13 August 2013

No Place Like the Hospital

This month Entertainment Weekly’s website reported on a new Oz-themed TV show, sort of:
CBS is taking a big swing with a new project with a higher-than-high concept: Wizard of Oz medical drama.

The broadcaster has inked a deal to develop a series titled Dorothy, described by the network as “a medical soap based in New York City, inspired by the characters and themes immortalized in The Wizard of Oz.”
There’s no more information on the drama than that, as far as I can tell, yet the news has already kicked up a lot of talk on television websites.

Which is the point. Without the link to a beloved property like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, this would be just another medical drama set in the big city. The executive producers pulled a similar trick with Elementary, spun off the public-domain Sherlock Holmes mythos and promoted as such.

I don’t doubt that the show’s creators might take inspiration from the basic Oz story: a young female character named Dorothy looking for a home, three male companions who feel inadequate, and so on. But if The Wonderful Wizard of Oz weren’t both famous and free, the network would never mention that vague inspiration. No, Dorothy would then be an entirely original show, any resemblance between it and preceding stories entirely coincidental.

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