ABC Has "Wicked" Plans

1/11/2011 Posted by Admin

ABC Has "Wicked" Plans

Television News

By our guest blogger, Nick Hanover

Over at Variety, all kinds of details are emerging about ABC's plans for Gregory Maguire's book "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West." Though ABC doesn't have any rights to the wildly popular musical that was made from Maguire's book they're figuring an adaptation of the book will be just as good. And based on who they've recruited, they might just be right.

"Band of Brothers" mastermind Erik Jendresen is behind the teleplay, which Variety indicates will be an eight-hour miniseries. Production is to be handled by Salma Hayek's company Ventanarosa, who were also behind ABC's "Ugly Betty." There is no word yet on whether Hayek will appear in the mini herself.

Even though miniseries seem to largely be a thing of the past for network television, the obvious aim is that ABC, with its Disney affiliations, can turn "Wicked" into an epic family fun night. With the Hollywood adaptation of the "Wicked" musical still in production limbo, ABC is quite likely banking on beating Hollywood to the punch and luring in huge numbers as a result. Perhaps even more appetizing is the Maguire franchise itself, which includes books the author has written on any number of fairy tale characters, including several more entries in the "Wicked" series. If "Wicked" pulls its weight as a mini, ABC will likely begin adapting other works by Maguire.

But again, network minis have fallen out of favor for a reason. Usually the domain of washed-up actors and terrible production values, network minis have long been usurped by their cable counterparts. Jendresen's previous project "Band of Brothers" is a sterling example of the reasons why since it was backed by the likes of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks and had the production values to match. So ABC, if you're going to do this? Do it right.

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