'The Wizard of Oz' as ... a TV medical drama?

CBS is reportedly developing L. Frank Baum's 'The Wizard of Oz' as a medical drama set in New York.

Warner Bros./AP
The 1939 film adaptation of 'The Wizard of Oz,' probably the most famous version of L. Frank Baum's work, starred Judy Garland (second from r.), Ray Bolger (second from l.), Jack Haley (r.), and Bert Lahr (l.).

L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz” is set to be the inspiration for a new CBS show titled “Dorothy,” which is described as “a medical soap based in New York City inspired by the characters and themes from The Wizard of Oz,” according to Deadline.

Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly, who have both executive-produced the literary adaptations “Elementary” and “Justified,” are set to executive-produce the show. Writer Emily Fox, who worked on “Ghost Whisperer” and co-wrote the screenplay for the Olsen twins film “New York Minute,” is writing the pilot and also serving as an executive producer.

Although the show is still in the early stages of development, some commentators are already expressing a blend of surprise and disgust at the idea. A story by io9 reporter Rob Bricken ran with the headline “Apocalypse nears as CBS orders a Wizard of Oz-themed medical drama,” while TVLine writer Matt Webb Mitovich asked, “How will such a thing work? And is there an animal hospital spin-off for Toto and the Flying Monkeys?” Collider writer Adam Chitwood called it a “head-scratcher.”

I’m morbidly curious to see just how Beverly and Timberman plan to make this work,” Chitwood wrote. “How clear will the parallels to the source material be? Does the lion character have big, wavy hair? Will our protagonist always wear red shoes? Do Dorothy and Scarecrow have an on-again off-again relationship? It sounds so terrible in theory that I just have [to] see what this looks like.” 

Bricken was even more taken aback.

“I regret to inform you all that the entire medium of television irrevocably passed into complete irrelevancy earlier today after CBS announced they were developing a TV series named Dorothy, about a medical drama based on The Wizard of Oz,” he wrote. “I am serious…. Obviously, it is now imperative that we stop making TV forever…. If we don't stop this insanity now we're going to get an Alice in Wonderland-themed lawyer series next, followed by a show where the girls from Little Women are no-nonsense FBI agents who don't play by the rules – OH MY GOD FOX IS ALREADY MAKING A SLEEPY HOLLOW-THEMED COP DRAMA AAAAA WE'RE TOO LATE WE'RE TOOOOOOO LAAAATTTTTTTEEEEE”

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