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Did You Know Wonder Woman Made Her Television Debut in a Brady Bunch Cartoon?

Before Lynda Carter, before Gal Gadot, there was The Brady Bunch.

By Josh Weiss

Here's the story of a lovely lady... named Diana Prince. With the 2017 Wonder Woman film now streaming on Peacock for the very first time, let's discuss the very strange small screen debut of Themyscira's pride and joy.

Created by William Moulton Marston and H. G. Peter, the regular member of the Justice League roster first arrived on the comic book scene via All Star Comics #8, which was published in October 1941. While other DC icons — like Batman and Superman — would receive plenty of adaptations soon after their introductions, it would take over three decades for Diana to make the jump from print to the screen.

Yes, Wonder Woman Made Her First Television Appearance in a Brady Bunch Cartoon

Not counting that bizarre Ellie Wood Walker pilot from 1967, Wonder Woman hit the world of broadcasting in a December 1972 episode of ABC's The Brady Kids, an animated spinoff of The Brady Bunch that ran for just two seasons. Jane Webb voiced the character, who crossed paths with the titular step siblings in Ancient Greece. Funnily enough, Superman made a guest appearance on the show two months earlier in the episode entitled "Cindy's Super Friend" (where the Man of Steel was voiced by Lennie Weinrib). 

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Upon hearing the pitch for an animated series by the now-defunct Filmation (a studio famous for producing He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra: Princess of Power), Brady Bunch creator Sherwood Schwartz had just one request: He wanted something that would veer away from the more grounded scenarios depicted in the live-action sitcom. "I said, 'Well, I'll tell you what I would like since it's animation and you can do what you want. I don't want to do any stories that we could've done, or have done. I want it to be more imaginative," he said during an interview with the Television Academy Foundation. "'I want this to be like the secret world of kids. What's in their imagination? I want it to be very imaginative.' And they said, 'Fine, whatever you want.'"

Unfortunately, Filmation founders Norm Prescott and Lou Scheimer did not honor his wishes. "They said that they would do as I said, but they didn't. They did some stories about school and the principal and this and that. And I said, 'That's not what we agreed to. I agreed to something else entirely.'" So, when they later proposed doing an animated take on another classic Schwartz creation, Gilligan's Island (which ultimately became The New Adventures of Gilligan and Gilligan's Planet), Prescott and Scheimer agreed to give him approval on every script before it was produced.

Three years after her one-off role in The Brady Kids, Wonder Woman would make the jump to live-action in the 1975 TV series starring Lynda Carter. It would take till 2016 before the character debuted on the big screen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and another year before fronting a film of her own in 2017's Wonder Woman.

Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot as Diana Prince, is now streaming on Peacock.

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