For almost as long as there have been superheroes there have been attempts to bring them to life. Whether by radio serial, live-action or animated TV show or movie, comic book characters have always been a trusted source of inspiration for Hollywood studios. With over forty new comic-based movies hitting theaters during the next decade it would be easy to forget that superheroes and supervillains have also dominated the small screen.
Since 1937 when actor Rod La Rocque first portrayed The Shadow in a live-action show, the television industry has tried dozens of times to bring audiences’ favorite comic characters to life – some were highly successful (The Flash, Batman, The Incredible Hulk), while others didn’t make it beyond the concept stage or a single pilot episode.
It’s those attempts that, for whatever reason, fell to the wayside we’re going to be talking about in this piece. For a character’s show to appear in this post it’s OK if they actually had a pilot made – it could have even aired – as long as a full season of the show was never ordered by the network, then it counts. We’re also leaving off shows that are currently in development or on-hold status, such as the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spin off and Booster Gold.
Here is a list of 15 Superhero TV Shows that Almost Happened.[divider]
1) WONDER WOMAN – 1967
After his success with the Batman live-action television series in sixties, producer William Dozier wanted to produce a show with a female superhero character. Even though he had recently introduced the late Yvonne Craig as Batgirl, she was a secondary character and he wanted to make a show that was centered around a female heroine. He hired actress Linda Harrison (Planet of the Apes) to portray a rather odd version of Wonder Woman in a 4-minute short film titled Who’s Afraid of Diana Prince?
The short film was supposed to garner enough interest in Wonder Woman to support a television movie pilot, which would lead into a new series with the titular Amazon as the center character. However, the story for the short went like this: Diana Prince is a homely girl sitting at home during a storm when she begins daydreaming about being the glamorous Wonder Woman. Then she flies out the window after gawking at herself in the mirror. You can watch the short – HERE – and you’ll quickly see why the network declined to do anything with the concept.[divider]
Click on an image below & scroll thru the slider to see the other 14 shows on the list that didn't make it.