‘Wizard’s’ Revives Once-Popular Genre

Jan 29, 2008  •  Post A Comment

With the help of famed producer Sam Raimi, Disney-ABC is returning to the days of yore—the 1990s, that is—with the launch of scripted first-run series “Wizard’s First Rule” for fall 2008.
The move marks a return to the successful scripted sci-fi/fantasy series such as “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and “Xena: Warrior Princess.”
The format struck gold for distributors and stations alike, but it all but died earlier this decade as a bevy of off-net series took time periods and a flooded global market brought international sales to a halt.
“With a show like this, high quality and the potential for a long-term franchise, we hope to be able to reinvent the marketplace and bring high-quality original content to syndication,” said Janice Marinelli, president of Diseny-ABC Domestic Television.
With the exponential growth of digital platforms both in the U.S. and around the world, however, the one-time logjam to get series into territories such as Germany has finally subsided.
Domestically, Tribune, which struck gold with “Hercules,” “Xena” and “Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda” in the 1990s, quickly jumped aboard in hopes of seeing lightning strike twice.
“We are delighted to partner with Disney-ABC Domestic Television on this exciting new project and are eager to reunite with the creative forces that brought us so much success with ‘Hercules: The Legendary Journeys’ and ‘Xena:Warrior Princess,'” said Marc Schacher, senior VP of programming and development for Tribune Broadcast Co.
The station group’s deal will immediately place the series in 35% of the country, including WPIX-TV in New York, KTLA-TV in Los Angeles and WGN-TV in Chicago.
Internationally, the series will be offered by Disney-ABC International Television; executives said they already had received “tremendous” international interest in carrying the show.
The one-hour series will be based on Terry Goodkind’s fantasy book series “The Sword of Truth,” which follows a woodsman who becomes transformed into a magical leader in a fight to stop an evil tyrant.
The series will be produced by ABC Studios, which is making its first venture into broadcast syndication. Production of the 22 episodes is slated to begin in May, potentially in New Zealand, with Mr. Raimi (“Spider-Man”) as well as Robert Tapert (“Xena: Warrior Princess”), Josh Donen (“The Quick and the Dead”) and Ned Nalle (“”Hercules” on board as executive producers.


  1. sounds like trash, so it will probably make
    pixar millions in the comic section

  2. You shouldn’t judge something you haven’t even seen yet.

  3. This is one of the most exciting series I have ever read. I just can’t imagine casting these characters and hopefully it will stay true to the book. I can’t wait

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