Last week, Dr. Cole Abaius broke down the reasons why Wonder Woman has yet to receive the big screen treatment. But what about the small screen treatment? For the last few weeks a spec script for a brand new TV series adaptation of the D.C. legend has been floating around from network to network. The script is by TV big dog David E. Kelley. Well, the wait is over because on Friday, NBC announced that it has picked up Kelley’s script after he provided the network with the potential ratings big dog Harry’s Law.
According to Deadline, Kelley’s series is described as “a reinvention of the iconic D.C. comic in which Wonder Woman — aka Diana Prince — is a vigilante crime fighter in L.A. but also a successful corporate executive and a modern woman trying to balance all of the elements of her extraordinary life.” But now the question remains, can the series succeed?
I don’t see any reason why not. As Smallville proved, some of D.C.’s characters are really built for the small screen. The reason being, back in the day when comics were “the” thing, D.C. was known for keeping their stories contained from issue to issue, where as Marvel went for more of the serialized approach. Basically, D.C. was Hawaii 5-0 and Marvel was LOST.
And with that in mind, Wonder Woman might be built for TV after all, and wait, she was. I’m sure I don’t need to remind everyone of the famous TV series which ran for three years back in the seventies. So a Wonder Woman TV series is a proven formula, it’s just a matter of milliniuming it. And based on the description of Kelley’s script, it looks like he’s done just that.
Right now the super hero genre is going through a make over in the land of the small screen. With Smallville coming to an end, none of the big dogs (D.C. & Marvel) have their hands in any currently airing comic book shows. Instead, we’re seeing a lot of original hero shows like the not so inspired The Cape and the family-comedy No Ordinary Family. Up until now the only project in the works based on an established character was a TV reboot of Marvel’s Incredible Hulk (another super hero that had a successful seventies TV adaptation) with Guillermo Del Toro at the helm.
So with NBC ordering the new Wonder Woman pilot for next season, and The Incredible Hulk series still moving forward without much issue, we could be seeing the beginnings of a wave of comic book hero shows, similar to the one that swept the film industry in the last decade.
My hope is that Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk for that matter succeed, because it will lead to more shows based on established characters in the various universes. Just update that suit to make it less “showy,” and don’t go full on cheese, and you might just have a hit come the 2011-2012 season.