The CW is a network that’s often taken some strange swings, and whose shows like Riverdale or The Winchesters cause no small amount of confusion when they first get announced. When it was revealed in 2020 that the network was aiming towards a live-action reboot of The Powerpuff Girls, one of Cartoon Network’s most popular animated series back in the day, the reaction was more...erm, mixed than usual. Reboots themselves are always crapshoots, and it didn’t help that we already had a Powerpuff Girls reboot that didn’t go over well.
But news on the live-action reboot, aka Powerpuff, has been basically nonexistent since Chloe Bennet left her role as Blossom (commander and the leader of the team) to go do...something else. But in the midst of the CW’s recent string of cancellations, TVLine recently reported that Powerpuff was indeed no more. And that’s not the only show that got the axe—Jake Chang, the planned Arrowverse series Justice U, and a woman-led reboot of Legend of Zorro all got culled as well. Network entertainment president Jake Schwartz was upfront in saying that basically any show that was in the works during the tenure of his predecessor Mark Pedowitz no longer exists. “We’ve already given those back to [their respective] studios,” he confirmed, adding that they’re “free to develop those shows and sell them anywhere.”
In case you’ve forgotten, Powerpuff’s elevator pitch from Jennifer’s Body scribe Diablo Cody was that Blossom, Bubbles (Dove Cameron) and Buttercup (Yana Perrault) would be 20-somethings pissed off that they never got to grow up as normal kids. Beyond the additional casting of Donald Faison as Professor Drake Utonium and Nicholas Podany as Mojo Jojo’s son Joseph (no, seriously), it wasn’t long before it was announced in 2021 that the project would be retooled. Between then and now, news broke that original series creator Craig McCracken was developing a second (for him, but technically third) animated Powerpuff Girls animated series, along with a reboot of Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. At time of writing, it doesn’t sound like either of those projects have gotten the axe.
As for the other shows, there really hasn’t been any real news about them prior to their cancellations. The Zorro show’s big claim to fame is it had Robert Rodriguez attached to it, and was an idea he’s had in his head for years that was at one point meant for NBC. Justice U would’ve seen David Ramsey’s John Diggle recruit a group of metahumans to go undercover in college while teaching them to master their powers. And Jake Chang was an extension of Archie Comics’ TV universe, with the titular Jake being a teen investigator operating out of Chinatown.
Each of these shows getting canceled only underlines how much the CW is changing now that it’s under new management. Who knows if they would’ve been good, but in some way, they are “CW shows,” and it may be that this particular network is the only way they would’ve seen the light of day at all.
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