The bad week for comic book TV shows continues. On Tuesday, Fox canceled Human Target and passed on Locke & Key. After days of rumors about its status, word has came down from Hollywood late on Thursday that NBC has indeed passed on David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman. Deadline has the report.

Boy, DC Entertainment can’t catch a live action break, can it?

The Wonder Woman pilot had a rocky history to begin with. After veteran TV producer David E. Kelley wrote the pilot script, he shopped it around to the networks who all passed. Eventually, NBC relented (possibly because Kelley’s other show, Harry’s Law, is one of their few “hits”) and the pilot was put in motion with Friday Night Lights star Adrienne Palicki cast as Wonder Woman. And then the costume was revealed. And the internet freaked out. So the costume was changed (right) and the pilot filmed in Los Angeles.

Word is that the pilot was screened to decidedly mixed reviews. You’d have to think that the pilot for a series that would presumably be rather expensive would have to blow everyones’ collective socks off in order to get the greenlight.

Hopefully the pilot will get leaked because having read the script I really want to see what came of it and I still think that Adrienne Palicki was really inventive casting.

After Friday night there will be no more live action comic book/super hero shows left on American television. Between Human Target getting canceled, Locke & Key and Wonder Woman getting smothered in the crib, and Smallville ending, this week was a bloodbath!

Update: Scott Carelli of Geek Show got to watch the doomed pilot and shares his thoughts here.

Update: Here’s an excerpt from some analysis of the situation from Deadline’s TV editor: Despite some negative early speculation, the pilot was not a disaster as some suggested. People who have seen it describe it as “ambitious” and “well crafted”. But its screenings and testing were very mixed. “The audience couldn’t buy in the modernization,” one insider said. There were early signs of resistance against updating the classic franchise and the character when fans slammed the superhero’s new, contemporary costume. “It was a conceptual thing,” another insider said. “Do we need a comic book hero?”


  1. All it took was one focus group to look at that costume.


  2. I can’t say I’m surprised to hear this news. This show always seemed like too much of a risk to me.

  3. If the pilot was not well received then it makes perfect sense.

    I’m glad it’s not coming on yet. Script was was way too campy and stupid to be taken seriously. Even if it’s meant to be campy I don’t think it would reach a big enough audience anyways. Shame we can’t get anything Wonder Woman related to be successful.

  4. Even though so much of it was negative, you’d think the buzz this show was generating would have been enough to push even a few episodes into production. It must have been really bad.

  5. @TheNextChampion  The script had its problems but it wasn’t campy.

  6. I’ve read that human target is doing it’s damnedest to get on another network.  I hope it works out that show is too fun to go away.

  7. Can’t say I’m surprised either, it has such terrible press from the outlets I read…

    I also watched Human Target, but it started to drag as time went on…

  8. None of this is much of a suprice to me at all.

  9. @conor Agree to disagree. I thought it was a bit campy.

  10. Hooray! The script was terrible.

  11. @clintaa It would be perfect for USA, after Psych or Burn Notice.

  12. Not to rain on anyone’s parade but based on the costume and the direction of the show I’m glad they passed on this. That said, I really wish someone will pick up the Locke & Key series or turn into into a series of movies.

  13. probably a good thing. too much negative buzz around the cheesecake costume for it to be taken seriously. An uphill battle out of the gates if you will, and combined with that one review of the pilot…yeah The brand is better served by not doing a show right now. 

  14. Would it have been perfect? Probably not. But would it have been great to have Wonder Woman back on TV? I think so, especially with Adrienne Palicki.

  15. Bag it and move on to doing a good movie.

  16. The whole hub-bub about this pilot can be summed up by this: It really, really, REALLY sucks to be a Wonder Woman fan. Yet another horrible “reboot” fails miserably. Didn’t anyone pay attention to the JMS debacle? The only problem with Wonder Woman is that the people in charge continually to fix her, instead of focusing on the aspects that make her great. A shame.

  17. the costume was too contemporary? hrrmmm See i think they didn’t make it contemporary enough. Even with the fixes it still looked like a halloween costume. I think if the concept was to be a vigilante type hero fighting on the streets of LA, they should have gone with the Jim Lee designs. Tough, gritty….less cheescake and a whole lot more resident evil/tomb raider. 

  18. Poor Wonder Woman… I think she’s a great character, but not sure if she can ever carry a TV show again…or a movie for that matter. Would be a great in a JLA movie though!

    Also, not sure if I would want NBC touching anything with a ten foot pole these days. Just look at “The Cape”…  

  19. I’d rather not have a show than a cruddy one.

  20. did geoff johns have anything to do with this?


  21. The DAY after we record Invisible Jetcast. Son of a… 

  22. Remember that moment in the Thor movie when Sif spears the Destroyer, shutting it down for a few seconds? There’s your Wonder Woman right there DC.

  23. this is a good thing

  24. The wisecrack about Sif and the Warriors 3 also defines the audience skepticism. 

    “We’ve got Xena, Jackie Chan, Robin Hood coming down the street.”  What’s a SHIELD agent to do?

    I don’t know if I want to see another fish-out-of-water comic-book movie, but since it makes it less silly (because we can define levels of silly here), that’s what would likely happen.  

  25. So how long until a torrent pops up someplace? I’d love to see how this all came together.

  26. @Noto  Yeah, I was just about to say… will this pilot go the way of the Global Frequency pilot and the Aquaman pilot (which ended up as a bonus content on the iPod)

  27. After listening to Scott Carelli’s spoilerlicious description, I’m pretty much glad that this never saw the light of day.

  28. That sucks. I wanted to see it.

  29. You know, most shows evolve once they go on the air. Just because a pilot is crappy, doesn’t mean there wasn’t potential. The history of TV is filled with shows that went on to be great being crapped on by focus groups. Besides, it’s not like there isn’t crap already on TV, so why not give it a chance instead of yet another “reality” show.

  30. This makes me happy.

  31. They haven’t passed on it, it’s just been erased from history. It’s probably getting made in some parallel universe. Max Lord is the executive producer.

  32. I was so excited to see a new superhero show. I hope this sees the light of day eventually.

  33. All the people who say “Thank God NBC didnt pick up Wonder Woman” You didn’t see it, you don’t know where it would have gone. You’re basing this on one script that was leaked. THe show could have become better or who knows, was good. There’s a lot of know it alls around here talking about something with great knowledge that hasn’t seen the light of day. This is disappointing. 

  34. I didn’t expect this show to last long, but I had hoped we’d at least get to see one season.  This sucks!

    For those keeping track, this makes two DC Comics pilots that Adrienne Palicki has been involved with now.  She was also in the “pre-Green Arrow” Justin Hartley Aquaman pilot.  She played the villain Siren…


  35. Thank you nbc for giving me a hour back of my life I would have wasted but for real the sho has to be bad if nbc passed on it other than law and order svu do they have a hour show worth looking at

  36. I am shocked!


    @Shawnicus: I’ve paid attention to the JMS “debacle”. I’ve actually been enjoying that debacle quite a bit. It’s the best the book has been in years.

  37. @player1  We also reviewed it here.

  38. @BudjetteTan  Global Frequency pilot? Didn’t hear about that. To the internets!

  39. Human Target was among my favorite shows of the past few years (and one that even my non-comic book reading girlfriend – admitedly a bit more of a geek herself than she might care to admit – also enjoyed). I thought the second season wasn’t as strong as the first – if I were to advise them I would suggest they deemphasize the season spanning metaplot stuff in favor of the core potential of the concept of the show (which as i uderstand it is a bit different from the comic it is based on) – the characters were fun, amusing yet also complex. I hope Human Target gets picked up by someone – seems to me like a perfect type of show for a new buyer such as Netflix to buy as an alternative to an standard network…

  40. I hate how press releases and such always speak of “MIXED” results, or say that the response “was NOT POSITIVE”. If the reaction was negative, then just say so. If the response really was “mixed”, well, that doesn’t really say anything. There’s no way to please 100% of the potential audience; all tv producers are looking to do is cater to a segment of the overall viewership. Think of everything from Two and a Half Men to WWE Wrestling–if you sampled a random audience, then ANY program would have a “MIXED” response. But apparently the response to Wonder Woman was so negative that there wasn’t enough of a niche audience to carve out.

    But I actually am sad that this show didn’t come out. I would’ve liked to have seen it, and probably would have enjoyed at least the first few episodes for what they were, even if they were bad from a critical standpoint.

    To those who say this wouldn’t be campy, I think Wonder Woman is basically an inherently campy character, unless her costume is radically toned down like it was in some of the ’70s comics. This is part of the reason why so many of DC’s properties struggle to find acceptance in live-action form. DC needs to learn a lesson from what O’Neil, Adams and Miller (and Burton) did with Batman so many years ago: you can change these characters. You can made them more realistic and less gaudy. That doesn’t mean they have to be as dark and “edgy” as Batman sometimes is, but you have to change them and tone down the inherent campiness of some of them.

    There’s no reason why Wonder Woman shouldn’t be able to have some sort of live-action property. There have been live-action action-woman properties for years and years now. But you’ve gotta lose the lame aspects of the character, not cling onto them so much so that people think “Oh this is just an update of the ’70s show?” Imagine if people asked that of every Batman movie. People don’t think of Batman movies as if they were updates of the ’60s show, because DC & co. haven’t been afraid to change the character and show different aspects of him.

  41. And, yeah, I realize that they apparently did change WW a bit for this show, but it was the wrong sort of change, making her more of an eating-ice-cream-in-my-PJs-cuz-omg-i-saw-my-ex-bf kind of person. Meanwhile they kept a similar gaudy costume. In other words they preserve the campy exterior of the character while replacing her noble interior with that of a random “sitcom chick”.

    That’d be making a Batman movie with Batman and Robin still in their ’60s-ish get-up, but also making them obsessive sports fans and the sort of fellows who go clubbing and call each other “bro”. It’s a lose-lose.

  42. kinda disappointed, it would have been hilarious