The Wizard of Oz, CBS Medical Drama...?!

 Wizard of Oz CBS Medical DramaAt this rate, Once Upon a Time may need to get in line to riff on Dorothy, Tin Man et al.

CBS has put into development Dorothy, a medical drama that will lift characters and themes from L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, our sister site Deadline reports.

Emily Fox (Ghost Whisperer) will pen the script and serve as an executive producer alongside Elementary‘s Carl Beverly and Susan Timberman.

To recap: Wizard of Oz. Medical drama. CBS.

Not three weeks ago, word got out that Syfy is planning its own trip to Oz, in the form of a post-apocalyptic miniseries titled Warriors of Oz. In case any of you were feeling deja vu.

So, readers…. How will such a thing work? And is there an animal hospital spin-off for Toto and the Flying Monkeys?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. steven says:

    What? That is the dumbest idea I have ever heard. How is this going to work?

    • jfritz says:

      Well, since they want a heart, a brain, and courage…. it can vaguely make sense as a medical-ish theme. . .?
      I guess we’ll see.

      • dude says:

        They get a heart and a brain by killing people in Oz and forcing Dorothy to operate at gunpoint.

      • rockgolf says:

        “Paging Dr. Slippers. Dr Ruby Slippers. Please report to Podiatry.”

        “My daughter, I think she’s overdosed on M!” “Twenty ccs of anti-M, stat!”

        “Doctor, I think I’ve become 100% water-soluble.”

        It just writes itself, doesn’t it?

        • MichelleR. says:

          I had a poppy seed bagel, and tested positive for opiates.

          My flying monkey ripped my neighbor’s face off.

          My wife is suffering from Munchkins by proxy.

    • Kristoffer says:

      I will say that when I read about Once Upon a Time I thought the same thing. It was one of the shows that I said with 100% certainty I would not add to my DVR based on the concept. I broke down and DVR’d it anyway and loved it. This could be the same. Many shows sound terrible when you just read about the concept.

    • wordsmith says:

      Most people never noticed that House was a spin on Sherlock Holmes, so if the homage is handled skillfully and subtly enough, it could definitely work.

      • Presto says:

        Most people never noticed that The Lion King was Hamlet either. I fear for the narrow education being handed to the young people of this country. The arts, literature and music are falling by the wayside in favor of sports and technology. The result is boring, one dimensional young adults.

      • dude says:

        Yeah but it wasn’t called “Sherlock Holmes: M.D.” there was subtlety to it. I don’t see any subtlety in a show called “Dorothy”

        • wordsmith says:

          Many shows have truly awful titles when they are first greenlit – the final product may thankfully be relabeled.

  2. kate says:

    this sounds awful.

  3. Superhero says:

    Holy mother of Jebus, that’s dumb.

  4. Big Mike says:

    We live in a world where Abraham Lincoln hunts vampires, Watson is a woman, and fairy tale characters live in a town in Maine. Anything is possible.

  5. Rob says:

    They’re reportedly changing the title to “Gale’s Anatomy”

  6. Elly says:


  7. Peter Pan. FBI Procedural. FX

  8. Derek Johnson says:

    You know what? let’s just have an Oz-themed drama set in a strip mall in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The cowardly lion could work in a pet story, the tin man in an electronics store, the scarecrow in a feed and supply store. There you go.

  9. Rob says:

    Officially confirming that Time Warner Cable has made the right choice.

  10. S. says:

    This is will either be the worst thing ever, or the best thing. Depends on how serious they are, the casting, and the direction they take–EResque, Grey’s Anatomyesque, or Scrubsesque. I might stick around if they go the Scrubs route. Serious and dramatic might not work all that well when dealing with flying monkeys.

    • Meghan says:

      Scrubs actually did an episode based on The Wizard of Oz.

      • wordsmith says:

        I loved that one! The themes carried over and it totally worked. That general concept could definitely be drawn out into a series. It doesn’t have to be as literal an adaptation as I think people are assuming.

  11. Keith says:

    Well at least it’s orginal

  12. remember, people get paid boatloads of dough to come up with these ideas … lets all be TV writers!

    • A says:

      At this point, I honestly don’t even blame the writers/creators of these stories/shows anymore. They’re getting paid to come up with these stupid ideas. It’s the idiots who approve of these ideas that are at fault.

      • Dave says:

        Exactly. If someone handed me a million dollars and said here is the really cool idea, “It’s the Wizard of OZ…in a hospital!” and even though I’m thinking “that’s easily the worst idea I’ve heard in my lifetime” I would still say yes. The execs are to blame. They see someone else do something and they think that success can be repeated. There is a reason that sequels are hardly ever better than the original.

