NBC rejects 'Wonder Woman'

wonder_women

Image Credit: Richard Beetham/Splash News

Well that was fun (to make fun of) while it lasted. EW has learned that NBC passed on the much buzzed-about Wonder Woman pilot from David E. Kelley and Warner Bros. TV.

Kelley had penned a script that updated the comic book classic to have Diana Prince as CEO of a major conglomerate by day and a butt-kicking Amazon (with a fleet of cool planes) by night. Kelley’s take asked for lots of heart-thumping, contemporary music, and at one point the Boston Legal writer even requested a commercial-free premiere for the pilot if it aired.

Why did the ‘ol girl fail to pass muster?

NBC isn’t saying for now but scuttlebutt reveals the pilot earned mixed reviews at test screenings. And then there was all the online blow back about the costume – which seemed to de-emphasize the patriotism and play up the comic’s Greek mythology. Ultimately, the wardrobe department went back to the drawing board but that didn’t seem to save the project.

Big bummer for Adrianne Palicki — a budding star from Friday Night Lights who deserved a leading role on the fall lineup. Maybe she can fill the void left by Minka Kelly on Parenthood and be the hot gal who keeps messing with Crosby’s mind. Or…Warner Bros. TV may try to shop the pilot elsewhere. But who would take a gamble on a pilot that NBC rejected?

Also not making the cut: Don Johnson’s return to TV in Mann’s World, a drama about a hairstylist, and the Civil War-era Western Reconstruction and Ron Moore’s magic cops drama 17th Precinct.

Also in the current NBC news-pocalypse pre-upfront frenzy: NBC has renewed Chuck for a final season, has cancelled The Event, greenlit Chelsea Handler’s sitcom and ordered dramas about Playboy and others.

Here’s why we think it was (and wasn’t) a good idea for NBC to pick up the show:  Wonder Woman: Why NBC should (and shouldn’t) order this series

Comments (298 total) Add your comment
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  • Entertainment2u-Twitter

    about time the networks are wising up. NO MORE REMAKES! Catch the hint.

    • Adwina Lambert

      it would have been ground breaking if they cast me! tee-hee!

      • tom

        they are running out of comicbook ideas

      • tn

        Hopefully Adrianne Palicki can do movies and win an oscar like she should! girl is a crazy talented actress. Stupid people slammed her without ever having the pleasure of meeting Tyra Collette.

      • RaRa

        @Adwina – They would have to write an annoying “tee hee” on each line for you in the script. People all over the country would be shooting their TV’s or attacking them with hatchets.

      • jmcg

        Why does palicki “deserve” a shot at a pilot? I thought she was totally wrong for ww to begin with and at best she is b-list.

      • Spider

        Perhaps the CW will take a look at picking up the pilot to fill in the void left by, “Smallville”! …and it’s only logical since the CW is partially owned by WB.

      • Reece

        Christie Colla April 20, 2011 Brandon, my man, get your head out of the Disney hole and into the world . Where does meat come from?Cassie and her husband LOVE their anamlis, they care for them extremely well, and when the time comes, they slaughter them well. Have you been to a commercial slaughter house? Have you seen the inside of the fosterfarm kind?Wake up, and use proper language to express yourself. Or don’t bother.(PS, I was raised on a farm and helped kill the anamlis to feed our family too. We don’t enjoy killing them, but we do care about our family enough to not trust anyone else with feeding them.)

    • AcaseofGeo

      Not only that, as iconic as the original Wonder Woman and Lynda Carter were, it wasn’t even a hit in the 70′s when it aired. Check the ratings people, it ran for less than 3 years, and was retooled from a season taking place in the 1940′s then updated to the 1970′s the next season, and that even included keeping Lyle Waggoner! (Am I right? I’m real sure as I didn’t check the “bible” Wikipedia first before posting).

