WONDER WOMAN recently made a splash in theaters making $103 Million domestically and a total of $228 Million worldwide. The film is a box office hit and it received glowing reviews. Patty Jenkins’ film saved the DCEU from making another “meh” film. WONDER WOMAN’s first solo film is a success on all accounts. So if you have already seen the movie and fell in love with the character there is so much more Wonder Woman to enjoy.

Wonder Woman has appeared in animated and live television respectfully for over 40 years. Like many superheroes before her Wonder Woman has had her ups and downs in showbiz. However, now that Wonder Woman’s success in film is undeniable we can expect to see a lot more of her in the future.

Failure to Launch

There was a lot of “almost” when it came to Wonder Woman having another television series after her successful run in 1975. Even before the original WONDER WOMAN series, there was another pilot in 1967 titled WHO’S AFRAID OF DIANA PRINCE. The five-minute pilot created for the show was god awful and an insult to fans. Diana Prince’s origins are not referenced, and the show was depicted as a light-hearted comedy.

The comedy aspect of the pilot was not the awful part; it is the pilot heavily relying on comedy laced in sexism. Diana Prince is reduced to a woman in her late 20s living with her mother worrying about finding a husband. She talks about saving the world, but even that was cliche and trivial. Still, Diana saving the world was not the main focus of the pilot. The jokes in the five-minute pilot were all dedicated to her mother, a 1950s mom, insisting she would settle down and get married. The jokes did not land, and the concept reeked of mild sexism. Long story short, thank the television Gods it only made it onto YouTube.

Although Diana Prince still does not have a television show yet, it is not for lack of trying. The CW was developing a Wonder Woman series that would join the Arrowverse between 2013 and 2014. The series development would have been great for Wonder Woman considering how good THE FLASH and ARROW turned out. AMAZON, the name of the project, never worked out, though. Development of the show kept falling apart because of conflicts with the screenplays and producer’s desire to do it right. Although the pilot episode did not get its due, do not count out a Diana Prince appearance in the Arrowverse just yet.

WONDER WOMAN (2011)

Warner Bros. developed another WONDER WOMAN series again in 2011. They had everything to make it work: a good script, pilot, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS actress Adrianne Palicki, and a willing partner in NBC. Once again, the show did not make the cut, and the pilot is never seen again. It was on the internet and then taken down, but that is neither here nor there.

Adrianne Palicki in the 2011 WONDER WOMAN pilot
Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman in 2011

The synopsis of WONDER WOMAN’s (2011) pilot was not nearly as bad as MARVEL’S IRON FIST. The pilot does not start off with Diana Prince’s origin story directly, but it explains it in moments of reflection and flashback. The use of flashback was not bad, but it is a lot to take in for the pilot. The show throws you in the middle of her life as a hero and not the beginning like ARROW. The pilot was decent and it was a striking resemblance to SUPERGIRL on The CW.

RELATED: Before WONDER WOMAN hits theaters, catch up on the character’s history with our essential reading list!

One of the negative take-away’s from the pilot was the absurd level of self-awareness Diana Prince has of Wonder Woman’s image. She treats Wonder Woman’s image as a brand. Diana asks questions like if Wonder Woman is a good role model or if her actions figures are being sexually advertised. That level of self-awareness is uncharacteristically unlike Diana Prince, and it was awful.

According to a recent review of WONDER WOMAN (2011) by TV critic Neil Calloway, the series is dated by even 2011’s standards. Calloway points to a Facebook reference the show makes and the romantic subplot as examples. He also notes the timing of the show as a reason for its shortcomings. The series could have survived if it premiered during the wave of new superhero shows like GOTHAM, ARROW, and DAREDEVIL.

The Most successful WONDER WOMAN TV Series

Any success Wonder Woman has in live action should be accredited to the 1975 WONDER WOMAN series starring Lynda Carter. This was the first and only series to date that featured a live-action version of the character. WONDER WOMAN originally aired on ABC and CBS from 1975 to 1979 with three seasons, 59 episodes, and a TV movie. The TV movie, also titled WONDER WOMAN, originally appeared on ABC in 1974 and it received high ratings. Wonder Woman’s TV movie plot is similar to the 2017 film directed by Patty Jenkins. That movie leads to the spin-off show, and it served as the pilot, origin story, and plot for the series.

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman in 1975
Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman in 1975

After the success of the TV movie, the first season of the series received the same success and acclaim. The first season takes placed during WWII featuring Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor teaming up against the Nazis. Ironically this season premiered during the Vietnam War and because of the backlash television received for portraying violence, the show curved Wonder Woman’s punching and kicking. The second and third season that premiered on CBS, however, went back to the classic Wonder Woman action.

The second and third seasons of the series were vastly different from the first. Since season 1 is a period piece set in the 1940s, the production cost became costly for ABC. So naturally, ABC didn’t offer to pick up the show despite its high ratings and CBS did instead. CBS renamed the show THE NEW ADVENTURES OF WONDER WOMAN for the second and third season. The format of changed significantly launching Wonder Woman 35 years into the future and turning it into a cop show. Naturally, the final season fell in the ratings, and the show became oriented towards a younger audience to save it.

READ: Check out our BATMAN V SUPERMAN movie review!

Like all good things, even WONDER WOMAN had to come to an end. In 1979, the series is canceled after 59 episodes. Still, this show kicked down the door for other live-action DC shows on television and female leads on television. Its legacy is its success and relevance for today’s Wonder Woman in the media.

A Bright Future for Live Action Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman in animation will always be prevalent because she’s a vital member of the Justice League. Although she still doesn’t  have her own animated series yet, the future is bright in live action. WONDER WOMAN, directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot, did what no other DCEU movie could do. It became a box office hit and critically acclaimed at the same time. Patty Jenkins did an amazing job with this film, and she saved the DCEU from ridicule.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in WONDER WOMAN (2017)
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in WONDER WOMAN (2017)

To say that the WONDER WOMAN film didn’t have a lot riding on its success would be a bold lie. What if WONDER WOMAN received the same reviews as SUICIDE SQUAD or BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN? Thankfully, that didn’t happen and it exceeds the expectations of critics. Now, a sequel film is a sure thing since she leads the DCEU in quality films.

Remember The CW’s undeveloped Wonder Woman pilot from earlier? Well, there’s a little more to that. If you’ve been paying close attention to Season 3 of THE FLASH, you may have noticed a Wonder Woman easter egg in the “Infantino Street” episode.

According to Screenrant, Moviepilot, and IGN, Wonder Woman’s arch nemesis Cheetah may appear in THE FLASH next season. So some fans have interpreted this as if Cheetah exists in Arrowverse, then Wonder Woman is definitely a possibility. Either way, if it’s a sequel in the DCEU or a show on Arrowverse, Wonder Woman is destined for a bright future in film and television.

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