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The CW is planning for the return of The 4400.
The broadcast network has handed out a straight to series order for a remake of the sci-fi series that aired on USA from 2004-07. Additionally, The CW has ordered pilots for a live-action, grown-up Powerpuff Girls from Diablo Cody and for projects from Ava DuVernay and Jane the Virgin showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman.
The CW put a remake of The 4400 in development more than two years ago. Like the original, the new version will focus on 4,400 overlooked, undervalued and marginalized people who disappeared over the past 100 years who are all returned in an instant, having not aged at all and with no idea what happened. They also discover they’ve been returned with upgrades, and likely for a specific purpose.
CBS Studios, which was also behind the original, is producing the series; writer Ariana Jackson (Riverdale) executive produces with Anna Fricke and Laura Terry. The original writers on the project, Craig Sweeny and Taylor Elmore, are no longer involved.
The CW also followed the straight to series model for this season’s Walker and Superman and Lois, partly as a hedge against what looked like the potential for a writers strike last year. Economics also play a role: “Bypassing pilots is short-term less money than going straight to series,” CW chairman Mark Pedowitz told The Hollywood Reporter. “We look at the economic impact and if we believe enough in these shows and that will determine the decision.”
The three pilot orders are below.
Naomi: DuVernay and Arrow veteran Jill Blankenship are adapting the DC comic from writers Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker and illustrator Jamal Campbell. The show follows a teenage girl who sets out to discover the origins of a supernatural event in her hometown. DuVernay’s Array Filmworks and Warner Bros. TV produce; DuVernay, Blankenship, Sarah Bremner and Paul Garnes are EPs.
The Powerpuff Girls: Cody and Heather Regnier’s (Veronica Mars, Sleepy Hollow) take on Craig McCracken’s beloved Cartoon Network show has Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup as disillusioned twentysomethings who resent having lost their childhoods to crime fighting. Berlanti Productions, Vita Vera Films and Warner Bros. TV produce. Regnier, Cody, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and David Madden are the exec producers; Erika Kennair is producer.
Untitled Urman/Rothrock/Weir drama: The potential series centers on two millennial nuns: one a true believer and the other a new arrival who hasn’t taken her final vows yet. The two strangers become sisters on a spiritual journey to understand their own faith and their place in the Catholic church. Claire Rothrock and Ryann Weir are writing the pilot and exec produce with Urman and Joanna Klein of Sutton St. Productions. CBS Studios and Sutton St. produce.
The CW has yet to make any decision on 2020 development season holdovers The Lost Boys and Maverick, which went back to the development stage, or a possible spinoff of The 100. The network is also prepping spinoffs of All American, Black Lightning and Nancy Drew that will air as planted episodes of their parent shows later this season.
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