        The bottom line is that people are watching the junk that’s on TV and in the theaters. Until people stop paying attention drivel, than that’s all that will be produced. It’s 50/50 blame to the easily entertained public and the studios.

  13. mawhi says:

    Why are we surprised? Television is in need of a new medical procedural, and light adaptations of public domain classics are selling. This fits the formula perfectly.

  14. A says:

    Can Hollywood/TV Networks/Whoever just please leave The Wizard of Oz alone? We’ve already had a James Franco movie and now two TV shows. This is just ridiculous.

    • Susan says:

      Gotta agree with most everybody here so far. First of all, “Please just leave the Wizard of Oz alone” indeed!!! Second, have the CBS executives lost their minds?!!! Sounds like they’re just scrambling after the Once Upon a Time/Grimm bandwagon two years late. Sorry, we already have enough twisted fable shows, and I already have issues with the way OUAT messes with my favorite fantasy characters/stories. The Wizard of Oz was perfect just the way MGM left it in 1939. #Ripoff

    • jfritz says:

      You act like this is a new thing?… there have been things made with The Wizard of Oz before now. I believe SyFy has done a mini series before, just from a different angle.. so it looks like they are shooting for another reimagination.
      Plus Oz the Great and Powerful was Not based off of The Wizard of Oz, don’t you know there are more stories besides the one with Dorothy..??
      They are just having fun with a classic, which is nothing new – for any classic story.
      Haters about things that have No affect on them is the ridiculous thing.

      • Midori says:

        Don’t you know there is more than one story with Dorothy? There are six. Then there are dozens of ad ons throughout the years.

        • jfritz says:

          Yes, I do know.. I’ve read them all. Guess I missed the “s” on ones. . .
          That wasn’t really the point anyhow… and there aren’t “add ons” they are completely different stories – dorothy is still just one story. Other books are not about dorothy because they are not written by the same person.
          This is the same type of thing – someone writing a new story, with links to an old one.

      • A says:

        I know it’s not a new thing, but just because something isn’t new doesn’t mean it should continue and become a bad habit which is exactly what it has become. I’d rather this medical drama be about all new original characters rather than having them be based on already established characters from a classic.
        “They are just having fun with a classic” <– well this classic has been had fun with for years now and it's getting old and annoying.
        Lastly, I wouldn't consider this hating. I'd consider this a push for a little more originality in the entertainment world today.

        • Dave says:

          Until the general public stops watching junk like Grimm/Once Upon a Time or every single remake/adaptation of any good book, then this cycle of unoriginal content will continue ad nauseam. People like Daniel Loeb are making Hollywood scared to take a risk on anything that doesn’t have a built in audience. It’s shameful, but unfortunately the masses are flocking to see the mindless entertainment being produced today. The narrow minded audiences are just as much to blame as the studios.

          • Janie says:

            I like Grimm- Once not so much. I enjoy many other well produced and original shows as well. If liking Grimm makes me narrow-minded, then so be it. I disagree with your assumptions and think they are unfair, but to each their own.

          • Aaron says:

            I, also, like Grimm but think Once Upon a Time is ridiculous. I watched Once for a while, though I found it impossible to understand and didn’t care for any of the characters. The Grimm characters are much appealing to me, I enjoy their personal storylines.

  15. Midori says:

    I have an idea where Dorothy is a lawyer. I have another one in which she is a cop, got to get those witches! Lastly I have an idea where Dorothy is a plumber and have to get help from Mario and Luigi, some point in that show Dorthy gets kidnapped in a castle and Mario has to go look for her!

  16. I, for one, think it’s absolutely amazing. With the right casting — it’s all about the casting — it can go great ways.

  17. Tom Charles says:

    >And is there an animal hospital spin-off for Toto and the Flying Monkeys?
    Crystal “Annie’s Boobs” the Monkey already had one didn’t she?

  18. Cherry says:

    I’m sick of seeing the same concept adapted over and over again.
    I think this is great news! They’re doing something different, I remember the show Fairly Legal used themes of Wizard of Oz, sometimes obviously.

  19. Cherry says:

    You could have an Australian Dean of Medicine (Wizard of Oz)
    A plucky young intern doctor, fish out of water type (Dorothy)
    A heart surgeon (tin man)
    A doctor struggling with courage after an accident on the table (lion)
    A doctor who isn’t very smart (scarecrow)

  20. Dan says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t make her a rookie cop with a partner accused of cowardice, a heartless police captain, a dumb roommate, and an attack dog named Toto. The networks don’t have nearly enough cop, doctor, and lawyer dramas on the air.

  21. spartan_Cheer says:

    Definitely seems weird and I say that as a huge WOZ fan! the thing i like about House was that it was sherlock but that was never explicitly stated just referenced to subtly. i dont know how a series will last on a WOZ medical drama. yes there are many OZ books but people are only familiar with the one and they are pretty much only familiar with the movie. just seems like a weak idea. maybe a one off tv movie but prob not a weekly. but then again the shows that become super popular confuse me at times……

  22. I cringe more at the thought of yet another medical drama.

  23. Jooshua says:

    I personally enjoy that we can have multiple takes on characters and stories we know and love.. I think Sherlock, Elementary and the RDJ movies are all awesome.. Once Upon a Time is amazing!! Clueless, Revenge, Jekyll.. all great versions of classic stories.. I am excited to see what this is going to be like.

  24. Emerald says:

    Wasn’t this the same premise, albeit with lawyers instead of doctors, of Fairly Legal?

  25. Gilbert says:

    Dorothy is a comatose patient in a hospital called Oswald Zahn Memorial Hospital. Oz for short. She seems to be stuck in a dream world and the only people who she can make contact to are two patients, a woman on a waiting list for a new heart, a man with an inoperable brain tumor. and a nervous doctor with something to prove. What could be the connection between these people? Will she make it back to her dog and Aunt before the evil in her mind closes in?

    Tune into CBS to find out.

  26. Mark says:

    Ever hear of a guy named Vladamir Propp? Probably the greatest Russian folklorist ever. He wrote a book called “The Morphology of the Folktale” that is required reading for any student of storytelling or oral traditions. Propp breaks down the basic root of stories to show that, broken down to their basic elements, there are really only a few completely original/unique ways of telling a story … and all *great* tales riff on those basic elements.

    Think about that before you *either* get immediately giddy *or* outraged over this idea. Depending on execution, it could be totally awful or completely brilliant. (And my bet is that the make or break is whether the creators decide to make it derivative of OAUT — in which case it will surely fail — or simply reset the *basic*, phenomenal story elements of Baum’s terrific and imaginative books into a completely different setting — in which case it could be something really special.)

    Who would have automatically green-lit a re-setting of “The Odyssey” to the Depression-era South? … Or turning the story of Oedipus into a Gospel musical? Both ended up winning awards in their respective genres. (“O Brother Where Art Thou” and “Gospel at Colonus” … look ’em up.)

  27. lll says:

    You have to give CBS credit. Person of Interest paved the way for a crime drama to turn into a superhero type show about character development and goverment secrecy. This led the way for Elementary and Intelligence to come through. I feel that the success of elementary is paving the way for this idea because it about fictional characters set in today’s world. While it is silly, you have to give credit for CBS for innovation even if it sounds like DOA.

  28. JB says:

    CBS needs to wean itself away from crime procedurals….so why not take a page from ABC/Disney’s playbook?

  29. Alan says:

    just when i thought cbs could sink no lower, good god this sounds like one of the worst things ive ever read. how does wizard of oz as a medical drama even get thought up? those 2 ideas couldnt be further apart if they tried.

  30. I’m willing to give it a try. It does sound weird, but so do a lot of other shows when you break them down to their basic concepts.

  31. Marisa says:

    This concept sounds original and there isn’t enough of that on television! Good for CBS for taking a chance on it! Now, if they would only pick up SMASH and give that wonderful show on new home and some reinvention (sans horrible showunner Josh Safran) on a credible network!

  32. liz says:

    well it sounds better than the horrible SyFy version. At least this one will have Dorothy as the protagonist.

  33. WilliamH says:

    This show sounds pretty awful but maybe I’ll change my mind once they show some promos for it. It doesn’t sound any worse than Sleepy Hollow on Fox and I’ve been hearing mostly good things on that one.

  34. Lindsey says:

    Do we really need ANOTHER medical drama? Perhaps the spin-off will be an investigative show? There really is no originality left, especially on CBS.

    • WingsStef says:

      Ah sorry for the triple post, but I get your point now. Still, I don’t think the medical drama is as over done now as it was in the past. The investigative show, is much more used.

  35. WingsStef says:

    Are investigative shows creative? Last time I looked they are a million of them. To be fair there used to be lots of medical shows on tv, and probably several I don’t know about but not even counting cable, there has to be about a dozen investigative shows on air now… CBS itself has, what at least 6? I would like to see another medical drama myself. Personally, I haven’t watched one in a while (Have long since watching Grey’s Anatomy, and my recent ventures A Gifted Man and Mercy got canceled.).

  36. WingsStef says:

    * long since stopped watching Grey’s, I mean.

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