Pilot season at The CW is happening after all.
The youth-skewing broadcaster has handed pilot orders to three projects: Ava DuVernay’s superhero drama Naomi, the live-action reboot of The Powerpuff Girls and a millennial nun dramedy exec produced by Jennie Snyder Urman.
The network has also ordered a reboot of classic sci-fi drama The 4400 straight-to-series.
There had been some question as to whether the network would go completely straight-to-series for next broadcast season, given the uncertainty around the pandemic, but CW chairman Mark Pedowitz has decided to stick with the pilot process.
“I believe in pilots, I believe you see things in pilots,” he told Deadline last month.
The three pilot orders do not, however, spell the end of the road for the network’s other development projects, and sources tell Deadline that there may be room for more. It has also developed the Greg Berlanti-produced Wonder Girl and rolled projects including The Lost Boys and Maverick.
The network is also making a number of planted spinoffs including Black Lightning spinoff Painkiller, Nancy Drew spinoff Tom Swift and an All American spinoff.
Naomi, the network’s latest DC adaptation, comes from DuVernay and Arrow writer and co-exec producer Jill Blankenship. Based on the eponymous comic book series that debuted in 2019, co-written by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker and illustrated by breakout artist Jamal Campbell, Blankenship and DuVernay will write and exec produce. The project will be produced by DuVernay’s Array Filmworks in association with Warner Bros Television, with Sarah Bremner and Paul Garnes also set as EPs.
The show follows a teen girl’s journey from her small northwestern town to the heights of the multiverse. When a supernatural event shakes her hometown to the core, Naomi sets out to uncover its origins, and what she discovers will challenge everything we believe about our heroes.
The Powerpuff Girls is a live-action series based on the original Cartoon Network animated series created by Craig McCracken. Written and exec produced by Juno’s Diablo Cody and Veronica Mars co-EP Heather Regnier, it is also exec produced by Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and David Madden and comes from Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros TV. Erika Kennair produces.
The series follows the trio who used to be America’s pint-sized superheroes. Now they’re disillusioned twentysomethings who resent having lost their childhood to crimefighting. Will they agree to reunite now that the world needs them more than ever?
Finally, the network is also piloting a dramedy about two millennial nuns – a devout true believer, and a new arrival who has yet to take her final vows – who start as strangers and become sisters on a funny, spiritual journey to understand their own faith and place in the Catholic church.
The project, which was previously known as Cloister F*cked, is written by rising writers Claire Rothrock and Ryann Weir, who have written the play I Heard Sex Noises and web series Basic Witch.
It is exec produced by Urman and Joanna Klein, whose Sutton St. Productions is producing with CBS Studios.
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