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Warner Bros. TV CEO on Why Wonder Woman Pilot Failed

Warner Bros. TV CEO thinks that viewers aren't ready for a contemporary take on Wonder Woman.

Since the announcement that NBC wouldn't be picking up the Wonder Woman television show, many have speculated as to why the Peacock decided to turn down the Princess. And it's not just NBC who had a stake in the high-production pilot--Warner Bros., the owners of DC Comics, clearly did not want to see one of their star properties fail before given a chance to be on prime time.

Warner Bros. Television CEO Peter Roth recently spoke out on why he thinks NBC turned the series down. And while his words are fairly diplomatic with regard to NBC, he actually puts more blame on viewers who he thinks wouldn't be able to embrace the show's concept. Check out his quote below.

== TEASER ==

"I think Wonder Woman was a very well-crafted pilot...But after seeing the announcement of the NBC schedule, I now understand and agree with Bob [Greenblatt, NBC executive] that it doesn’t necessarily fit particularly well with their schedule. As well-crafted and contemporized as it was, it was a big and radical shift for viewers to embrace this new idea — and that may, to some degree, have had to do with why it didn’t make it."

If you didn't get the chance to read the leaked script for the Wonder Woman pilot, then you may have caught Tanit Phoenix's Youtube audition video, in which she reads directly from said script. If not, give it a look. Based on this, you might notice that the characterization of Wonder Woman in David E. Kelley's pilot- a corporate executive by day, super-heroine by night (who is self-aware of her celebrity status) is a far cry from the Princess of Themyscira we see in the comics. That's not to say the idea couldn't work, but I have to wonder (no pun intended!) if they had stuck to the subject material in the comics, would we be watching a Wonder Woman television series on NBC this fall? Was The Cape so awful that it scared NBC executives from taking a chance on another superhero TV show?

Just because NBC turned down this gem doesn't mean that Wonder Woman won't find a home on a different network, something Roth could neither confirm nor deny at the time of the interview. A Wonder Woman television series can work; all it needs is a few comics-savvy producers and writers who can breathe new life into this classic character. Oh, and maybe tell the costume department to lay off the shiny latex. I think we can all agree it was not a good look.

Via The Hollywood Reporter

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Posted by Doctor!!!!!


You want to know why it failed?

The all mighty Uterus!- Robot Chicken

Posted by Shadow_Thief

Well, it couldn't have simply been a bad decision on NBC's part. Their near-prescient level of business savvy is what has made them the titanic network leader that they are today.

Edited by johnny_spam

Really the pilot may not have been that good but it is more talked about then anything NBC is going to start up I do not think any of the shows they ordered will even get a second season. Why not give this a shot?

Posted by BradyDale

Everyone keeps obsessing on the costumes. It seems like the plan was to have her wear a variety of costumes on the same basic theme, which I think was a cool concept and makes a certain amount of sense, too.

Posted by HT101

My reasoning why NBC passed on WW is that they saw how dumb it sounded and felt even though they are in last place in the networks and are desperate for something but they aren't this desperate.  I would love to see WW on TV but from what I heard and read about this pilot, I am glad that it did not get picked up.

Edited by Vitality


I'm actually glad this happened.

 

I feel for the actress...but now I think this will enable someone to do it right...when and if that ever happens.

 

I'll also never forget how gorgeous she looks in this photo either. (all they needed to do was give her black pants)

 

 
Posted by doomsilver


costume still looks weird

but i'm sad ww is not getting her spot

Edited by NightFang
@doomsilver said:


costume still looks weird

but i'm sad ww is not getting her spot

I'm hoping she'll get a animated series on Cartoon Network or a live-action movie.
Edited by JonesDeini

"Gem"? That's a mighty strong compliment Babs. 


I peeped excerpts of the script and I gotta say I'd rather it not happen then be bad. Maybe another time it'll have a better shot and be better handled, I look forward to that day. Honestly after reading leaks of the script I gotta say I want to see if it's anything near the train wreck I imagine it was. Really need this to leak, I gotta see her primary colored jets, her emotional I miss Steve crying scenes, and the dance party in her Dungeon...damn you test audience for not appreciating David E Kelley's bold new direction!!! Can't you see the genius of this man?! Nobody writes powerful, strong, inspiring women like this man!!! Why just look at Alley McBeal! Don't you want that for Diana?!...for shame test audience, for shame. 

@HT101
Indeed. 
Posted by CraftyArrow
@NightFang
me too
Posted by Outside_85

Think they should have let the viewers decide what the viewers think instead of treating them like kids who arent tall enough for the rollercoaster.

"Sorry son, must be 'this' tall to ride."

 

"Sorry guys, you must be 'this' open minded to accept it."

Posted by shadow303030

Xena in technicolor!
Posted by Feliciano2040

I don't know why is people even feeling sorry the show didn't come out, this was going to be an absolute failure on all fronts, an idea like this can only work if it's backed by networks like AMC or HBO, at least "work" in the sense of having a decent television show, really people, we should bouncing from the walls and celebrating this didn't happen.

Posted by CATPANEXE

Rumor has it the real reason it was red lighted was because WB could not get the sensational Sara Lima to play the role of Wonder Woman,
and the show itself was declared imperfect as a result.

Posted by Thunderscream

I think the ceo/night time hero angle was lame. why couldn't she just have been a mystery exchange student who's past was slowly unveiled as her athletic prowess became more obvious to the general public?

Posted by MrMazz

are there any good pictures of this girl playing Wonder Woman in teh outfit?

Posted by Vitality
@MrMazz said:
are there any good pictures of this girl playing Wonder Woman in teh outfit?

Yeah, I posted it.
Posted by Press Oblivion

Shiny latex was great!

Posted by Grim

honestly, i dont want to see a comics tv show based off anyone whith Super powers and extensive lore for another few years or so.
 I think anyone who makes a superhero show will go at it with a Smallville mentality, and re-write the characters entire meaning and purpose accidentally. I think the whole reason most comics fans were turned off to this idea wasnt the costume so much as that Diana playing a business woman and having all of these Erin Brockavich/ Ally McBeal style problems was NOTHING like her character. But They thought it was ok because smallville did roughly the same thing.

Posted by pikahyper
@Thunderscream said:
I think the ceo/night time hero angle was lame. why couldn't she just have been a mystery exchange student who's past was slowly unveiled as her athletic prowess became more obvious to the general public?
When I first heard WW was going to be a show I thought they would go the Smallville route and have her as a younger Diana leaving Themyscira and her experiences in the real world, it would have been a hell of a lot more interesting then the CEO gig and it would have been a good replacement after Smallville ending. Plus isn't Power Girl doing the CEO by day/super-heroine by night schtick already?

The Cape had a lot of potential but god was it freakin dull.
Moderator Online
Posted by joshmightbe

The real problem with this show was David E. Kelly cause he only knows how to write 3 types of Women, The Hard Line Bitch, The Perky Hopeful Chick or The Useless Set Dressing and Wonder Woman doesn't fit into any of these types 

Posted by jointron33
@CATPANEXE: hey, Sara's mine to brown-nose to.
Posted by JoseDRiveraTCR7
@joshmightbe: Exactly. The minute they said David Kelly was taking over I knew the show was done.
Posted by CrimsonInuTears

Okay, so how many networks have turned this thing down now?

Posted by Mbecks14

I have a feeling the script sucked. the concept was all wrong, nobody gets her right. Somebody needs to figure out who Wonder Woman is, then they can make her more likeable. 

Posted by Bestostero

While I do believe this series wouldn't have been good, I really wanted to see it. And i really wanted to be proven wrong... 

Posted by ImperiousRix

I can understand their reasoning why it didn't make it.  Superhero shows kinda need to be the star of their particular block of programming (IE, Smallville), so if they would have just squished Wonder Woman awkwardly into one of their nights' schedules, it probably would have failed regardless of how good/bad it was.


I still think WW needs a proper cinematic rendition.  Have a script written by affectionate hands, and pick a director who can tell the proper Themysciran roots of Wonder Woman in a believable and entertaining way, and I think Wonder Woman could be a huge success in theaters.
Posted by Blindside002

That audition could not have been more awful, made wonder woman sound like a whiny teenager or a ditz. Contemporary does not mean attempting to drastically change pretty much everything about the character to fit cliche female character types and appeal to their warped view of the viewers who would actually be watching the show. The best way to appeal to the real target audience is to keep the character the same, right her as a strong female role model who stands up to injustice. And for God sakes, fix the damn costume so it doesn't look like plastic.

