Why the Powerpuff Girls Pilot Is Being Redone at The CW

CW CEO Mark Pedowitz offered an explanation as to why the highly anticipated live action adaptation of The Powerpuff Girls is getting a redo.

By Lauren Piester May 25, 2021 11:39 PMTags
Watch: Dove Cameron Starring in Live-Action "Powerpuff Girls" Series

Sometimes, pilots just don't work. 

That appears to be the case with The CW's first attempt at a live action Powerpuff Girls, which, we learned this week, did not make it onto the 2021–2022 schedule. The pilot is going to be retooled with the same cast and creative team attached before it's reconsidered for a full series pick-up, and now CW Chairman and CEO Mark Pedowitz has weighed in on the delay. 

"The reason we do pilots is, sometimes things miss," he told reporters on a conference call on Tuesday, May 25. "We believe in the cast completely, and we believe in [writers Diablo Cody and Heather Regnier] and [executive producer Greg Berlanti] and Warner Bros. In this case, the pilot didn't work. Because we see enough elements in there, we wanted to give it another shot. It may have felt a little too campy and not rooted in reality. You learn things when you test things out. We felt, ‘Let's take a step back and go back to the drawing board.' This is a powerful property, it gauged a lot of interest, and we want to get it right."

2021 TV Premiere Dates

Pedowitz was asked about the pilot after pages from at least one version of the script leaked online, and Twitter users had some things to say about dialogue like, "Bloss! Wake up! Or we'll leak your nudes everywhere!" or "Life, is one big hate boner." 

One fan suggested people might need the Men in Black neuralyzer to erase the script from their minds, while another compared it to the iconic Steve Buscemi 30 Rock meme where he goes undercover as a teen. 

A pilot was produced earlier this spring, and fans were also underwhelmed by what turned out to be the flashback costumes worn by the three leads, Dove Cameron (Bubbles), Chloe Bennet (Blossom) and Yana Perrault (Buttercup). The CW then released an official photo of the girls' more updated looks. Donald Faison also stars in the project as Professor Drake Utonium. 

In other CW news, Pedowitz says the prequel to The 100 is still being discussed and "is not done in any shape or form." The series, which aired a backdoor pilot during the final season of The 100, would tell the story of what happened right after the apocalypse that left Earth uninhabitable for nearly 100 years. You can read all about what that show might look like here

There was also some discussion about the next big superhero crossover, which Pedowitz says will look a little different this time around as they get other heroes to appear on episodes of The Flash.

As for the new series that have been picked up, only 4400 and the new, adult Legends of the Hidden Temple will premiere in the fall. Both the All American spinoff and Naomi will debut midseason. 

Riverdale will be moving from Wednesdays to Tuesdays to join The Flash, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman will now air on Wednesdays. 

Keep up with all the new, upcoming shows below! 

All American: Homecoming (The CW)

All American: Homecoming will be set at an HBCU and will follow a young tennis hopeful from Beverly Hills and an elite baseball player from Chicago as they contend with the high stakes of college sports, while also navigating the highs, lows and sexiness of unsupervised early adulthood at a prestigious Historically Black College. That show stars Geffri MayaPeyton Alex SmithKelly JenretteCory HardictSylvester PowellNetta Walker and Camille Hyde

A backdoor pilot will air as an episode of All American on Monday, July 5. Get a glimpse here

Naomi (The CW)

Naomi is a new superhero series based on a DC comic, and it comes from writer and executive producers Ava Duvernay and Jill Blankenship. It 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." 

Kaci Walfall stars as Naomi, alongside Cranston JohnsonAlexander WraithMary-Charles JonesBarry WatsonMousam MakkarDaniel PuigCamila MorenoWill Meyers and Aidan GemmeGet a sneak peek here.

4400 (The CW)

4400 is a reboot of the USA sci fi drama and tells the story of 4400 "overlooked, undervalued or otherwise marginalized people who vanished without a trace over the last hundred years" as they all suddenly return in an instant, 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."

