The young adult network is eyeing some new fantasy franchises, including the classic Robin Hood.
The dramatic fantasy genre has been good to The CW, a prime-time only cable network run by Warner Bros. It started with their highly rated and critically lauded Smallville, which has now run its course after ten seasons, and continues in comic book form over at DC.
The monster hunting drama, Supernatural is still going strong after 8 years, and more recent successes include Teen Wolf; a serialized adaptation of the Michael J. Fox film; Arrow, the excellent series based on the Green Arrow comics; and Beauty and the Beast, a loose remake of the Linda Hamilton/Ron Pearlman serial from the 80’s. It seems like the combination of melodrama and fantasy creates an appeal for the network much broader than their stated 13-22 demographic.
So it’s not really much of a shock to learn that the network is eyeing the development of several more dramatic fantasy series for the next pilot season.
Indeed, The CW recently confirmed it is developing a serial based on the original Robin Hood legend, set in the 11th century.
Currently, Cashmere Mafia scribe Tze Chun is working on the pilot script for Sherwood, and Dan Jinks is on board to exec produce.
The show is expected to feature a rather interesting point of view, as the current plan is for the protagonist to be a young woman who recently joined Robin Hood’s band. Whether that decision will stick through development phase is doubtful, but it’s an interesting idea. Beyond the source material, nothing else is known about the plot.
Sherwood joins a small stable of potential upcoming fantasy projects for The CW including serials based on the classic literary adventures Alice in Wonderland and Sleepy Hollow as well as another attempt to adapt DC’s Wonder Woman, this time with an eye to her origin story.
If Sherwood makes it to the small screen, it won’t be the only Robin Hood story on television. The CW’s own Arrow is already an adaptation of an adaptation of Robin Hood, and NBC is working on Hood, which moves the Robin Hood story to upstate New York.
Robin Hood has been adapted many times, of course. Most famously in the Kevin Costner/Morgan Freeman film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and most recently by the Russell Crowe film, directed by Ridley Scott, which was called simply Robin Hood.
The BBC also ran a serial called Robin Hood which adapted the tale in an anachronistic version of the setting, starting in 2006. It gathered a good following despite poor critical reception, and ran three series (seasons).
The CW’s Sherwood has no announced production or premiere dates, but if it stays on track, I wouldn’t be surprised by a pilot in Fall 2013.