NBC Buys ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Drama From Matt Arnold As Frank Baum’s Classic Becomes The Hottest TV Property This Season

EXCLUSIVE: A century after the release of L. Frank Baum’s Wizard Of Oz series, the books have become the toast of this TV development season. NBC just nabbed Emerald City, an Oz-themed drama from Siberia creator/showrunner Matthew Arnold. Two weeks ago, CBS put in development Dorothy, a medical soap inspired by the characters and themes from The Wizard of Oz. I hear there is another Oz drama making the rounds from Heroes alums Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster, with Heroes creator Tim Kring supervising. And just last month, Syfy picked up for development a miniseries titled Warriors Of Oz from director Timur Bekmambetov, a fantasy-action reimagining of the classic story. The great interest in Wizard Of Oz is not entirely unexpected as the title has been getting a lot of attention in conjunction with the upcoming 75th anniversary of the classic 1939 feature, which will include a 3D re-release of the Judy Garland starrer. It also comes on the heels of the success of Oz The Great And Powerful earlier this year.

Related: ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Sets Fall IMAX 3D Debut

Emerald City, which Arnold is writing and executive producing through Universal Television, is described as a dark reimagining of the classic tale of Oz in the vein of Game Of Thrones, drawing upon stories from Baum’s original 14 books. Following the success of the 1900 The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, Baum wrote 13 sequel novels. Emerald City reunites Arnold with NBC, which acquired his mystery drama series Siberia that had been financed independently and sold internationally before finding a U.S. home on NBC as a summer series. Arnold wrote and directed the pilot and the season finale. He also co-wrote three additional episodes and directed seven of the first season’s 13 episodes. Arnold, repped by ICM Partners, David Engel at Circle Of Confusion and attorney Jennifer Levy, recently wrote and directed the supernatural thriller feature Shadow People.

Comments (17)

  • I seem to recall going through this about 10 years ago, with the dueling “Lost in Oz” projects.

    Comment by Miffy — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 10:48am PDT  
  • Did anyone see “Siberia”?

    Comment by Charles Garway — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 10:50am PDT  
    • Pretty much everyone saw Siberia.

      Comment by Daniel Johnson — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 1:03pm PDT  
  • Poopity, poop, po. Right onto the viewers faces. Poopy Poopy McPoopy!

    This smells of something…

    Comment by Arthur Ashing — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 11:11am PDT  
  • From the guy who brought you a show no one has even heard of let alone seen…

    Comment by Peter — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 11:11am PDT  
  • Siberia is still airing episodes on NBC on Monday nights. It is an AMAZING show but has been a victim of poor marketing by NBC. I really recommend that everyone watches it!

    Comment by Logan — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 11:47am PDT  
    • Siberia is an absolutely *superb* show — it just started off really slow with such a subtlety to it that none of the “contestants” really wanted to admit that anything was wrong. Now it is edge of the seat creepiness and terror. I highly recommend it for anyone willing to wait for a slow boil payoff.

      Comment by MaryAnn — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 2:08pm PDT  
  • “A dark reimagining of the classic tale of Oz in the vein of Game Of Thrones” got me interested, and then I read that it was by the person attached to Siberia. Yikes.

    Comment by Sareeta — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 12:18pm PDT  
    • Siberia is a brilliant show and deserve a second season, may be Matt can use this as leverage to get one.

      Comment by David Knowles — Friday September 20, 2013 @ 6:09pm PDT  
  • Hollywood producers love raping projects right out of the studio vaults.

    If you’re jumping into a remake project fresh off a ‘hit’ show you’re sending up the wrong smoke signal, Tonto.

    Comment by big bang in chinatown — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 4:35pm PDT  
  • Pair this with the “Wonderland” project and you’ve got a one-two punch on NBC! I’d love to see that though I know it’ll probably come down to one or the other.

    Comment by DryedMangoez — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 6:12pm PDT  
    • ABC has OUATIW not NBC. This makes it even more crazy because there have been hints in OUAT that they want to eventually go to the land of Oz as well.

      Comment by 4nessj — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 8:22pm PDT  
      • I can’t wait till OUAT gets to the Penthouse Letters series…

        Comment by These guys are hacks — Saturday August 24, 2013 @ 1:43pm PDT  
  • Fing LEAVE IT ALONE AND QUIT PICKING AT IT OR YOU’LL MAKE A SCAR!!!! I read all those books as a kid, have them in 2 leather bound volumes. ANYTHING re imagined can blow me. Is Hollywood THAT out of ideas that they have to crap all over other’s hard won works? Maybe they could do the reverse and make “The Killer Inside Me” into a delightfully animated musical children’s romp? Every one of those ideas sucks my fecal relocation port, and I hope millions are lost on them. F them. Be creative! THAT isn’t.

    Comment by Befree71 — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 7:52pm PDT  
  • I’ve never even heard of the series “Siberia.”

    Comment by Jake — Saturday August 24, 2013 @ 3:43am PDT  
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