      • Stewart

        Yes, Lyle Waggoner did remain part of the show as Steve Trevor, Jr. (the son of the original Steve Trevor from the first season). There were 3 complete seasons for the original Wonder Woman (I have them all on DVD). People forget that the original Star Trek only had 3 seasons as well. And look where that went in the 80s and 90s! I think that if they had the new Wonder Woman being the daughter of the original Wonder Woman with Lynda Carter playing the role of the now current queen of Paradise Island, that would have provided continuity with the original show (instead of it being a remake) and in my opinion may have worked out better.

      • RaRa

        Good post, Stewart. Too bad you don’t work for NBC.

      • Bonnie

        I don’t understand why the WB wouldn’t air it. I agree it could be retooled–Smallville-style and take the Smallville spot.

      • @ACaseofGeo

        Actually, Wonder Woman was indeed a ratings hit in the 70s;the problem was that NBC was reluctant to continue doing a show that, partly due to being set in the 40s, was too expensive to produce.

      • guy_in

        Stewart you hit it on the head. You might want to apply at NBC and turn it around. O wait they dont hire you if you can think. sorry

      • jim

        the 70s wonder woman was a hit from its debut in 1975 in 1977 it went to cbs was in the top 20 its last show was 11/79 so not bad 4 year run there were 2 shows shot that have never aired and they were planning a season 5 with diana moving to la

      • Obvious Man Says

        Season One rocked, as it was modeled (more or less) as the new Batman, i.e. campy, yet decent production values, complete with guest stars such as Cloris Leachman, Stella Stevens and Red Buttons. Sadly, like Batman, the series couldn’t sustain that level of quality.

      • bizzaro

        I was 7 when Wonder Woman was on, my first crush, and I could nto figure out what the hell was going on with the decade change. ANdrew the alien coming back younger in a later decade totally screwed with my head at 7.

      • AcaseofGeo

        Thanks all to your excellent responses to my post. I should’ve made it clear that I LOVED the original AND Lynda Carter.

      • Glenn

        You are incorrect regarding the Neilsen’s status of ‘Wonder Woman’ starring Lynda Carter. According to World Almanac, which compiles such statistics in every field of endeavor, Wonder Woman remained in the top 15-shows broadcast throughout its ’75 to ’79 run.

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    • Lucy

      Exactly!!!

    • dexx

      Considering that NBC has a Prime Suspect remake, they haven’t wised up.

    • Tego Livi

      NBC was wise to pass this up–all superhero shows are inherently silly, but even within the context of other superheroes, Wonder Woman is especially silly. Even with superpowers, she’s dressed up in a ridiculous costume, and that lasso and stupid invisible plane. She doesn’t fit with anyone’s idea of a powerful woman, except maybe a adolsescent fanboy of the early 50s. If they want a superhero woman, they should invent one of their own, who wouldn’t be a joke.

      • Vikki

        Funny. I am not an adolescent fanboy of the 50s. I’m a 32 year old woman and I find Wonder Woman to be the epitome of a powerful woman. If you knew anything about the comic character herself you would know that she NEVER compromised her morals for a man or anything(Unlike the vast majority of superhero and non superhero female characters). She consistently fought for what she believed in (both with super powers and without). Let’s not forget that as far as the comic book world goes, she was also the second most powerful character in the DC Universe (second only to Superman). Granted, the invisible plane was tacky but they dropped that years ago. You might want to know about the character you are tearing down before you say things.

      • carmen nieves

        it was her silly inviable plane that started the stealth mode idea so…

      • TDR

        You obviously haven’t kept up with DC’ comics’wonderwoman. She is one of the top 3 Characters in the DC universe and has gone toe to toe in battle with Superman. the comic version is no joke.

    • ST

      This might be a good fit for the CW with Smallville leaving…

      • Early

        It’s much esaeir to understand when you put it that way!