Posted by danhimself

I just don't think that television is ready for "tights"...special effects have come a looonnng way but they're still freakishly expensive so must television shows look like crap compared to what we see in theaters...take Smallville for example...the show had good special effects...for tv..but when you can go to the theaters and see a near realistic Hulk throwing around tanks then a rubber suited Doomsday looks like a Power Rangers villain....I think tv execs should hold off on superhero shows until special effects get cheap enough that tv can do them and do them well

Posted by No_Name_
@CATPANEXE said:
Rumor has it the real reason it was red lighted was because WB could not get the sensational Sara Lima to play the role of Wonder Woman,and the show itself was declared imperfect as a result.
And for that, you get extra brownie points! :D
Posted by TDK_1997

Damn.She's so sexy
Posted by UnclePappyWolf

I think people rag on the costume because it looks less like the Amazon warrior of the Comics and more like an add for Underoos!

Posted by Xaviersx

Part of the problem: NBC and its track record.  Heroes' downward spiral, the Bionic Woman's early departure, the Cape's failure to do . . anything, NBC's weakness in the tv network game . . .

Then, re-imagining the character to the point it could easily lose the core comicbook audience in combination with a design/feel that took more attention than plots and characterization.

It was a failure to launch easily foreseen.  It may actually be the best thing at this point since the damage can be halted right here.  I just feared we would have a Black Scorpion on our hands.

Posted by moviegeek17

i hope i can at least watch the pilot myself and see how it is.
on a side note did anyone else think that tanit phoenix could have made a good wonder woman as well? i didn't like the lines she was given but she really looked the part

Posted by nobodythere

Shame it wasn't picked up, bigger shame they (the producers) felt the need to deviate so heavily from the source. Have always found it annoying when shows or films use the name and a few of the general ideas from a comic book and then wonder how come it doesn't do so well. Sometimes the changes can be great (Blade) and other times they might as well have called it something else (Catwoman).



Posted by Caligula
@HT101 said:
My reasoning why NBC passed on WW is that they saw how dumb it sounded and felt even though they are in last place in the networks and are desperate for something but they aren't this desperate.  I would love to see WW on TV but from what I heard and read about this pilot, I am glad that it did not get picked up.
Edited by turoksonofstone

DC still has not learned the most valuable lesson Marvel studios had to teach. The closer to the source material you go, the greater your success will be.
The evidence is in the numbers.
Batman, DC's only success story to date would be Far More successful if it was closer to it's comic counterpart.
The GL costume looks like monkey crap.

Posted by Marshal Victory

"I think Wonder Woman was a very well-crafted pilot...But after seeing the announcement of the NBC schedule, I now understand and agree with Bob [Greenblatt, NBC executive] that it doesn’t necessarily fit particularly well with their schedule. As well-crafted and contemporized as it was, it was a big and radical shift for viewers to embrace this new idea — and that may, to some degree, have had to do with why it didn’t make it."

 

Wow does that sound bad.. its the fault of the fans who would want someting more than just the name an costume.Not someting with every thing else changed.

 

Or did he just add one wrong f in "radical shift " makes more sence if that was a typo!

 

Hollywood should learn to respect its canon material an you make 100s of millions./shrug its simple realy.

Posted by CATPANEXE
@Babs:
YAY!!!!
Go Team Brown Nosers!!!
Posted by ArtisticNeedham

Haven't checked out the youtube thing yet, but from what I hear about the pilot the show avoided the whole mythology thing and set the story way after her origin.
 My thoughts on Wonder Woman are that maybe they should look at Thor for help.  Thor is about a mythology based superhero who splits the time of the movie on Asgard and Earth, and includes all the gods and goddesses stuff, and is a Superman level power.  Wonder Woman, while I have heard isn't Thor, would be similar, being mythology based (and shouldn't shy away from that part of her story at all), and is a Superman level powerhouse.  Maybe now that Thor is such a success they will pursue making Wonder Woman a movie.  She could become a huge iconic superhero character like GL and Superman and Batman.

