The collapse of Wonder Woman

You probably know David E. Kelley as the creator of Ally McBeal, Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, and Doogie Howser, M.D., among other shows. Oh, and yes, he was also a regular contributor for L.A. Law.

Like Dick Wolf (Law and Order), Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing), Stephen J. Cannell (The A-Team, 21 Jump Street), and Steven Bochco (NYPD Blue), Kelley is a household name because of the many hit shows he’s been involved in, and he also tried bringing Wonder Woman back to TV as well.

As we all know by now, the show never got past the pilot stage, much like the Munsters reboot, Mockingbird Lane, which just got rejected for a full series order.

There’s another Wonder Woman series in the works, Amazon, which will be her origin story, for the CW Network, and as Kelley told the Hollywood Reporter, “I still believe it’s viable for a television series. I think it’s ripe to do it.”

Kelley added, “We made mistakes with ours. My only regret is we were never given a chance to correct them. In time, we could have fixed what we had done wrong, we just didn’t get that chance. All my series have been a work in progress to a certain extent where you figure them out by episodes three, four or five.”

And indeed, Wonder Woman has been a prime candidate for a reboot for a long time, yet like the Hulk, it’s taken forever to try and get another Wonder Woman off the ground. Joss Whedon was working on a Wonder Woman feature for a long time at Warner Brothers, and Kelley said, “I do believe in the potential of the series and I wish them well with it. I think it could be a great success.” 

As for what Kelley wished he had more time to fix, he said, “It’s a special effects show and it took more time than we were able to give it.” Not to mention it was a different genre for Kelley, and he admits he had a lot to learn. “My learning curve probably would have gotten better. At this point in your life, everybody should do something they’re scared of.” 

Kelley also joked that if he was going to do another superhero show, he’d call up Joss Whedon because he sure knows the terrain, but at the same time, some of the best genre reinventions had people at the helm that weren’t huge fans of the franchise. JJ Abrams and Star Trek comes to mind, same with Bryan Singer with X-Men. If you know what you’re tackling and love it, all the better, but going outside the box can provide great results as well. 

It’s too bad Kelley’s incarnation of Wonder Woman wasn’t given a chance to live, because it would have been interesting to see what he could have done with it once he immersed himself in the world of superheroes. Again, a lot of times an outsider can come up with a unique take on it all, and in the case of X-Men and Star Trek, a different perspective did wonders for both.