It stars TL Thompson, Cory Jeacoma, Ireon Roach, Derrick A. King and Autumn Best.

CSI: Vegas (CBS)

William Petersen, Jorja Fox and Wallace Langham return to the Las Vegas crime lab in this sequel to CSI. "Facing an existential threat that could bring down the entire Crime Lab and release thousands of convicted killers back onto the neon-lit streets of Vegas, a brilliant new team of investigators led by Maxine Roby must enlist the help of old friends, Gil Grissom, Sara Sidle and David Hodges . This combined force will deploy the latest forensic techniques to do what they do best—follow the evidence—in order to preserve and serve justice in Sin City." 

Paula Newsome, Matt Lauria, Mandeep Dhillon and Mel Rodriguez also star. Watch the trailer here.

Smallwood (CBS)

Pete Holmes stars as Tom, a stoic midwest husband who gets laid off and decides to follow his dream of being a professional bowler. "As a skilled player, Tom knows that in bowling you get two chances; no matter what you do with the first ball, you get another one to make it right—the ultimate second chance. Keeping that in mind, Tom begins his new career with the loving okay from his wife, Jen (Katie Lowes), and the unfaltering support of Archie (Chi McBride), his mentor and the proud owner of Archie's Lanes: Home of the Curly Fry. It remains to be seen if Tom will strike it big on the Pro Bowler circuit, but right now, the pins are set, he's taking his second shot and it's 300 or bust!" 

Ghosts (CBS)

Ghosts is based on the popular BBC comedy of the same name and stars Rose McIver and Utkarsh Ambudkar as Samantha, a freelance journalist and Jay, an up-and-coming chef, who convert a huge rundown country estate into a bed and breakfast, only to find that it's filled with ghosts. "The departed souls are a close-knit, eclectic group that includes a saucy Prohibition-era lounge singer, a pompous 1700's Militiaman, a ‘60s hippie fond of hallucinogens, an overly upbeat ‘80s scout troop leader, a cod-obsessed Viking explorer from 1009, a slick ‘90s finance bro, a sarcastic and witty Native from the 1500s, and a society woman and wife of an 1800's robber baron who is Samantha's ancestor, to name a few. If the spirits were anxious about the commotion a renovation and B&B will create in their home, it's nothing compared to when they realize Samantha is the first live person who can see and hear them." 

The comedy also stars Danielle Pinnock, Brandon Scott Jones, Richie Moriarty, Asher Grodman, Sheila Carrasco, Román Zaragoza, Devan Chandler Long and Rebecca Wisocky. Watch the trailer here.

NCIS: Hawai'i (CBS)

Vanessa Lachey stars as Special Agent Jane Tennant, the first female agent in charge of NCIS Pearl Harbor who has thrived and risen through the ranks by equal parts confidence and strategy in a system that has pushed back on her every step of the way. "Together with her unwavering team of specialists, they balance duty to family and country while investigating high-stakes crimes involving military personnel, national security and the mysteries of the sun-drenched island paradise itself." 

Yasmine Al-Bustami, Jason Antoon and Noah Mills also star. Watch the trailer here.

Good Sam (CBS)

Sophia Bush plays Dr. Sam Griffith, a heart surgeon who took over as Chief of Surgery after her boss falls into a coma. Jason Isaacs plays the boss, who is also—spoiler alert—her dad. When he wakes up from his coma and demands to work again, "Sam is tasked with supervising this egotistical expert with a scalpel who never acknowledged her stellar talent....As Griff defies Sam's authority and challenges her medical expertise, the big question becomes whether this father and daughter will ever be able to mend their own relationship as expertly as they heal the hearts of their patients." 

The series also stars Skye P. Marshall, Michael Stahl-David, Davi Santos, Omar Maskati, Wendy Crewson and Edwin Hodge.

The Wonder Years (ABC)

Don Cheadle narrates this new take on The Wonder Years, a coming-of-age story set in the 1960s. It takes "a nostalgic look at a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama, through the point of view of imaginative 12-year-old Dean. With the wisdom of his adult years, Dean's hopeful and humorous recollections show how his family found their 'wonder years' in a turbulent time." 

