David E. Kelley's Wonder Woman TV Series Is D.O.A.
05.14.11 by BJSprecher
While faithful adaptations of comic book superheroes continue to perform like gangbusters at the box office—Marvel Studios' latest, Thor, raked in $65.7 million its opening weekend and has so far grossed over $283 million worldwide—the same can not be said for superheroes on the small screen. It appeared for a time as if Smallville's pre-Superman Superman (Tom Welling)—which isn't really a faithful adaptation of the DC Comics character on which the show is based, but it's the closest thing to one on TV—might get some company in the form of his (future) partner in the Justice League, the Amazonian warrior Wonder Woman, but it apparently isn't going to happen. According to Deadline, NBC has decided not to go forward with a series based on David E. Kelley's (Mystery Alaska, Boston Legal TV series) Wonder Woman pilot that shot earlier this year in L.A. with Adrianne Palicki (Legion) as Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman.
Many comic book fans had predicted that NBC would pass on Wonder Woman, considering the project doomed as early as February when BleedingCool reviewed the script and described it as "a slightly goofy comedy-drama about a hotshot business woman who moonlights as a super heroine, packed with Girl Power pop-songs and including the awkward phrase 'You go, girl.'" Many more fans were turned off by the cheap, vinyl "Halloween costume" look of Wonder Woman's hero duds. In fact, the fans complained so loudly that Kelley wisely decided to tone down the shine and make a few tweaks to placate the fans by putting the costume more in line with the comic book version (though he kept Palicki in pants instead of briefs).
Though no specific reason was given as to why NBC passed, Deadline offered an explanation in a follow-up article. Apparently, the pilot itself was "not a disaster," with some describing it as "ambitious" and "well crafted," but screenings of the pilot netted "very mixed" results. An insider reported to Deadline that many who viewed the pilot failed to "buy into the modernization," while others questioned the very need for a TV series about a "comic book hero."