‘Powerpuff Girls’ Live-Action Series Among CW Pilot Orders, Network Sets ‘The 4400’ Reboot
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett C
The CW has made a number of orders for the 2021-2022 season, including a pilot order for the live-action “Powerpuff Girls” series.
In total, The CW announced three pilot orders and one straight-to-series pickup, with the latter being a reboot of the USA Network series “The 4400.” The other two pilots are for the DC project “Naomi” from Ava DuVernay and Jill Blankenship and an untitled religious dramedy from Claire Rothrock and Ryann Weir. All of the projects are created by women.
The “Powerpuff Girls” live-action series was first announced as being in development back in August. Based on the Cartoon Network series created by Craig McCracken, the new series sees the pint-sized superheroes as disillusioned twentysomethings who resent having lost their childhood to crime fighting. Will they agree to reunite now that the world needs them more than ever?
The project hails from writers and executive producers Heather Regnier and Diablo Cody, with Cody executive producing via Vita Vera Films. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and David Madden will executive produce via Berlanti Productions. Erika Kennair will produce. Warner Bros. Television will produce.
The animated series ran for six seasons and 78 episodes between 1998 and 2005. “The Powerpuff Girls Movie” was released in 2002, while a rebooted animated series began airing on Cartoon Network in 2016.
In “The 4400,” 4400 overlooked, undervalued, or otherwise marginalized people who vanished without a trace over the last hundred years are all returned in an instant, having not aged a day and with no memory of what happened to them. As the government races to analyze the potential threat and contain the story, the 4400 themselves must grapple with the fact that they’ve been returned with a few upgrades, and the increasing likelihood that they were all brought back now for a specific reason.
The reboot has been in development at The CW since 2018. Ariana Jackson will write and executive produce, with Anna Fricke and Laura Terry also executive producing. CBS Studios will produce.
The original version of “The 4400” was created by René Echevarria and Scott Peters. It featured actors like Joel Gretsch, Jacqueline McKenzie, Conchita Campbell, and also served as an early starring vehicle for Oscar winner Mahershala Ali. It ran for four seasons and 44 episodes on USA from 2004-2007.
“Naomi” was announced as being in development in early December. 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.
DuVernay and Blankenship are attached to write and executive produce “Naomi.” DuVernay will executive produce via ARRAY Filmworks, with Sarah Bremner and Paul Garnes of ARRAY producing. Warner Bros. Television, where DuVernay is under a rich overall deal, will serve as the studio.
The character Naomi originally debuted in her own standalone comic book series in 2019, which was co-written by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker. It was illustrated by Jamal Campbell. In the comics, Naomi had energy-based powers as well as an ability to transform into superpowered form that granted her incredible strength and other abilities.
Finally, the Rothrock/Weird project is 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.
Rothrock and Weir will write and executive produce, with Jennie Snyder Urman and Joanna Klein executive producing via Sutton St. Productions. CBS Studios, where Sutton St. is under an overall deal, will serve as the studio.
Variety's Joe Otterson contributed to this post.