Elisha "EJ" Williams plays young Dean. Dulé Hill, Saycon Sengbloh, Laura Kariuki, Julian Lerner, Amari O'Neil and Milan Ray also star. Saladin Patterson and Lee Daniels are executive producing, with original Wonder Years star Fred Savage as both an EP and director.

 Watch the trailer here.

Abbott Elementary (ABC)

Quinta Brunson writes, executive produces and stars in this workplace comedy about a group of dedicated, passionate teachers in a Philadelphia public school "where, despite the odds stacked against them, they are determined to help their students succeed in life. Though these incredible educators may be outnumbered and underfunded, they love what they do—even if they don't love the school district's less-than-stellar attitude toward educating children." 

Tyler James Wiliams, Janelle James, Chris Perfetti, Lisa Ann Walter and Sheryl Lee Ralph also star. Watch the trailer here.

Queens (ABC)

Queens stars Eve, Naturi Naughton, Nadine Velazquez and Brandy as four former girl group members reuniting in their 40s "for a chance to recapture their fame and regain the swagger they had as the Nasty Bitches – their '90s group that made them legends in the hip-hop world."

The show also stars Taylor SeléWatch a trailer here.

Maggie (ABC)

Rebecca Rittenhouse stars in Maggie as Maggie, a psychic. "Maggie regularly sees the future of her friends, parents, clients and random strangers on the street, but when she suddenly sees a glimpse of her own future, Maggie is forced to start living in her own present." 

The comedy also stars David Del Rio, Nichole Sakura, Angelique Cabral, Leonardo Nam, Ray Ford, Chloe Bridges, Kerri Kenney and Chris Elliott. Watch the teaser here. 

Women of the Movement (ABC)

Adrienne Warren stars in this limited event series as Mamie Till-Mobley, "who in 1955 risks her life to find justice after her son Emmett is brutally murdered in the Jim Crow South. Unwilling to let Emmett's murder disappear from the headlines, Mamie chooses to bear her pain on the world stage, emerging as an activist for justice and igniting the Civil Rights movement as we know it today." 

Tonya Pinkins, Cedric Joe, Ray Fisher, Chris Coy, Carter Jenkins and Julia McDermott also star. Watch the trailer here.

The Cleaning Lady (Fox)

Elodie Yung stars as a woman battling both the healthcare and immigration systems in the U.S. "The Cleaning Lady is a thrilling and emotionally driven character drama about a whip-smart Cambodian doctor who comes to the U.S. for a medical treatment to save her ailing son. However, when the system fails and pushes her into hiding, she refuses to be beaten down and marginalized. Instead, she becomes a cleaning lady for organized crime, using her cunning and intelligence to forge her own path in the criminal underworld." 

Adan Canto, Martha Millan and Valentino and Sebastian LaSalle also star. You can watch the trailer here.

Welcome to Flatch (Fox)

Welcome to Flatch is a comedy inspired by BBC's This Country. "When a documentary crew sets out to explore the lives of residents in a small American town—their dreams, their concerns—they stumble upon the midwestern town of Flatch, which is made up of many eccentric personalities. It's a place you want to visit and maybe even stay. If there was a decent motel. Which there is not." 

Chelsea Holmes, Sam Straley, Seann William Scott, Aya Cash, Taylor Ortega, Krystal Smith and Justin Linville all star. Watch the trailer here!

The Big Leap (Fox)

It's So You Think You Can Dance as a scripted show! The Big Leap "revolves around a group of diverse, down-on-their-luck characters attempting to change their lives by participating in a potentially life-ruining reality dance show that builds to a live production of "Swan Lake." Inspired by a U.K. reality format, The Big Leap is an innovative show-within-a-show that takes viewers on a journey of self-acceptance and empowerment at any age."

