After premiering in Broadway to huge acclaim and box office success, Gregory Maguire’s prequel to the “Wizard of Oz” will test the waters on the small screen with an eight-hour mini-series produced by Salma Hayek and backed up by the network that brought us “Modern Family”, ABC.
ABC will also be testing the waters once again as it dabbles into the mini-series playing field after several years of passing on some good projects and focusing on more lengthy shows and mainstream TV features. ABC head Paul Lee will give the project a shot after it was snubbed by Stephen McPherson, head of the TV movie and mini-series department of ABC. McPherson’s predecessor, Susan Lyne, would not have passed on Hayek’s new project if she was still spearheading the department as her term spawned the successful mini-series “Cinderella”, “The Music Man” and “Annie”, all of which were based on equally successful Broadway musicals.
With a working title similar to its Broadway musical “sister”, “Wicked” poses to be a must-watch series with “Band of Brothers” scriptwriter Erik Jendersen on board and laying his wits to the show’s story and script. Ventanarosa Productions head Jose Tamez will also join Hayek and ABC Studios for the new project which is now in active development.
As for the cast, it would be great if they could get both Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth for the two lead roles, Elphaba the Wicked Witch and Glinda the Good Witch respectively, but it seems unlikely. Menzel will star in a comedy musical series being developed by ABC while Chenoweth’s name doesn’t seem to pop up.
Fans of “Wicked” will surely be excited about this new development. Not only will it be translated to a short TV series, but plans of translating the Maguire masterpiece and Broadway top grosser into a film are also in the works for a long time now.