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The only sure thing in this world is that there are no other sure things in this world. Just look at the Wizard of Oz-inspired miniseries Emerald City. Despite a full order for ten episodes being granted back in January, NBC has decided to back out of the deal and won’t be moving forward (or in a tornado formation) with the project.
So who will get Emerald City now, my pretty? It impossible for me to believe that this miniseries is dead in the water, as its hook seems irresistible for TV viewers. The basic premise would cull its storylines from all 14 of L. Frank Baum’s original Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel series, with a darker twist that drew comparisons to Game of Thrones. (Presumably without all the rape and incest, though nothing surprises me these days.) A 20-year-old Dorothy Gale would have been placed in the middle of a fight for control of Oz, with a starkly different version of the Wizard incorporated into it. Plus, way more battles and politics, hopefully including monkeys and munchkins. Or maybe just Tyrion Lannister.
Apparently all that theoretical excitement didn’t transition well to the page, as Deadline reports NBC backed out of the project due to a “difference in vision between NBC brass and [show co-creator Josh] Friedman about what the show would be.” Siberia creator Matthew Arnold, who is co-executive producing, wrote the original pilot script, which Friedman then tweaked before penning a handful of successive episodes. That’s where NBC got skittish and decided to turn tail.
Wizard of Oz fans probably shouldn’t worry about an all-around lack of mystical magic in their futures. (And no, I’m not talking about airings of Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return on cable.) At one point, The CW was in cahoots with Tim Kring on the potential series Dorothy Must Die, and CBS was interested in a modern medical drama called Dorothy. Whether those ever make it to viewers or not remains to be seen…by viewers.
This is the second “confirmed” large-scale project in recent months to get dropped, as Fox sent its Egyptian adventure drama Heiroglyphics into the desert after the pilot was filmed. Again, it’s quite possible we haven’t yet heard the last of Emerald City. Universal Television, the company developing and producing the miniseries, hasn’t lost their confidence and they’ll probably be shopping it around in the near future. Snatch this up Showtime or FX, or may a house fall on your heads.