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May 16, 2013

‘Wonder Woman’ on TV? CW is redeveloping series for ‘trickiest’ hero

Posted in: TV

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Wonder Woman graces the cover of Ms. magazine's first issue in 1972. (Ms. magazine)

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Ms. magazine brought Wonder Woman back for its 40th anniversary issue. (Ms. magazine)

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Soon after her All Star Comics debut, Wonder Woman was featured in Sensation Comics No. 1 in 1942. (DC Comics)

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Wonder Woman in Sensation Comics No. 46. In this 1945 storyline, the baddies give Wonder Woman's boyfriend Steve Trevor special powers to be stronger than her, hoping he'll force her to marry and become a meek housewife. In the end, Wonder Woman sticks to her guns and Steve happily submits to being the weaker of the two. (DC Comics)

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In this 1957 Wonder Woman No. 90, the Amazon princess has to babysit an elephant, a whale and a dinosaur in order to raise $1 million for charity. (DC Comics)

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In 1959, Wonder Woman's origin story was revamped. Issue No. 105 reveals that the Queen of the Amazons formed Diana from clay, and that her superpowers are gifts from the gods. (DC Comics)

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In the late 1960s, Wonder Woman gave up her powers, started a mod boutique and worked with her mentor I Ching to learn martial arts. Here, she is shown in the August 1970 issue Wonder Woman No. 189. Her powers weren't restored until 1973, partly at the urging of Gloria Steinem. (DC Comics)

ww cathyleecrosby Wonder Woman on TV? CW is redeveloping series for trickiest hero

Cathy Lee Crosby played Wonder Woman in a 1974 TV movie "Wonder Woman." In the film, the heroine has no superpowers, but rather is a world-traveling spy, inspired by the I Ching era of the comics. (Warner Bros.)

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Wonder Woman teamed up with other DC superheroes in "Super Friends," a television series that ran from 1973 to 1977. (Warner Bros.)

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Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman in "The New Adventures of Wonder Woman," which ran from 1975 to 1979. (CBS / Los Angeles Times archives)

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Wonder Woman was rebooted once more in 1987. Above is George Perez's Wonder Woman No. 1. cover. (DC Comics)

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Wonder Woman was a key player in the animated TV series "Justice League" and "Justice League Unlimited," which ran from 2001 to 2006. (Warner Bros.)

%name Wonder Woman on TV? CW is redeveloping series for trickiest hero

Wonder Woman was again rebooted in 2006. Gail Simone took over writing duties for the comic beginning with issue No. 14, and was applauded for her portrayal of the heroine. (DC Comics)

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Wonder Woman got her own animated movie in 2009. Keri Russell voiced Wonder Woman, and Nathan Fillion voiced Steve Trevor. (Warner Bros.)

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In the 2010 animated series "Young Justice," about younger heroes trying to prove themselves worthy of joining the Justice League, Wonder Woman takes on Cassie Sandsmark (Wonder Girl) as her sidekick. (Warner Bros.)

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Adrianne Palicki played the title character in the never-aired TV pilot "Wonder Woman" in 2011. The show, from David E. Kelley, was never picked up -- effectively canceled before it even began. (Justin Lubin / NBC / Warner Bros.)

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Wonder Woman got a makeover when DC relaunched 52 of its most popular titles in 2011. (DC Comics)

Will a Wonder Woman TV series ever get off the ground? The CW isn’t giving up yet.

The network had been developing a pilot called “Amazon” about teenaged Diana (think “Smallville’s” pre-Superman Clark Kent), but the series was passed over for the CW’s fall lineup.

When asked Thursday if the warrior princess could still come to the CW, network President Mark Pedowitz said, “Oh God, yes!

“It is being redeveloped,” he said. “We’re waiting for the script to come in. We have not seen it yet. We are preparing to pilot it off-cycle should the script be what we want it to be.”

Pedowitz said that although “the basics” were all there, the execution was lacking.

“We do not want to do something that doesn’t work for that particular character,” he said. “It’s the trickiest of all the DC characters to get right.”

Allan Heinberg (“The O.C.,” “Young Avengers” comics), who wrote the “Amazon” script, is no longer on the project. Aron Eli Coleite (“Heroes,” “Ultimate X-Men” comics) is writing the current draft.

Soon after her All Star Comics debut, Wonder Woman was featured in Sensation Comics No. 1 in 1942. (DC Comics)

1942’s Sensation Comics No. 1. (DC Comics)

The CW put out a casting call earlier this summer for “Amazon’s” young heroine under the codename “Iris,” calling for a leading lady 5’8″ or taller, who “comes from a remote, secluded country and until now has spent most of her life as a soldier and a leader on the battlefield.”

“Because of relentless brutality of her life at home, Iris looks at our world with absolute awe and astonishment,” the casting call continued. “She has no social filter, does not suffer fools, and tends to do and say exactly what’s on her mind at all times. She’s bluntly, refreshingly honest. She can tell when you’re lying to her. And she doesn’t have time or patience for politics or tact because she’s too busy trying to experience everything our world has to offer. There are too many sights to see — and things to learn — and people to care for. Hers is a true, noble, and generous heart. And she will fight and die for the people she loves. Iris is a fierce warrior with the innocent heart of a romantic and she will fight to the death to make the world safe for innocents and true romantics everywhere.”

Doesn’t sound so “tricky” to us.

The CW project follows David E. Kelley‘s failed NBC pilot, which would have seen Adrianne Palicki wielding Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth. The CW is already home to “Arrow,” another DC superhero show, as well as other YA hits “Supernatural,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Vampire Diaries.”

Of course, if the CW series makes it to the small screen, it won’t be Wonder Woman’s first foray into television. Lynda Carter famously played the character in the 1970s “Wonder Woman” TV series, twirling to transform from Diana Prince to her crime-fighting alter ego Wonder Woman.

Is the time right for a Wonder Woman TV series? Who should play the Amazon princess? And is she really the “trickiest” of DC’s heroes? Also, click through the gallery above for a look at some of Wonder Woman’s memorable iterations.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark

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