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NBC Passes on Oz-Inspired ‘Emerald City’

Despite initially giving “Emerald City” a straight to series order for next season, NBC has opted not to move forward with the “Oz”-inspired drama.

The project hailed from Matthew Arnold, who penned the series’ original script, and Josh Friedman, who tweaked the pilot for the network. Conceived as a 10-episode series, “Emerald City” was planned as a modern and dark reimagining of the classic L. Frank Baum Oz tales more akin to “Game of Thrones” than the 1939 Judy Garland pic. “Emerald City” would’ve drawn from Baum’s original 14 books and featured more battles, political maneuvers and a very different take on the infamous wizard, as a 20 year-old Dorothy Gale embarked on a journey that thrust her into a vicious battle for control of Oz.

Deadline first reported the news, citing a difference in vision between NBC execs and Friedman about the show’s direction, which lead to the net’s decision to move on from the project. Producers Universal Television may shop it elsewhere.

“Emerald City” is not the only high-concept series that received a straight to series order before getting yanked, as Fox recently declined to proceed with its Ancient Egyptian adventure series, “Hieroglyph,” after filming a pilot and being dissatisfied with subsequent scripts. NBC’s abrupt about-face comes a month after the project received a hefty marketing push during July’s San Diego Comic-Con, where “Emerald City” was featured on bus wraps and posters throughout the city.

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