EXCLUSIVE: The summer of Wizard Of Oz continues with another sale of a high-profile Oz-themed drama project. I’ve learned that the CW is in negotiations for Dorothy Must Die, a drama from the Heroes trio of creator/exec producer Tim Kring and exec producers Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster. Written by Armus and Foster with Kring supervising, I hear the project is based on the upcoming young adult novel Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. It is a revisionist take on the classic tale set in present day, 80 years after Dorothy Gale supposedly came home. In reality, the magically-ever-youthful Dorothy has stayed in Oz, presiding over a now fascist fairyland with her perfectly manicured iron fist and the help of her henchmen – the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. But when another young woman from Kansas is swept up in a tornado and magically dropped into this war-torn Oz, our hero discovers a revolutionary underground of witches and enchanted beings only to learn that she is destined to lead their people in the fight to reclaim Oz from a power-hungry Dorothy’s ruthless clutches. The book will be published by HarperTeen next April, with digital prequel novella, No Place Like Oz, available now. The property originated at James Frey’s book-packaging company Full Fathom Five, with him and Todd Cohen, President of Film and Television, exec producing alongside Armus, Foster and Kring.
Dorothy Must Die, which is yet to be laid off at a studio, is the fourth Wizard Of Oz TV project sold in the past two months. It joins NBC drama Emerald City, a dark reimagining of the classic tale of Oz in the vein of Game Of Thrones from writer Matthew Arnold, CBS’ Dorothy, a medical soap inspired by the characters and themes from The Wizard Of Oz, and Syfy’s miniseries Warriors Of Oz from director Timur Bekmambetov, a fantasy-action reimagining of the classic story. The great interest in Wizard Of Oz is not entirely unexpected as the title has been getting a lot of attention in conjunction with the upcoming 75th anniversary of the 1939 feature, which will include a 3D re-release of the Judy Garland starrer. It also comes on the heels of the success of Oz The Great And Powerful earlier this year.
Related: NBC Buys ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Drama From Matt Arnold
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The CW has revealed the key art designs for its three new fall series The Originals, The Tomorrow People and Reign. Check them out: Vampire Diaries‘ spinoff The Originals centers on Vampire‘s original family members Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and Rebekah (Claire Holt) as they find a new home in New Orleans, a city now run by Klaus’s former protégée Marcel (Charles Michael Davis). The key art features Morgan (back center), Gillies (back right), Holt (back left) and Davis (front seated). Read More »
Emily Owens, MD creator Jennie Snyder Urman has sold three projects under her overall deal at CBS Television Studios – two dramas to the CW and a comedy to Fox as CBS Studios this year is … Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
UPDATED: The Flash will appear in three episodes of the CW‘s Arrow this coming season before headlining his own spinoff series. The information was shared this afternoon by the three writers – Arrow co-creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg and series scribe Geoff Johns — behind the Flash project. an origin story of Flash’s Barry Allen identity. The episodes, No. 8, No. 9 and No. 20, will be penned by the trio, with David Nutter, who helmed the Arrow pilot, committed to directing Episode 20. Kriesberg also confirmed during the conference call today that the actor who portrays Barry Allen will play him as “an ordinary man” when viewers meet him in Episode 8. “The character will be as grounded and realistic as possible,” he said. “That’s how we’ll get to know him. Then his life will get a bit faster.” He added that the surrounding characters in Arrow will react to Allen “in a very realistic way,” noting that they “won’t be treated as commonplace on the show but as extraordinary events.” Kreisberg added: “It will be fun for the audience to see how we do our take on The Flash’s powers. Some will feel very familiar to those who know the comics, and other stuff will feel different yet fresh and exciting.” Berlanti noted, “That said, he does need powers to become The Flash. And he will be The Flash. He will wear a red costume, and he will go by that name.”
Related: CW Eyes ‘Flash’ Series With ‘Arrow’s Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg & David Nutter Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Television writers and producers aren’t supposed to treasure directors, generally viewing them instead as a necessary evil. But Greg Berlanti evidently failed to receive that memo this morning as he positively gushed during a TCA session about Danny Cannon‘s directorial contributions to his new CW series The Tomorrow People. Berlanti referred to Cannon, who directed both the pilot and second episode of the SFX-rich series, as “the unsung hero” of the effects. Berlanti stressed, “The art of pilot directing is, I think, even more challenging than feature directing in that (the director) has to create an entire world and an entire aesthetic and tell a story in a much short period of time, and with a lot less money. They also have to make a lot of creative decisions themselves.” He emphasized that all TV directors should get “a tremendous amount more credit” that they do. “As someone who has written a number of pilots, you really begin to worship the people who are experts at this art form,” Berlanti continued. “I’ve been blessed to work with people like David Nutter and Danny (Cannon), who really achieve a feature look and style.”
Related: TCA: “Good Time” To Be Director In TV, Says DGA Prez & FX Series Helmers Read More »
UPDATED: Speaking at CBS’ TCA presentation yesterday, CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves was asked about the sustainability of the CW as a business given its low ratings. “The CW as an entity may lose … Read More »
UPDATE, 9 AM: During the CW executive session, the network’s topper Mark Pedowitz gave more details about The Flash project. It will be the origin story of Barry Allen who will be introduced as a recurring character on Arrow this coming season starting in the fall. “We want to expand the DC universe of characters,” he said. As for how the project came together, Pedowitz said he late last year brought up the idea to DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson who turns out had already been discussing it with WBTV’s Peter Roth and producer Greg Berlanti. Pedowitz also confirmed that “Amazon is on pause (as) the script is not exactly what we wanted, and with an iconic character like Wonder Woman, we have to get it right.”
