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NBC and David E. Kelley's 'Wonder Woman' pilot: Can't a superhuman lady catch a break?

January 24, 2011 |  1:09 pm

WonderWoman We're suckers for a lady with a lasso, so when we heard the news that, after intially passing on the project, NBC picked up David E. Kelley's "Wonder Woman" pilot, we couldn't help but cheer.

And yet, before the show even starts, Wonder Woman's already got a lot of forces to battle - and we aren't just talking about Cyborgirl. Remembering Kelley's biggest contribution to the women's movement -- the "short-skirted, romantically challenged, possibly insane television lawyer" Ally McBeal -- Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon recently quipped, "The guy who killed feminism is reviving Wonder Woman." On Deadline, some fans wondered if the pilot proved there was a glass ceiling, even for Amazon princesses: "Would’ve preferred the big screen treatment (like the male heroes)," wrote one commenter. "More middle-aged white men selling pilot scripts… Yeah for diversity!!!" wrote another.

During the Television Critics Assn. press tour in January, Kelley did his best to defend his treatment of Ms. Diana Prince, telling the crowd that his Wonder Woman would be "a real complex woman and not just a superhero." So we'll remain cautiously optimistic for now. But with comic-book-friendly heroes already struggling on TV, this is definitely gonna require a superhuman effort on Kelley's part.

-- Melissa Maerz

Photo: The original Wonder Woman, from issue No. 1, summer 1942. Credit: H. G. Peter / Taschen.