      • Omar

        Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written alctire. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of Destination: Meatball Shop | All Things L Train All Things G Train . Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

    • Jon

      It’s Hollywood’s own fault that fans have remake-phobia, but it’s gotten to the point that if something is a remake people go berserk and yell about the evils of the industry. I think it reaches its absurd zenith in the reaction to “Wonder Woman,” which people seemed to think was Shakespeare. This is actually the exact type of thing they SHOULD remake — a vaguely-remembered, not-very-popular, short-lived project that has a promising, workable premise.

    • Mike

      look get over it . NBC just lost a hit .

    • myangeldust

      David E. Kelley? Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, Harry’s Law. That Kelley? He would have murdered the concept and ruined the lore for anyone planning on a movie based on this character. I say we dodged (or deflected) a bullet here.

  • Kat

    Oh thank God. Now, they should think of a better way to bring Diana back to the screen. This show would have been a disgrace.

    • Heather

      Agree!! I would LOVe to see a Wonder Woman movie or show- but only if it’s written by someone who has some idea how to write for female characters.

      • nis

        Like Joss Whedon!

      • Peter

        Joss Whedon kills all his female characters.

      • Ames

        Thank you. When I heard it was a David E. Kelly show, I shuddered to think what his version of “feminism” would be this time out.

      • Jason

        @Peter Joss does not kill all of his female characters… In Buffy he killed three but all of the characters killed in Serenity were male. Angel and Dollhouse were about half and half.

      • Anya

        I would love to see a Wonder Woman movie with Joss Whedon as the writer! Wasn’t that happening at some point? Why did that stop?

    • Rob Mars

      I’m with you, Kat. I really wanted this to work, to see a live-action Wonder Woman. But Kelley et al. were making a total mess of it. Whew! Thank goodness!

    • JamesLM

      Oh right…they’re going to rush lots more WW projects into production after the fans went nuts trying to kill this one. You’re completely deluded.

      • Charlee

        There’s a terrific amunot of knowledge in this article!

    • Dave

      For the first time in recent years, NBC finally made a a right decision.

      • Delon

        Exactly.

      • mark

        I think your wrong, I would have given the show a shot, just for nostalgic value, and if it were entertaining I would have come back. It would have premiered to good numbers I am sure.

      • BG 17

        Perhaps a good decision on Wonder Woman, but what about 17th Precinct? That sounded awesome and original – please let someone else pick it up!

      • Cans

        totally agree. i don’t know why DEKelley is the king of hokey plot lines & characters. CEO of a cosmetic co??? How is that feminism? The 1st season of the original show had it right… keep her in the 40′s and instead of the schmaltzy 70′s take, have her play off of the sexism & stereotypes i.e. mad men.

    • Rush

      “But who would take a gamble on a pilot that NBC rejected?” Right. Because NBC *NEVER* makes mistakes.

      Though I think they dodged a bullet with this one.

  • JC

    Good. This was going to bomb completely.

    • JamesLM

      You’re psychic, huh? Annoying.

      • wino

        well, in fairness to JC, IF nbc had picked it up, it would most likely have failed. they dont have a stellar track record w. dramas.

      • Anya

        They don’t have a stellar track record with remakes either.

      • L

        Check the initials — It’s Jesus Christ, Dude. He IS psychic.

      • Auth

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  • Chichi

    The big news here is not Wonder Woman but Shangela’s pilot not being picked up! INJUSTICE!

    • ger

      I’d say no Shangela this fall is the best news of the day.

      • greattv

        Agree!!! She was so annoying with her hallelu

      • L

        Who?

  • bmospr04

    it would have been bad, hopefully Adrienne can be added to a hit show

  • Mark Monaco

    Booo. We are never going to see a live action WW. Yet we have seen a live action of just about every other comic book hero known to exist.

    • Kate

      Lynda Carter. 59 Episodes. They’re perfect.

      • Justin Fan

        All the world is waiting for you. And the power you possess.

      • SC

        That show was awful.

    • C Men

      People don’t care about female superheros. Accept it and move on.

