NBC Turns Down “Wonder Woman”
This spring, no pilot was more buzzy, controversial, or intensely scrutinized than “Wonder Woman.” But evidently, buzz is not enough to overcome the stink of a misbegotten failure: This week, NBC declined to pick up the show.
The news comes as the networks prepare for their upfront presentations (where they unveil their fall schedules for advertisers). “Wonder Woman” would have seemed to be a sure thing: It was produced by David E. Kelley, whose TV successes with the network date back to “L.A. Law,” and starred geek-bait stars like Cary “The Princess Bride” Elwes and Elizabeth “Austin Powers” Hurley. But reports of its abysmal script (which was later rewritten, to slightly more positive effect) seem to have been borne out in a pilot episode NBC could not approve. The ongoing agita over the design of the title character’s costume — which producers attempted to quell by announcing Wonder Woman would actually alternate three different looks — probably didn’t help either.
“Wonder Woman” is not the only pilot NBC commissioned, and then (reportedly) rejected. “A. Mann’s World,” a dramedy from “Sex and the City” producer Michael Patrick King, would have starred Don Johnson as a hairstylist, and Ellen Barkin as his ex-wife. “17th Precinct” would have reteamed “Battlestar Galactica” co-creator Ron Moore with “Galactica” stars James Callis and Jamie Bamber, but the notion of a series about a magic police station (really) may have been too strange for network television. And author A.J. Jacobs has expressed equanimity about the death of a sitcom pilot based on his book “My Life as an Experiment”: “As the Jews say, may its memory be a blessing!…I will always have the fake BlackBerry prop that I stole from the set. They can’t take that away from me!”
Fortunately for David E. Kelley, he has had some good news from NBC this week: It has picked up his surprise hit dramedy “Harry’s Law” for a second season. Maybe he can write in a role for Adrianne Palicki, the would-have-been Wonder Woman: I see her as a sassy, very tall brunette paralegal, who never dresses in latex bustiers.