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If you're old enough to remember the original Wonder Woman TV series (click here to wax nostalgic about its cheesy opening), then this news may be bittersweet: Entertainment Weekly has learned that NBC has ditched its plans to air a much-ballyhooed modern-day Wonder Woman reboot.
When NBC commissioned the pricey project from writer/producer David E. Kelley and Warner Bros. TV, it seemed like a sure thing. The original series, featuring Lynda Carter's beloved superheroine, was a huge hit that inspired thousands of Halloween costumes in the '70s. Many of the kids who wore those costumes are now adults with kids of their own -- giving the show a built-in audience. And the actress chosen to star, Friday Night Lights' Adrianne Palicki, was already well liked by both critics and TV viewers.
So why pass on such a well-publicized, big-budget pilot with brand recognition? Though NBC declined to offer a reason, mixed reviews at network screenings obviously quashed high hopes for the project. And when the network released photos of Palicki in costume, there was a fan outcry: The outfit didn't hit the cheesy-cool fashion sweet spot that Carter's super-duds had managed to achieve.
The show's limbo status (it could still get picked up by another network, like the CW) is bitter, but some may think it's sweet. Fans of the original WW may not want their memories spoiled. The high boots and the starry, protective wrist cuffs can remain where they belong: on Carter's buxom bod, in viewers' memories.
Another plus: Since NBC lost money by dropping the Wonder Woman pilot, the network must be serious about demanding a higher standard of quality. That bodes well for some of the other shows that did get picked up. According to TV Line, the Peacock is sticking by some of its high-quality, though not necessarily high-rated scripted series, such as Harry's Law, Parenthood and Chuck -- which are returning for second, third and fifth seasons, respectively. For Chuck, which has barely dodged cancellation on numerous occasions, the fifth season will be its last.
NBC has also ordered some very promising new series: Playboy Club is a '60s-era drama about the lives of women working at the titular -- and notorious -- destination in swingin'-'60s Chicago. Grimm is a fantastical drama about a world where the characters from the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales coexist with humans. And Chelsea Handler's
No doubt NBC's decision to pass on Wonder Woman is disappointing for those involved. But if it means the other shows NBC has greenlit will raise the bar for well-written scripted series, well, then everyone wins.