Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet, but developing a television series around Wonder Woman just takes a little more time.
Unfortunately for David E. Kelley, NBC just wasn’t willing to give it to him.
As The CW unofficially preps its own Wonder Woman series, “Amazon,” Kelley recently told The Hollywood Reporter he can very much see a long life for the Amazonian Princess on television, and is sorry he can’t be a part of it.
“We made mistakes with ours,” Kelley said of his broken pilot starring Adrianne Palicki in the starring role. “My only regret is we were never given the chance to correct them. We had a lot that was right about it and a great cast. In time, we could have fixed what we had done wrong. We just didn’t get that chance.”
The beginning of the end of the project came when NBC decided to release an early photo of Palicki donning the Wonder Woman outfit, a move that drew major ire from fans. That forced Kelley and his team to regroup and rework the costume, but by then, the writing was already on the wall.
At the same time, Kelley — best known for his legal dramas like “Ally McBeal” and “Harry’s Law” — had to go through a bit of a learning curve to take on a popular superhero that not even Joss Whedon was able to bring back to life.
“We produced it at warp speed, and it’s a special effects show, and it took more time than we were able to give it,” Kelley said. “Just learning the storytelling — the genre was very different for me and I had a lot to learn.
“I’m sad we didn’t get to do it, but I do believe it can work for The CW. They’re smart to try it.”
Sticking with genre programs is indeed a smart move for The CW. It’s newest show, “Arrow,” is beating out even some major network shows. Averaging a 2.2 rating/3 share through the end of December, that series is currently sharing the No. 71 spot in the ratings with Fox’s “The Cleveland Show” and NBC’s “Up All Night.” It’s even ahead of four other Fox shows — including “Fringe” — as well as ABC’s “Don’t Trust the B … In Apt. 23.”
Of the 10 shows The CW has premiered so far, the top four are genre shows — “Arrow,” “Vampire Diaries,” “Supernatural” and “Beauty and the Beast” — all averaging a 1.7/3, while the rest of The CW’s schedule is averaging a very anemic 0.8/1.
Kelley, who is now running a new show for TNT called “Monday Mornings” (which features “Battlestar Galactica” alum Jamie Bamber), said he might try doing superheroes again. But only if he can involve the director of the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time.
“If I were going to do a superhero franchise, I’d probably call Joss Whedon and beg him to try and do it with me,” Kelley joked. “He’s pretty good at it.”