Craig McCracken wasn’t the only person to have a visceral reaction to the CW’s version of the characters. Fans too were astounded by what the potential live-action series had to offer. It wasn’t just that the girls were older and more worldly. The pilot script had so much backlash against it that the network agreed to retool it.
“The reason we do pilots is sometimes things miss, this was just a miss,” Mark Pedowitz reflected, as reported by Deadline. He acknowledged that the tone of the series might have been a bridge too far, going on to say: “You learn things and you test things out. In this case we felt let’s take a step back and go back to the drawing board because this is a powerful property, it has engaged a lot of interest and we want to get it right before we put it out.”
Fans are likely to agree that the version publicized was not what getting it right looked like. During this debacle, a collection of alleged script pages was leaked on Twitter, earning the ire of many devoted viewers of the original series. Movieweb published the now-deleted tweets, showing just how far from the source material the series appeared to be. Fans were offended at the campy tone and balked at the quality of the writing. This all but made the series dead in the water, a possible blessing for viewers of the original series.