It stars Scott Foley, Teri Polo, Piper Perabo, Simone Recasner, Ser'Darius Blain, Jon Rudnitsky, Raymond Cham Jr., Mallory Jansen, Kevin Daniels and Anna Grace Barlow. Watch the trailer here

Pivoting (Fox)

Pivoting stars Eliza Coupe, Ginnifer Goodwin and Maggie Q as three friends who are coping with the death of the fourth member of their group. "When faced with the reality that life is short, these women pivot, and alter their current paths, by way of a series of impulsive, ill-advised and self-indulgent decisions. These pivots will strengthen their bond and prove it's never too late to screw up your life in the pursuit of happiness." 

Tommy Dewey, JT Neal and Marcello Reyes also star. Watch the trailer here.

La Brea (NBC)

This drama is not for faint of heart Angelenos! "An epic adventure begins when a massive sinkhole opens in the middle of Los Angeles, pulling hundreds of people and buildings into its depths. Those who fell in find themselves in a mysterious and dangerous primeval land, where they have no choice but to band together to survive. Meanwhile, the rest of the world desperately seeks to understand what happened. In the search for answers, one family torn apart by this disaster will have to unlock the secrets of this inexplicable event to find a way back to each other." 

It stars Natalie Zea, Eoin Macken, Jon Seda, Nicholas Gonzalez, Chiké Okonkwo, Karina Logue, Zyra Gorecki, Jack Martin, Veronica St. Clair, Rohan Mirchandaney, Lily Santiago, Josh McKenzie and Chloe De Los Santos.

American Auto (NBC)

Ana Gasteyer, Jon Barinholtz, Harriet Dyer, Humphrey Ker, Michael B. Washington, Tye White and X Mayo star in this new workplace comedy from Superstore executive producer Justin Spitzer. "Set in Detroit, the corporate executives of Payne Motors are at a crossroads: adapt to the changing times or be sent to the junkyard. Shaking things up is the new CEO, whose leadership, experience and savvy is only slightly offset by her complete lack of knowledge about cars. Luckily, her team has some of the best minds in the business—when they aren't fighting or trying to outwit each other. From the corporate office to the factory floor, the crew of Payne Motors is driving home the laughs." 

Grand Crew (NBC)

Nicole Byer and Echo Kellum star as siblings who like to hang out at a wine bar with their friends in this comedy from Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Phil Augusta Jackson and Dan Goor. "This group of young professionals are all trying to navigate the ups and downs of life and love in Los Angeles — and they always find time to gather at their favorite bar to "wine down" and unpack it all. There's Noah, a hopeless romantic too eager to settle down; Nicky, a go-getter in both real estate and romance; Sherm, a low-key genius who plays the dating odds; Anthony, whose true love is his career; and Wyatt, who's relieved to be married and out of the dating scene. And just like wine, their friendship gets better with time." 

Justin Cunningham, Aaron Jennings and Carl Tart also star. 

Ordinary Joe (NBC)

James Wolk stars in a new drama that follows a man through three different potential lives. "This new heartfelt, life-affirming drama follows Joe Kimbreau, who faces one of these decisions at his college graduation. The three parallel stories that diverge from that night find Joe and the people around him with different careers, relationships and family lives, showing the unexpected ways that things change— and stay the same. But when it comes down to it, there is no "right" choice; no matter what happens, Joe's life is always messy, exciting, tough, unpredictable … and beautiful."

The cast also includes Natalie Martinez, Elizabeth Lail and Charlie Barnett

The Thing About Pam (NBC)

Renee Zellweger stars in a true crime drama inspired by a popular Dateline NBC tale. "What appeared to be a straightforward murder case would eventually set off a chain of events exposing both a wrongful conviction and a diabolical scheme involving a woman named Pam Hupp." 

Law & Order: For the Defense (NBC)

The newest installment in the Law & Order franchise "takes an unflinching look inside a criminal defense firm. Every week, the series will put the lawyers—and the criminal justice system—under the microscope like only Law & Order can, delivering hard-hitting, ripped-from-the-headlines stories that provide a new vantage point on justice."