  • Daryl

    I wish they would give Wonder Woman the big screen treatment. I don’t understand why its so hard to bring DC’s most popular heroine to the theaters.

    • Channing

      I think you listed one of the biggest reasons in your post: “heroine.” It would be a huge gamble for Warner Bros. to finance a $150M (at least) production, plus another $100M or so in marketing. Wonder Woman is a long-running respected comic book character. However, she doesn’t have the pull of Warners’ big two. (Exhibit A: There are far fewer Wonder Woman comics published each month, versus the number of Batman- and Superman-related.)

      • Krazijoe

        Yeah, I mean look how big a flop Thor was…Pfffttt…3rd rate character in a movie? Makes no sense!!!
        ***Yes this is all Sarcasm***

  • J.P.

    No spin, no show. It’s that simple. People want an updated version of the 70s show OR they want something true to the comic books. This reimagining was a mess. I hear WW liked to kill in this pilot. And a fleet of airplanes? And a changing room to get into costume?

    Nope.

  • Hermione

    Definitely a bummer for Palicki. Loved her on FNL- hope she finds another show soon. On a side note… HOW ABOUT THAT TVD FINALE?!?!? DAYUMMMMMM!

    • 867-5309

      TVD finale was awesome!!

      • Merry Bear

        I’d rather talk about TVD, too. Still, poor Palicki. Maybe SPN can find a way to get her back with Sam?

      • Heather

        So does Jeremy see dead vampires? If so, why not Jenna?

      • Hermione

        Good Q heather, but maybe b/c Jenna wasn’t a Vamp for too long, or maybe he will see her but they just thought they’d show his exes to make an impact. Who knows… I for one was just happy to get some DELENA!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Eric P

        Maybe they will drive him crazy… Maybe they will drive him to kill…

    • Rob Mars

      She was wrong for this role, and it was wrong for her. Kelley, NBC, DCE should have known better. Best of luck to her in her future endeavors, though.

      • jodipo

        this, totally! The girl may be a fabulous actress, but she was not right for Wonder Woman.

    • el camino

      Theres that Hunger Game movie series there doing. There casting a bunch from TV.The Johanna part looks good. I had Stephanie Hunt(Devin) from FNL in that oart. But I think she is going for Octavia if they cast Lenny Kravitz in the Flavius role that is partnered with her.

  • Christian

    Oh well, I don;t see a Wonder Woman movie or series in this life time. She just may be too old a Heroine for the newer Generation to care about.

    Oh well Maybe in 35 years or more we can have her back on screen

  • Brian

    I didn’t think the Pilot sounded good, but I would’ve given them a few episodes to change my mind. Oh well. I would like to see this sometime, like when they put the Aquaman pilot (which was actually pretty good) on iTunes.
    Someone still needs to make a good WW TV show though.

  • Trey

    She’d make a great Buffy.

    • grr argh

      No she wouldn’t, SMG made a good Buffy, that’s the only person who should ever play the role. Kristy Swanson and whatever blandly attractive, CW-fied girl they get for this horrible reboot can go stuff that wooden stake where the sun don’t shine.

    • @Trey

      You make a good comedian

  • Kate

    COULD NOT BE HAPPIER. As a hard-core Wonder Woman fan this is the best news I’ve heard in months.

    Also — let’s remember our history. ABC made their horrible first pilot with Cathy Lee Crosby BEFORE they launched the Lynda Carter classic. Here’s hoping history repeats itself!!

  • samara

    Could those boobs be any faker? wow.

    • wotsup

      Yeah, they do look like two melon halves stuck on her chest don’t they.

  • Michael Sacal

    If Nothing But Crap… I mean, NBC passed on it, no one else will touch it.

    (I kid, I kid. I actually like Chuck, The Apprentice, The Event, and other stuff NBC puts out).

    • Hermione

      Get real, NBC never puts out anymore. It’s such a tease these days…

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