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The CW's The 4400 reboot goes straight to series; Powerpuff Girls, DC series score pilots

By Don Kaye

The CW has officially announced plans to reboot the 2004 sci-fi series The 4400, one of several new projects unveiled as the network looks ahead to the next season and beyond.

Also in the works are pilots for a new DC Comics-based series from Ava DuVernay called Naomi and an updated live-action version of The Powerpuff Girls from screenwriter Diablo Cody (Jennifer's Body).

According to Deadline, the reboot of The 4400 is bypassing the pilot process and going straight to series. The original show ran for four seasons on the USA Network from 2004 to 2007 and focused on a group of 4,400 individuals who had disappeared over the past century and suddenly returned all at once in the present, with no memory of what happened in between and no change in age.

The series starred Joel Gretsch — a veteran of other sci-fi series like Taken and V — as well as Jacqueline McKenzie and, in one of his first major roles, Mahershala Ali, who has since won two Oscars and will play Marvel's next incarnation of Blade.

The new show will retain the same basic premise, with the 4,400 described as "overlooked, undervalued, or otherwise marginalized people." The official synopsis adds, "As the government races to analyze the potential threat and contain the story, the 4,400 themselves must grapple with the fact that they’ve been returned with a few...upgrades, and the increasing likelihood that they were all brought back now for a specific reason."

Meanwhile, the network has also ordered a pilot for Naomi — first announced late last year and based on a 2019 DC Comics series written by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker, and illustrated by artist Jamal Campbell.

The six-issue Eisner-nominated book centered on an adopted girl whose investigation of a fight between Superman and the villain Mogul that impacted her American Northwest town leads her to discover that she has powers of her own.

DuVernay will write and produce the pilot with Arrow writer/executive producer Jill Blankenship. The show is said to be part of The CW's larger DC-based Arrowverse, for which the network is also developing new shows based on Wonder Girl and the Black Lightning character Painkiller.

The CW also confirmed a pilot order for a new live-action series based on The Powerpuff Girls. The original Cartoon Network animated series ran from 1998 to 2005 and inspired a franchise that included a 2016 reboot, video games, comic books and more.

Unlike the original series, which focused on three kindergarten-aged superheroes named Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup, the new show will pick up with the girls in their twenties, with the trio now disillusioned and resenting that they spent their entire childhoods fighting crime. Creator Craig McCracken is not involved with this version of The Powerpuff Girls, which is being executive produced by Greg Berlanti

All three projects will feature all-female creative teams behind the scenes.