With the exception of Julie Newmar’s sultry Cat Woman, Lynda Carter’s timeless portrayal of Wonder Woman in the late 70’s hit was one of the first featuring a strong, heroic woman on television. She was no damsel awaiting aid, but the heroine of her own story.
The series had its origins in a November 1975 American television movie entitled The New, Original Wonder Woman starring Carter. It followed a 1974 TV movie entitled Wonder Woman starring blond actress Cathy Lee Crosby, who neither resembled the super-hero character nor exhibited any apparent super-human powers. In this second movie, set during World War II and produced by Douglas S. Cramer and Wilford Lloyd “W.L.” Baumes, who were working from a script by Stanley Ralph Ross, Carter as Wonder Woman matched the original comic book character. Its success led the ABC television network to order two more one hour episodes; both of which aired in April 1976. That success led ABC to order an additional 11 episodes which the network aired weekly (for the most part) during the first half of the 1976-1977 television season. The episodes ran on Wednesday nights between October 1976 and February 1977.
Wonder Woman had achieved solid ratings on ABC for the weeks it had aired during the 1976-1977 TV season. But the network was still reluctant to renew the series for another season. Wonder Woman was a period piece, and as such, it was more expensive to produce than a series set in the present day. Also, ABC thought that the 1940s-setting limited the possible storylines, with the major villains being Nazis. ABC did not renew the series so Jerry Lieder, then-president of Warner Bros. Television, went to CBS with the notion of shifting the series to the present-day 1970s, which would cost less to produce and allow for more creative storylines. CBS agreed and picked up the show in 1977 and it continued its run for another two seasons.
For the love of God, why hasn’t this one been remade yet?