The CW recently ordered a pilot based on a script it commissioned for a remake of the 80’s series Beauty and the Beast, which starred Linda Hamilton & Ron Perlman.
Surprisingly, ABC has also decided that it wants a Beauty and the Beast series, and ordered a pilot for a show based on the classic French fairy tale – though their adaptation will actually take place in a pseudo-medieval setting with the tentative title of “Beauty.”
Of course, if anyone was going to do it, ABC is the obvious choice, considering their ownership by Disney. This is the same reason Once Upon a Time is so reminiscent of Disney fairy tale versions, which also may be its secret to success. In contrast, The CW series will take place in a current city, and depict a modern-day girl in love with a monster. As it’s the CW, expect gratuitous angst and piles of plot-blindness.
The timing is likely not coincidental. Disney just re-released its Beauty and the Beast animated film to theaters including a 3D version. The studio must have been quite happy with sales if it already decided a live-action series is needed.
Once Upon a Time has been ABC’s most successful series in some time, as it is beating out the couple of other fairy tale type shows other networks have going on right now. Still, it’s clear to everyone that the pendulum of fairytale popularity has swung back into the green, and this won’t be the end.
201x will be the decade of the fairy tale, both on television, and at the box office. This announcement is thae last time I will be surprised by the development of a new fairy tale show or film. No matter how much momentum the genre begins to pick up in the coming years, I’m now officially desensitized.
Both shows are only at the pilot development phase, and have no announced cast or release dates.