One of the CW’s highest-profile pilots, Powerpuff, is not going to series — at least not yet.
Ahead of the CW’s fall 2021 schedule announcement tomorrow, the network has made decisions on the bulk of its six 2021 pilots, handing series orders to Naomi and All American: Homecoming.
Powerpuff, based on the original Cartoon Network animated series, will be reworked and repiloted off-cycle. The four leads — Chloe Bennet, Dove Cameron, Yana Perrault and Donald Faison — as well as other cast and the writers-producers all remain on board the project, from Warner Bros TV/Berlanti Prods.
Tom Swift, a spinoff of Nancy Drew, remains in consideration. The CBS Studios/Fake Empire-produced project did not do a traditional backdoor pilot; instead the character Tom Swift, played by Tian Richards, appeared in a Nancy Drew episode, and the network also ordered a pilot script. I hear the CW could potentially order a stand-alone pilot based on the script as part of its series consideration.
The CW also has opted not to proceed with millennial nun dramedy Our Ladies of Brooklyn from Jennie Snyder Urman, and Black Lightning spinoff Painkiller.
CBS Studios, which produces Our Ladies of Brooklyn, is shopping the project to sister streamer Paramount+ and other outlets.
In an interview last week, CBS President David Stapf spoke about the studio’s two CW pilots.
“We like Our Ladies of Brooklyn a lot,” he said. “We also like Tom Swift a lot, which was a kind of a planted, not even a planted, spinoff. It was a character that was planted in Nancy Drew, and we also wrote a first episode. We love both those projects a lot.”
Written and executive produced by Diablo Cody and Heather Regnier, who will do the rewrite, Powerpuff follows the trio that used to be America’s pint-sized superheroes. Now they’re disillusioned twentysomethings who resent having lost their childhood to crime fighting.
Warner Bros TV Group President Channing Dungey last week spoke about Powerpuff stars Chloe Bennet (Blossom), Dove Cameron (Bubbles) and Yana Perrault (Buttercup) and the challenges adapting the classic pop culture IP has faced.
“We’ve got a trio of terrific actresses at the center of that,” she said. “I’m not going to say that it hasn’t been a challenge. Bringing a children’s cartoon into live-action adulthood has been a really fine line to walk, but I think we’ve done a pretty great job walking it.”
She also noted that Painkiller “also came in really solidly.” It is unclear whether that show would be shopped, most likely to HBO Max, which has become the streaming destination for all DC superhero content.
In the final analysis, the CW, which is returning its entire current scripted slate next season, has picked up three new series for next season: the straight-to-series 4400 (produced by CBS Studios) and Naomi and All American: Homecoming (both from the other CW parent studio, WBTV).
Of its six CW pilots, three were stand-alones and three were backdoor, with one of each going to series (Naomi, Homecoming), one of each remaining in contention (Powerpuff, Tom Swift) and one of each getting a pass (Our Ladies of Brooklyn, Painkiller).
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.