Monday, November 05, 2018

This Week in Television History: November 2018 PART I

The further we go back in Hollywood history,
the more that fact and legend become intertwined.
It's hard to say where the truth really lies.
Donna Allen-Figueroa



November 7, 1975
Wonder Woman first aired.
Based on the DC Comics comic book superheroine of the same name. Starring Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman/Diana Princeand Lyle Waggoner as Steve Trevor Sr. & Jr., the show originally aired from 1975 to 1979.
The show had its origins in a November 1975 American television movie entitled The New, Original Wonder Woman starring Carter. It followed a 1974 TV movie entitled Wonder Woman starring blond actress Cathy Lee Crosby, who neither resembled the super-hero character nor exhibited any apparent super-human powers. (John D. F. Black wrote and produced the 1974 TV movie.) In this second movie, set during World War II and produced by Douglas S. Cramer and Wilford Lloyd "W.L." Baumes, who were working from a script by Stanley Ralph Ross, Carter as Wonder Woman matched the original comic book character. Its success led the ABC television network to order two more one-hour episodes which aired in April 1976. That success led ABC to order an additional 11 episodes which the network aired weekly (for the most part) during the first half of the 1976–77 television season. The episodes ran on Wednesday nights between October 1976 and February 1977.
Wonder Woman achieved solid ratings on ABC during its first season, but the network was reluctant to renew the series for another season. Wonder Woman was a period piece, and as such, it was more expensive to produce than a series set in the present day. Also, ABC thought that the 1940s setting limited possible storylines, with the major villains being Nazis. ABC did not renew the series, so Jerry Lieder, then-president of Warner Bros. Television, went to CBS with the notion of shifting the series to the present-day 1970s, which would cost less to produce and allow for more creative storylines. Unlike 20th Century Fox Television's Batman, the series was produced without having a theatrical feature film in the middle of its production. In addition, none of the villains had recurring appearances. CBS agreed and picked up the show in 1977, and it continued for another two seasons.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".


Stay Tuned


Tony Figueroa
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