Wizard of Oz fans at Comic-Con last month saw ads promoting an upcoming limited series called Emerald City, NBC’s long-gestating modern take on the magical land over the rainbow. Now that project is no longer moving forward.
EW has confirmed NBC has dropped a house on its plan to go down the Yellow Brick Road in prime-time, though producer Universal Television might still shop Emerald City around to other networks. The project had a straight-to-series 10-episode order in January with writers Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Matt Arnold (Siberia). Sources say the network and writers ended up with creative differences on how best to execute the story.
Based on the 14-book series that first created the Land of Oz, Emerald City was originally described as a “dramatic and modern re-imagining of the tales that include lethal warriors, competing kingdoms, and the infamous wizard as we’ve never seen him before.” The project was to star a “head-strong 20-year-old Dorothy Gale” who 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 lead role was never cast. The decision follows ABC’s Once Upon a Time creatively tapping Oz first, with a third season arc featuring the Wicked Witch of the West.
Earlier this summer, another ambitious straight-to-series order, Fox’s Hieroglyph, was also cancelled long before production concluded. As Dorothy might say: My, shows come and go so quickly around here!