar 9 '18 at 22:19

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