Chuck Survives, Wonder Woman Doesn't

By Tim Surette

May 13, 2011

It's hard to keep a good spy down. Against all odds and common business sense, Chuck has been renewed for a fifth—and final—13-episode season, says EW. I'll wait until you're done screaming...

Okay. The action-comedy is the highlight of three renewals for the Peacock, the final cards in NBC's hand. Parenthood, which was aided by a finale ratings boost, was also renewed and will return for a third season. Rounding out the pack is David E. Kelley's Harry's Law—a surprise hit for the network with impressive overall audience numbers—which will be back for Season 2, according to Deadline Hollywood.

That means NBC will still have one David E. Kelley program on its schedule this fall. But Kelley's much-hyped Wonder Woman reimaginationeering has been cut after a lengthy love-hate-loathe affair. The series would have seen Friday Night Lights star Adrienne Palicki suiting up as the Amazonian superheroine in a contemporary setting, singing Katy Perry songs, and running her own successful corporation. Despite brand familiarity (or maybe because of it), general consensus seems to be that the show didn't work, and early peeks at the heroine's new costume were laughed off the Internet. It's hard to imagine what went wrong with the project besides everything.

Wonder Woman wasn't the only potential show that saw its dreams crushed by the embarrassment of not meeting the struggling NBC's standards. Also axed were post-Civil War drama Reconstruction (boo!), Ronald D. Moore's fantasy drama 17th Precinct (boo!), oddball comedy Brave New World (boo!), Jon Dore's My Life as an Experiment (boo!), Traffic writer Stephen Gaghan's Metro (formerly S.I.L.A. and boo!), Lovelives, Don-Johnson-as-a-hairdresser A Mann's World, and an untitled Kari Lizer project. In short, several pilots I thought sounded interesting (as denoted by "boo!"s) didn't make the cut.

But NBC didn't send all of its pilots to the welfare office. Bent, starring Amanda Peet as a woman who has a crush on the contractor who is redoing her kitchen; Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, based on Chelsea Handler's book and starring Laura Prepon; Free Agents, a remake of the British series; and an untitled comedy project have been picked up to series. They join Awake, Smash, Up All Night, Prime Suspect, Whitney, The Playboy Club, and Grimm as new fall series on NBC's schedule.

As for NBC's remaining unspoken-for shows, don't count on any last-minute renewals. (Yes, that means The Event is almost certainly canceled. I know! I'm crushed too!)

For more information on which shows are returning and which aren't, head over to our 2011 Renewals/Cancellations Guide.

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • orionway May 16, 2011

    i believe that all shows should get 1 & 1/2 seasons... gives them time to develop a following and at the mid point of season 2, if not enough ratings, then cancel them and allow for tying up loose ends for the audience/fans... that way everyone would know to expect growth in first half of 2nd season or else andd if else, would get conclusion properly... would make the fans not so angry for getting #@itted out of closure, because we fans would get proper ending to the series... think about it broadcast network execs.... you guys are alienating your bread and butter with all these partial 1st seasons and changing the times off our shows then @@itcanning them after 8 or 12 episodes... crazy to expect us to invest ourselves this way over and over again... have some respect for us and you'll develop a BRAND loyalty base (loyal back to you for you considering US in your decisions) and really, we'd all know what to expect, even the actors and writers, but ESP the fans??!! think about it..

  • orionway May 16, 2011

    the event canceled!?!?! well tv shows usually take time to develop their characters and hit their stride... almost all the great shows took time to gather a following... this show has/had alot of potential, with great actors and plot... if a network out there picked up farscape, firefly, dark angel, the event, sgu, dr who, being human (uk version), true blood, warehouse 13, dollhouse, fringe and dexter... they'd be #1 network in three months... guaranteed... ANYONE AGREE??? SAY HELL YES TO ORIONWAY's premise!!!!

  • alcalde May 16, 2011

    "Let's keep it going for more than 13 episodes, "

    1. It's been stated already that this is the FINAL season.

    2. The show needs an ending - you can't leave the writers in limbo every 13 eps about whether the show's going to end or not (which describes every season of Chuck). Thirteen and done, wrap it up and give us a nice ending. Let the finale actually BE the finale. Otherwise the risk of ending on a cliffhanger is too great.

  • Writerpatrick May 15, 2011

    The fact that NBC didn't pick up Wonder Woman has nothing to do with complains about the costume. That's just the excuse they want to give. The reality is that they didn't like the production itself and felt it could become like The Bionic Woman.

  • major_zero25 May 15, 2011

    what about REM

  • MarcelSmulder May 15, 2011

    Glad about Chuck, a lot of my favorites got axed, luckily this one didn't.
    Disappointed though that 17th Precinct will not see the light of day.

  • shootingstar609 May 15, 2011

    So happy to see Chuck will be back, at least one network TV station still has some sense. Maybe I'll have to make room for Harry's Law in the fall...wait...that shouldn't be too hard after a lot of my fav's were canceled.

  • AshokGuha May 15, 2011

    SOOO glad to see more Chuck! It is the best show on TV right now by far! Let's keep it going for more than 13 episodes, Chuck has proved itself over and over!!

  • Geek_Queen May 15, 2011

    I love Harry's Law and Chuck, so I'm jazzed to see that they were renewed. I wish 17th Precinct could have gotten a shot at success. Hopefully, it and the other pilots can find new homes elsewhere.

  • Jemadari May 14, 2011

    Seriously!? Harry's Law is just a far less entertaining version boston legal

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