Related: The Flash Will Be Introduced In 3 ‘Arrow’ Episodes, Will Start Off As “Ordinary Man”
EXCLUSIVE 7 AM: Another DC Comics male superhero is looking to join the CW’s lineup. I’ve learned that the network is fast tracking Flash, a drama project based on the DC character from the Arrow team of co-creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg and director David Nutter. The CW is expected to discuss the project at today’s TCA presentation. I hear there is an idea is to introduce The Flash on Arrow next season before spinning it off into its own series. I hear Flash will be written by Berlanti, Kreisberg and DC Entertainment’s Geoff Johns who also has written for Arrow. Nutter, who helmed the Arrow pilot, will direct the potential pilot, while Berlanti and Kreisberg are expected to run the potential series. Marc Guggenheim, who developed and executive produces Arrow with Berlanti and Kreisberg, is not involved in Flash as he busy with Arrow, now heading into its second season.
Expanding DC’s footprint on the CW has been a priority for the network and DC sibling Warner Bros. TV, especially following the departure of the long-running Smallville and in light of the recent success of Arrow, one of few breakout hits last season. This past development season, the CW developed a Wonder Woman origins project, which didn’t go to pilot. The network in May commissioned a new script with a new writer which has been delivered, but I hear the network has hit the pause button on the project. Flash is certain to get a priority given its A-list auspices. Read More »
The long-gestating spinoff from veteran CW drama Supernatural is moving forward as a backdoor pilot to air as an episode of Supernatural‘s upcoming ninth season. To be written by Supernatural supervising producer Andrew Dabb, the planted … Read More »
No matter how many times execs at the CW, and at its co-owner CBS, explain to TV critics that the model for CW is different than for a traditional broadcast network, and no matter how many times they describe that CW is just one of many platforms for … Read More »
NBC won last night paced by summer staple America’s Got Talent (2.8/8 in adults 18-49, 10.2 million viewers), which was the top program of the night by a wide margin. In … Read More »
After an extensive casing process, Lindsey Gort last weekend was tapped to play young Samantha Jones on the second season of the CW’s … Read More »
Felicia Day made a surprise appearance on the CW’s Supernatural panel Sunday at Comic-Con, where EP Robert Singer announced that fan-favorite Day would be reprising her role as Charlie Bradbury on the show. … Read More »
The CW’s The Vampire Diaries has steamed its way through four years of soapy supernatural drama that have brought a lot of change for its teenage (and technically immortal) characters. Today at … Read More »
Newcomer Lindsey Gort, who stars in the upcoming Denzel Washington-Mark Wahlberg pic 2 Guns, has been cast as the Samantha Jones character on The Carrie Diaries, the CW‘s prequel series to Sex And The City and based … Read More »
Sadness and excitement marked the final Comic-Con panel for The CW‘s spy show Nikita, which is set to come to an end with a six-episode midseason wrap-up. “It’s bittersweet,” said showrunner Craig Silverstein, who was joined at Comic-Con by cast members Maggie Q, Shane West, Lyndsy Fonseca, Melinda Clarke, Aaron Stanford and Noah Bean. “I’m just glad we’re able to end it and bring it to a full close. Knowing that it’s going to finish lets us finish it with a period — hopefully an exclamation mark.”
The network’s decision to end the spy drama after three seasons came as a mixed blessing. Unlike many cancelled series, the cult hit will at least get to end with some closure. “My heart hurt because I have a very deep love for [the cast] and I’m going to miss them,” said Maggie Q. “We get to end this show with such integrity and with our heads high.” Filming on the fourth season is underway. The abbreviated run will accelerate the pace of Nikita‘s storytelling, said Silverstein. “What it means is you get right to the good stuff. [Most seasons] end with things happening one after the other, [but] that’s how we’re going to start this season.” Read More »
The CW sent fans mildly cooing with Thursday’s preview of Star-Crossed, the sci-fi drama-romance set to debut midseason starring Aimee Teegarden and Matt Lanter as the forbidden teenage paramours. Creator Meredith Averill, co-exec producer and … Read More »
Summer Glau has been cast in a recurring role on the CW‘s Arrow, which kicks off its second season October 9. Glau, who has amassed plenty of genre street cred … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In one of the first buys for this coming season, the CW has put in development Jane The Virgin, a drama based on the Venezuelan telenovela Juana La Virgen. Jennie Snyder Urman, creator of the CW’s drama series Emily Owens, MD, is set to write the adaptation for CBS TV Studios, where she is under an overall deal, and Ben Silverman’s Electus. Urman, Silverman, Gary Pearl and Jorge Granier executive produce. The CW project centers on Jane, a hard-working, religious girl who, due to a series of outrageous events, is accidentally artificially inseminated.
Juana La Virgen, created by Perla Farias, was a hit in its original run on Venezuelan broadcaster RCTV in 2002 where it drew an average of 39.1% share, topping the competition by a wide margin. It also did very well in Brazil, Spain, Colombia and Mexico and has been translated into 9 languages. In the U.S., Juana aired on Univision and is available on Hulu (get a glimpse of the first episode below). Read More »