When NBC announced its Wonder Woman reboot earlier this year, conventional wisdom said it was a lock to make the schedule. Wonder Woman is an iconic superhero, the project had David E. Kelley penning it, and it had a hot young actress ready to don the bulletproof bracelets. Things have changed.
News of four series pickups for NBC has leaked, and Wonder Woman is not among them. In fact, the scuttlebutt on the street (via EW) says that Wonder Woman, after testing "mixed-to-negative" and receiving a public flogging for costume choice, is looking like a longshot to make the schedule.
Instead, NBC has chosen four other women to build series around. The network has ordered Smash, Whitney, Prime Suspect, and Up All Night to series, and show features females front and center. Here they are, along with arbitrary grades to spice things up.
Mario Bello has big shoes to fill as the lead in Prime Suspect, the U.S. adaptation of the well-respected British series that starred Helen Mirren. The drama centers on a strong, bite-your-head-off New York female detective kicking ass and taking names... and then eating those names in a precinct that's testosterone heavy. Aidan Quinn also stars.
Arbitrary Grade: B We
like love Bello, but we're also scared of remakes. That said, if you must remake something, at least make it something good like this.
Debra Messing returns to NBC in Smash, one of the first shows looking to cash in on the Glee craze. Co-created by Steven Spielberg, Smash centers on the production and opening of a fictional Broadway musical. In other words, get out your singing shoes and dancing hats! Gottttta daaaaance!
Arbitrary Grade: C Is it the singing and dancing that people love Glee for? Or is it the high-school setting with the singing and dancing? I think it's the latter.
Up All Night
Christina Applegate will headline the formerly untitled comedy Up All Night, about a working mom's take on parenting. As far as I know, Will Arnett is still signed-on to play Applegate's on-screen, lazy, stay-at-home dad.
Arbitrary Grade: B+ There's nothing new about a comedy featuring a working mom, but Applegate as a snarky mom and Arnett as her worthless hubby could be a winning combo.
Whitney stars warm up-and-coming comedienne Whitney Cummings in a romantic comedy about being in a relationship "in today's complicated world." Nothing too progressive here, but Cummings has built a following as a co-conspirator with fellow racy femme Chelsea Handler.
Arbitrary Grade: D Nothing new here. Some studio exec likes a comic, gives them a show with their name on it, and wraps a we've-seen-this-before premise around it. Points also lost for including "in today's complicated world" in the description. You can order a rosemary potato pizza with three presses of a button from your GPS-enabled iPhone. This world is anything but complicated.
NBC is going to be under the microscope this season. What do you think of the network's pickups so far?
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom