It had been initially reported on August 22nd 2014 that the network wasn’t planning to pick it up, but in April 2015 it was announced that they are going to make the series with a 10 episode first season. It premiered on January 6th, 2017 as a two-hour event. The series has a TV-14 age rating and it concluded on March 3rd.
On May 4th 2017, NBC announced that Emerald City had been cancelled after one season and it was released to DVD and Blu-ray on July 25th.
- January 22nd: The series is green-lighted after being pitched by Matthew Arnold who wrote the Pilot script.
- August 22nd: The show was canceled by NBC before entering production due to creative differences
- April 15th: It was announced that NBC reversed their decision and picked it up again to be reworked upon by David Schulner.
- June 15th: It was confirmed that Adria Arjona has been cast to play Dorothy.
- July 14: It was announced that Tarsem Singh would direct all ten episodes of season one.
- Fall: Other roles were announced as the show was set to air in 2016.
- December 3rd: NBC airs The Wiz Live! which possibly stirred interest for the series to be re-examined.
- May: Teaser images released on social media and full cast list released
- June: NBC reveals their 2016 Fall lineup, but it does not include Emerald City indicating it was planned to air in early 2017 as a mid-season replacement. Also, a trailer for the show was leaked on YouTube but the video was removed on copyright grounds by NBC.
- July 20th: Character promo images released
- July 23rd: The previously leaked teaser trailer is shown at Comic-Con during the Grimm panel featuring Adria Arjona.
“It’s a reimagined, darker version of what we all know of The Wizard of Oz,” teased Adria Arjona, who plays Dorothy, when she stopped by the EW lounge at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. “It’s based mostly on the books more than the movie.”
- August 29th: NBC announced that the show would premiere as a two-hour event on January 6th, 2017.
- November 23rd: The season one trailer is released
“It’s a reimagined, darker version of what we all know of The Wizard of Oz,” teased Adria Arjona, who plays Dorothy, when she stopped by the EW lounge at San Diego Comic-Con.
- January 6th: The show premiered on NBC.
- March 3rd: Season One concludes
- May 4th: NBC announces that the show has been cancelled and will not return for a second season.
- July 25th: The series is released to DVD and Blu-ray
From one of the news reports: One of the biggest differences between the TV adaptation and movie: Arjona’s Dorothy won’t wear ruby red slippers. That might leave some fans perplexed, but Arjona hinted that part of her wardrobe is ruby red. “They’re not slippers, but I do have something,” said the coy actress, who later suggested she wears gauntlets, a.k.a. armored gloves.
Don’t worry, though — flying monkeys will abound and Arjona will have Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion in her squad, albeit with a twist. “I think people will play guessing games [over their identities],” she said. “[They’ll ask], ‘Is that the Lion? Is that the Tinman?’ It will slowly be revealed.
- Adria Arjona as Dorothy Gale
- Ana Ularu as West
- Florence Kasumba as East
- Joely Richardson as Glinda
- Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Lucas/Scarecrow
- Vincent D’Onofrio as the Wizard of Oz, who is the enigmatic leader of Emerald City. A man of science in a world of magic, he rules through inspiration, fear and a tenuous accord with the grand witches.
- Jordan Loughran as Tip
- Gerran Howell as Jack/Tin man
- Stefanie Martini as Lady Ev
- Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as Ojo
- Holly Hayes as Em Gale
- Pere Molina as Henry Gale
- Mido Hamada as Eamonn/Cowardly lion
- Fiona Shaw as Mombi
- Isabel Lucas as Anna
- Ryan Hayes as Barrymore
- Billy Jeffries as Claude the Jester
- Omri Rose as Dr. Sam Gold
- Roxy Sternberg as Elizabeth
- Miklós Bányai as Gore
- Peter Schueller as Han
- Suan-Li Ong as Isabel
- Ivo Canelas as Javier
- Amber Rose Revah as Miranda
- Laura Brook as Mrs. Clifford
- Mia Mountain as Nahara
- Barnabás Réti as Seth
- Rebeka Rea as Sylvie
- Vahid Gold as Toby
- Caroline Boulton as Barmaid
- Scott Alexander Young as Butler
- Sergej Onopko as Lead Assassin
- Nicholas Wittman as Wounded Soldier
- Gina Bellman as Karen
- Ashante "PT" Stokes as Actor
Season OneExtra: The Making of Emerald City, released online December 17th, 2016
3. Mistress-New-Mistress January 13th, 2017
4. Science and Magic January 20th, 2017
5. Everybody Lies January 27th, 2017
6. Beautiful Wickedness February 3rd, 2017
7. They Came First February 10th, 2017
8. Lions in Winter February 17th, 2017
9. The Villain That's Become February 24th, 2017
10. No Place Like Home March 3rd, 2017
- Pilot (Emerald City): First written in 2014, many changes were made for the filmed version.
- Second Season: Before being canceled, the last episode ends on a cliffhanger with Roquat being revealed as the Beast forever. It is unclear if any progress had been made in development.
The original intent of the series is described as a dark re-imagining of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the vein of Game of Thrones. It was to be fully written by Matt Arnold as he did write the original 2014 pilot script.
On January 22nd 2014, NBC had picked up the series for a 10 episode 'limited-run' with a basis of: 'The series will feature a modern and more sophisticated examination of L. Frank Baum's original 14 "Oz" books. In this iteration, Dorothy will be 20 years old and will find herself in the middle of a bloody battle for control of the magical land.'
From the official press release from NBC about their intended 2014-15 lineup:
- "Desperate for clues that will lead to the identity of her biological mother, a young woman breaks into a sinister underground facility somewhere in the Midwest. Unable to complete her mission and surrounded by security, our feisty heroine steals a K9 police dog and drives away into the night… and headlong into the path of a raging tornado. In the blink of an eye, she is transported to another world, one far removed from our own — a mystical land of competing kingdoms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy. This is the fabled Land of Oz in a way you’ve never seen before, where wicked witches don’t stay dead for long and 20-year-old Dorothy Gale becomes a headstrong warrior who holds the fate of kingdoms in her hands. You’re not in Kansas anymore, and this is not your Grandmother’s Oz."
As another hint, the first announcement about the show stated: '"Emerald City” will still involve a tornado, but our 20-year-old Dorothy will land in a place that is not Oz.”
- The show has various differences from most Oz adaptations including:
- Instead of a house, Dorothy and Toto are inside a police car which crash lands unto the Wicked Witch of the East who wears magical Ruby Gloves instead of Silver Shoes. This does not initially kill her, but later she accidentally dies by shooting a handgun. Her death was not a cause for celebration as Glinda and Mistress West held a ritualistic funeral for the “cardinal witch” who happened to control the weather in Oz.
- The Munchkins are not friendly with Dorothy in suspecting she was a witch for having apparently killing the Witch of the East but this wasn’t possible as it was revealed later “only a witch can kill another witch”. After a period of water-boarding for answers, they actually banish her from their area as Ojo the tribal leader takes her to their border where the Yellow Brick Road is and tells her about the Wizard.
- Dorothy's family is Hispanic and speak some Spanish which is subtitled English. It is revealed her mother named Karan Chapman had given her as a baby to Aunt Em and Uncle Henry but did not want to meet her in person until the day of the tornado.
- Toto is not actually Dorothy's dog and instead is a police K-9 German Shepard who just happened to be in the police car that she ran into during the tornado. Toto is not the dog name but is a word that means "dog" in the Munchkins language.
- Some magical characters are changed such as Jack who is human without a pumpkin-head only to later become the Tinman, the Scarecrow is human with has a brain but has amnesia, and the Lion is anthropomorphically humanoid. Also, the Winged Monkeys are flying robots that contain cameras with record film that can be seen on a projector.
- Tip automatically becomes the female Ozma just one night after not taking a black magic elixir potion that was given to her by Mombi labeled as “medicine” which kept her male. This causes a sudden conflict in her gender identity in relation to Jack who had previously tried to break her out of Mombi’s house and inappropriately kissed her which she rejected and caused her to accidentally pushed off a high balcony which leaves him almost fatally dead to only being repaired by Jane to become the Tin Man. This replaces the dynamic of the Wicked Witch of the East enchanting Nick Chopper for loving Nimmie Amee.
- The Wicked West of the West is not green nor evil as she is rather neutral in the series and happens to work at a brothel in the Emerald City. Glinda is the Witch of the North but a separate Witch of the South was the mother of all witches until she died and thus no new witches have been born in Oz since then.
- The Yellow Brick Road is made out of poppy dust sprinkled onto cobblestone which can make walkers sleepy if they walk down it for too long.
- Instead of switching out heads, Langwidere switches out magical masks and wages war against Oz.
- Instead of being called Oscar Diggs, the Wizard is named Frank Morgan after the actor who played the character in the 1939 film.
- Before going to Oz, Dorothy works as a nurse which might ironically relate to the unproduced Dorothy (TV series) that CBS had announced to be a medical drama series.
- Without much already in place (a full plot and cast), it made a small appearance at Comic-Con 2014 in the form of advertisements on the bus system suggesting a 2015 release date but would not make a much larger official appearance two years later at Comic-Con 2016 moving it officially to 2017.
- Initially screenwriter Josh Friedman was stated to be working on the show, but he is under contract with Universal Television which has put him unto another project.
- Despite its initial canceling and reorder, it is the first Oz live-action TV series in recent development to ever be 'picked up as a series' (not counting the Tin Man miniseries).
- With its 2017 airdate, it aired during the winter hiatus of Once Upon a Time's sixth season which has its own Oz sub-plots relating to a adult Dorothy returning to Oz being a warrior.
- The NBC timeslot for Emerald City was right after that of their other fairy tale inspired series Grimm which was also in its sixth season.
- NBC Show Listing
- Facebook Page
- Deadline: NBC’s ‘Emerald City’ Casts Adria Arjona As Dorothy
- Weekly: NBC's Emerald City revived: Oz project gets series order Entertainment Weekly: NBC's Emerald City revived: Oz project gets series order
- The Hollywood Reporter: NBC Drops Limited Series 'Emerald City'
- Orginal Announcement on Deadline.com
- Huffingtonpost: NBC Picks Up 'Emerald City': New 'Wizard Of Oz' Series To Feature 20-Year-Old Dorothy
- New York Daily News: NBC will take a turn toward fantasy with live 'Peter Pan' musical and 'Emerald City,' a series with 'Wizard of Oz' characters