If 2014's TV has a trend, it's miniseries. Also possibly The Wizard of Oz. And I say possibly because, while a number of networks have Oz-related dramas in development, it's entirely possible that some of them won't move forward. Or they all will and we'll all be clicking our heels and begging for Kansas by 2015, but let's not think pessimistically. NBC is the latest to board the train to Oz, following CBS and The CW, both of which have their own Dorothy-themed content in the works. In addition to greenlighting Emerald City, NBC's also moving forward with a miniseries called The Slap.
NBC announced this weekend that they've sent Emerald City straight to series, giving the drama a 10-episode order. It's said to be a reimagining of the classic Frank L. Baum books that have inspired everything from The Wizard of Oz to Wicked.
Based on the 14-book series that first created the wonderful – and treacherous – Land of Oz, “Emerald City” is a dramatic and modern reimagining of the tales that include lethal warriors, competing kingdoms, and the infamous wizard as we’ve never seen him before. A head-strong 20-year-old Dorothy Gale is unwittingly sent on an eye-opening journey that thrusts her into the center of an epic and bloody battle for the control of Oz.
The series is set to be written by Matt Arnold and Josh Friedman, who will serve as executive producers for Emerald City. While NBC seems to stress that their project is inspired by Baum's books, it's the film that's likely prompted this onslaught of Wizard of Oz-themed programming in general. The 1939 movie turns 75 this year, which is surely why we're seeing so many Wizard of Oz-themed projects in development in 2014. Syfy has the futuristic miniseries Warriors of Oz in the works, while Tim Kring is developing Dorothy Must Die for The CW. That one's based on a book that's set to arrive in April. Meanwhile, CBS has medical soap Dorothy in development. Oz is obviously a theme for 2014, as are miniseries in general.
That brings us to the second part of NBC's announcement, which is that the network ordered eight episodes of a miniseries called The Slap, which is based on an Australian projected of the same name that aired in 2011.
Written by Jon Robin Baitz (“The West Wing,” “Brothers & Sisters”) and also produced by Universal Television, “The Slap” is a complex family drama that explodes from one small incident where a man slaps another couple’s misbehaving child. This seemingly minor domestic dispute pulls the family apart, begins to expose long-held secrets, and ignites a lawsuit that challenges the core American values of all who are pulled into it.
Not sure I love the title — sounds more like an episode title than a miniseries name — but given the nature of the show, it sounds like a lot of the premise roots back to a slap. Either way, could be interesting. Too bad the original's not on Netflix. Sounds like it's worth a look.