Posted by Decept-O

I didn't mind the shiny pants but man, the shorts are much much better. 

 

I am shallow that way.

 

I hope Wonder Woman finds decent writers and execs and a TV home one day, but if not, I would love to see a damn movie!

Posted by Nova`Prime`
@Doctor!!!!! said:


You want to know why it failed?

The all mighty Uterus!- Robot Chicken

LOL love it!
Posted by Smallville123

"I think Wonder Woman was a very well-crafted pilot..."    BAHAHA LIES


Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Interesting how the implied reason is to blame us viewers for not "embracing" this new and "radical" idea.  Quite simply put, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! One can easily translate Diana from the page to the screen and stay faithful to the narrative.  People just gotta be willing.

Posted by chalkshark

Where does NBC get off blaming the viewers for the failings of a program they never got to view? When a show is never even given one chance to find an audience... or not... that's the network giving up on it, not the viewers. Whatever. It's their money to waste.

Posted by DoctorTrips

The big problem was the core concept; she's a corporate executive, modern day woman; which is where you start to run into trouble. In the comics, she was crafted out of clay by her mother and had life breathed into her by the gods. She wins a competition to become the Amazon's ambassador to the world and comes to America and starts kicking the living piss out of bad guys.

You can flesh so much out of that; she's from a very isolated, militaristic society (of all women) that has just now decided to open itself to the world. So her interaction with modern technology, social attitudes, even men would be alien to her. So she takes up a secret identity in order to better explore and understand our world. Then seeing the disease of crime in her city (for the love of Zeus not Los Angeles) she decides "I'll use my Amazon strengths to make man's world a better place!" because Themiscira, for story purposes, is a utopia and she's young idealistic and frankly naive so you can get away with it. Then she meets Steve Trevor part-time rocket scientist and full-time daredevil with a mysterious past but a heart of gold who Diana slowly but surely falls in love with.

She can fight the Cheetah; a woman cursed to become a were-cheetah by an Aztec cheetah goddess.
Angle Man; a crooked lawyer.
Doctor Psycho; a mad psychologist and misogynist who can control people minds with malicious rhymes.
So on and so forth, you get the idea.

You can have guest spots by Ray Palmer; a shy physics professor. Clark Kent, a journalist who interviews Wonder Woman. Arthur Curry; an Atlantean prince to whom Diana was once engaged too (they are royalty after all). Hal Jordan; an old friend of Steve Trevor's and competitor for Diana's affections. Dinah Lance; fellow female crimefighter, later best friend, could join the cast in season 3. You get the idea.

See you don't need her to be some corporate stooge and crying in her pillow because Steve is getting married to some other broad (which was in the damn script). The best you can do is find a balance with the source material and what television will allow you to interpret.

Anyway I'm going to get all of this down on paper and pitch it to some television executives. An David E. Kelley can bite me.

Posted by Chibi-Iroh

You know what hire Lucy Lawless to be Wonder Woman and make the Costume a Wonder Woman styled Xena costume. I don't care if she is 43 years old she doesn't look it. Hire Joss Whedon to write and direct and instead of giving the show to NBC give it to the CW and let it air in Smallville's place. This is getting ridiculous I mean if Thor can be adapted I don't see why Wonder Woman can't have a faithful adaptation that is tweaked for the masses.


When will people realize that Diana's comic book costume cannot be translated into live action without making her look like a slut or without showing to much skin for tv. She is an Amazon for goodness sake, MAKE HER LOOK LIKE ONE! They need to get rid of the cheap plastic look and start over and try again.

There is no way that a Justice League movie can even be considered with Wonder Woman in it at this point and they can't even get her right for tv.
Posted by Rhi


It had nothing to do with how "contemporized" they made it and it's impossible to blame in on viewers who never got to see that damn show. It was crap, pure and simple.

 

I'm not a big WW fan but I was rooting for this to be a really great show that I could watch even if it was just see who would guest star from the DCU each season. I hope that WW or another strong comic book female (or hell even male!) gets a damn show soon!

Posted by Neverpraying

The show did not look that good or sound that promising.
Aside from Wonder Woman running in that top :P

Posted by sa5m

That picture looks like the cardboard cut out

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