[Update: NBC has performed an about-face on the Wonder Woman series - ordering a pilot for the David E. Kelley series. Check out the full update - HERE.]
It would appear that the curse of Wonder Woman has struck again. Producer Joel Silver has attempted to bring the character to the big screen for years to no avail and George Miller tried and failed to direct a feature film of Justice League which would have co-starred the Amazon Princess.
Then word came that a live-action television series was being developed by Ally McBeal creator David E. Kelley. However, the show has now stalled because every network turned the show down - for various reasons. ABC’s being the most interesting.
In October it was revealed that Kelley had met with DC comics, in an attempt to bring a contemporary version of Wonder Woman to television screens. Kelley went and drafted a pilot script for the show on spec (writing it before he had a home for it). On Wednesday The Practice producer pitched the show to executives at CW, NBC, Fox, CBS and ABC, but they all declined to pick up the potential series.
CW turned the show down because of the expense – they simply couldn’t afford to produce it. It makes you wonder what sort of show Kelley has in mind, and it must be a blow for CW considering that they air Smallville, and this would have been a good way of filling the void that the Superman show will create when it ends this year.
NBC is currently in a state of flux, and therefore the network wasn’t in the position (at the moment) to produce the show - due to issues with licensing fees. Fox meanwhile, didn’t envision the show fitting into their mold, and CBS executives were split on whether or not to pick up the show - and were therefore unable to reach a decision.
Deadline reports that the Disney-owned ABC rejected the show because of its Marvel connection. The Mouse House bought Marvel last year for $4 billion dollars and they have several Marvel driven shows in development including a new Hulk series from Guillermo del Toro and David Eick as well as an adaptation of a Marvel female superhero, Jessica Jones, which is being written by Twilight writer Melissa Rosenberg. It would appear that the network didn’t want to produce a show from Marvel’s main comic competitor DC.
This is not the first time a DC Comics character has come close to reaching television screens, but failed at the last hurdle. Before Smallville hit a decade ago, a young Bruce Wayne show was being developed, but that was scrapped and replaced by the Clark Kent series. Meanwhile, a Batman spin-off featuring Dick Grayson (Robin) called The Graysons was also developed - however, the powers that be came to their senses and pulled the plug on its production early on.
While Wonder Woman won’t be making it to screens in the near future, there is hope. Both NBC and CBS could decided to go with the show at a later date - and then there’s always the option of cable...