With the success of shows like Once Upon a Time and Sleepy Hollow on the small screen, network TV executives are no doubt feverishly chasing down every last option for taking an old idea, polishing it up a bit, and then unleashing it as something with only the most tangential of relationships to the original. This time around they’ve dug up the corpse of The Wizard of Oz, which was recently exhumed and paraded around Weekend at Bernie’s-style by Disney for the Tim Burton-directed Oz the Great and Powerful but will now be adapted into a 1o-episode TV series for NBC called Emerald City.
NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt broke the news during a Television Critics Association press event, and left open the possibility that after the original 10-episode run the series might be expanded beyond that:
“Who knows? Emerald City could be over after 10 episodes if we feel we’ve plumbed the depths of what we want to do with that show. Or given that there are a number of books to draw from, we could have Emerald City on the air for five years.”
In other words: if the ratings are high enough then Dorothy might be absent from her home in Kansas for quite a long time. Oh, and her little dog, too.
The new series was described as a “dramatic and modern reimagining” of the source material, which is good because then they can put in some product placements that would have been out of place in the early 1900′s setting of the original. For instance, perhaps the Emerald City is so named because of its Mountain Dew fountains, where Toto the talking dog with an attitude can get hydrated before skateboarding down the yellow brick road and pulling a sick ollie or two. Or maybe instead of getting to Oz in a hot air balloon, Dorothy books a flight through Orbitz.com. It’s all about synergy, people.
Emerald City is planned for a mid-season launch. Which outgoing series will it crush, much like Dorothy unwittingly crushed the Wicked Witch of the East? That part isn’t clear yet. Hopefully we will be hearing more details soon.