ABC Turns ‘Wicked’ with An 8-Hour Miniseries Produced by Salma Hayek

Published 4 years ago by

abc wicked miniseries salma hayek ABC Turns Wicked with An 8 Hour Miniseries Produced by Salma Hayek

The alphabet network (ABC) is finally returning to their miniseries programming roots with an 8-hour adaptation of Gregory McGuire’s bestselling book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.

While any reference to Wicked these days will result in many instantly referencing the Tony Award winning musical adaptation by Stephen Schwartz (Enchanted) and Winnie Holzman (My So Called Life), this miniseries will most certainly not be an interpretation of that record breaking stage show – which is only loosely based on McGuire’s novel.

Instead, ABC is looking to produce a more faithful representation of McGuire’s telling of the life of Elphaba Thropp, Oz’s iconic Wicked Witch of the West. With no musical numbers and a much darker tone, McGuire’s novel delves into such sensitive themes as political corruption, religion, racism and segregation.

With so many potentially controversial subjects contained within the source material, it’ll be interesting to see exactly what elements make it into the final production. Although, considering Salma Hayek’s Ventanarosa Productions (Frida) will be developing the miniseries with ABC Studios, I have a feeling that most, if not all, will remain – especially with the Emmy Awarding winning Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers) penning the script.

For almost 40 years, ABC has had been creating some of television’s greatest and most iconic miniseries (Roots, North and South, The Thorn Birds). Sadly, when Stephen McPherson took over as the president of ABC in 2004, he declined to produce any new miniseries – which, interestingly enough, included this miniseries based on Wicked. Fortunately, when ABC Family executive Paul Lee was promoted into McPherson’s position (following McPherson’s resignation) last July, Lee began reversing many of McPherson’s poor decisions.

wicked musical movie ABC Turns Wicked with An 8 Hour Miniseries Produced by Salma Hayek

Considering ABC’s viewer demographics and the proven popularity of Wicked, on both stage and in literature, there’s no doubt that when this miniseries premieres, it will be a hit for the network – even if it’s a terrible interpretation of the novel. The question now isn’t whether it will succeed, but to what extent. For that answer, we’ll have to wait until more information is released about the project… and confirmation that Salma Hayek’s involvement in the Wicked miniseries will strictly be behind the scenes.

Of course, for all you Ozians patiently waiting to see Wicked: A New Musical make its leap from stage to big screen, you’ll be happy to hear that Universal Pictures is currently developing a feature film adaptation of the musical masterpiece.

If all goes as planned, expect to see the 8-hour Wicked miniseries premiering on ABC in Fall 2011/Spring 2012.

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  1. Another Wizard of Oz spinoff, great…

    • I read about half of the book and found it boring. It’s a very grim and gritty re-imagining with a bunch of feminist stuff and political stuff. Nothing remotely like Wizard of Oz other than places and names. It’s mostly character study and social commentary. Not much action or adventure or even humor. Just people moaning about how rotten their lives are.

  2. Um, Thandrale?

    Perhaps you missed the line just above this Post a Comment box…the one that reads, “Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.”?

    Use of the “p-word” immediately preceding your comment about moaning is, unfortunately, profanity.

    Have a nice day.

  3. I loved the book…in fact, the whole trilogy. I found it to be brilliantly conceived and wonderfully written. I have not gotten to see the musical, though I very much want to (keep missing it when it comes to town). I have the entire OZ series in my library AND on my iTouch and own every filmed version I’ve been able to find (including “Tin Man” and the racist 1928 black and white movie). I am looking forward to this series and, even more, I am anticipating being able to get the story FINALLY in a visually format for my movie/TV collection.


  4. When I heard they were doing this I was a little worried that it might be loosely based on the book, much like the musical, but then I found out that Salma Hayek was directing and immediately became interested. I had just recently seen one of her films, “Frida”, and knew that she would definitely do the book justice. Frida was about the life of Mexican artist Frida Khalo and had more or less the same tone that Gregory Maguire delivers in Wicked, and I was absolutely floored by Hayek’s performance in that movie(her best, in my honest opinion).

    I was a fan of the musical before I read the book, but I couldn’t put it down once I bought it. Wicked very quickly became one of my favorite books. The whole concept was intriguing and brilliant to say the least, but what I loved most was that Maguire made one of the most well known villains of our time human. He wasn’t afraid to write about the low and ugly moments in human existence; plus if you think of the time period(victorian/Industrial revolution era-late 1800s, early 1900s)you might be able to understand why the story might be so bleak.

    @Seth the bigfoot-Wicked was first published in 1995 and became more mainstream in 2003 when the musical came out so it’s been out a while. It’s about time someone adapt the book though.

  5. Producing. Salma Hayek is Producing it, I apologize; however I still stand by what I said.