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Wheel of Time TV show pilot?


Posted by Jason on Feb 08 2015 05:45 PM under in Community & Events

Various fans have alerted us to the fact that FX is airing a TV show tomorrow (Monday, Feb 9) called The Wheel of Time: Winter Dragon.
 

Lewis Therin returns home to his family after a 10-year war against an army of darkness; he is greeted by an unexpected guest.

 
Here's what we know: 

It is our understanding that The Wheel of Time movie and TV rights are currently owned by Red Eagle Entertainment. REE has had these rights for many years. During that time, they've been involved in several significant efforts to produce a feature film or TV show. We've reported on these efforts in the past, and have supported them at various times. (Full disclosure: I was a consultant for them on some of these efforts.)
 
We know that Red Eagle's rights expire after 7 years, beginning about a year after RJ died in 2007. Harriet has been very clear about that length of time in the past. (She's called it an "biblical" number of years.) Based on our math, it's our suspicion that the rights are about to expire. Possibly any day. Typically in contracts of this kind, the producers who own the rights need to produce a TV show or movie before the deadline, at which time they receive an extension.  So in order for Red Eagle to keep those rights, and extend the time period they have them, they would have to successfully produce a pilot before that deadline occurs. All they need to do is put out an episode with the name Wheel of Time on it, and use some familiar characters.
 
We don't know what this episode will look like. There has been no trailer, no advertising, and not even an IMDB entry that we can find. 

Other possibilities include that Red Eagle transferred the rights to somebody else, and this new group is producing the show.  We don't know how many episodes have been created. Our guess is that there's just one so far.
 
Harriet and Team Jordan are currently unable to speak about anything related to the TV or movie rights. 
 
So check your local listings to see when it will be on. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get more information on whether this becomes viewable elsewhere.
 
If we get more info about what's happening, we'll let you know.

 

Update: Harriet McDougal has issued the following statement regarding this TV show.

 

This morning brought startling news. A “pilot” for a Wheel of Time series, the "pilot" being called Winter Dragon, had appeared at 1:30 in the morning, East Coast time, on Fxx TV, a channel somewhere in the 700s (founded to concentrate on comedy, according to the Washington Post).
 
It was made without my knowledge or cooperation. I never saw the script. No one associated with Bandersnatch Group, the successor-in-interest to James O. Rigney, was aware of this.
 
Bandersnatch has an existing contract with Universal Pictures that grants television rights to them until this Wednesday, February 11 – at which point these rights revert to Bandersnatch.
 
I see no mention of Universal in the “pilot”. Nor, I repeat, was Bandersnatch, or Robert Jordan’s estate, informed of this in any way.
 
I am dumbfounded by this occurrence, and am taking steps to prevent its reoccurrence. 
 
Harriet P McDougal
President and CEO
Bandersnatch Group, Inc.
February 9, 2015

 

 
 

Enjoy the show!

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Posted by Jason on Feb 08 2015 05:45 PM under in Community & Events

52 Comments

Brandon: This is likely a move by the people with the rights to produce something quick to keep control. But who knows. I first heard of this today.

Just watched it...interesting, although obviously done on the cheap. Definitely done by Red Eagle. Only 30 minutes, basically just the prologue to EOTW almost verbatim. Billy Zane was uncharacteristically restrained as Elan and Max Ryan as Lews was a nice believeable casting choice. Billy Zane executive produced...it would be interesting to see what could be done if he had more Hollywood clout, and a bigger budget.

terrible show :/ 

It was so bad....

Thanks for the update on Harriett's statement. Happy to see more facts added to the fan buzz.

That was one of the worst things I've ever seen on television.

I've wanted to see something Wheel of Time on TV for awhile but not that.

it was disappointing, to say the least....

 

Haven't seen it yet but the quote alone, just one sentence, is annoying and upsetting.

"Lewis" Therin? They spelt his name wrong!?

"... returns home to his family after a 10 year war..." Surely Lews would have Travelled home from time to time to check on the Mrs and kids? Was it ever in the books that he was away from home for 10 years? Or that his family just chilled at home for the duration of the War with the Shadow?

The first ever quote for WoT on TV and it's wrong.

Maybe, maybe not.  The actions of the Darkfriends in setting wards and traps seems to indicate that using the Power had grown into a stalemate where any massive move from point A to poiint b could have been an opportunity to launch a strike.  Furthermore Lews Therin's family very likely would have been in hiding themselves as they were prime time targets and may not have even been at that house until Lews Therin came back and snapped.

Just watched it now. That. Was. Terrible. Um where was Dragonmount at the end??? Isn't Ilyena meant to be blonde??? So, so bad.

Who cares what color a character's hair is.  In the grand sceme of things that's a poor litmus test for an actress.

 

What likely happened is that Red Eagle bought an infomercial slot and aired this at cost.  FX probably didn't even know what it was.  If FX was actually airing a WoT "pilot" they would have been hanging from the chandeliers about it shouting it out for weeks. For ratings, if nothing else.  This was ONLY a rights grab by Red Eagle, and not a true pilot or even a backdoor pilot.  Do NOT get your hopes up.  I won't get into it but i KNOW about things like this kind of thing.

 

Some people want something WoT on TV so badly that they will fall for something like this.  It will literally come to nothing.

 

The single bright side of this, for fans, is that someone at FX will get the nielson sheet and see that there was a ratings spike at the same time all across the United States in an infomercial slot.  Their first response will probably be something like: "WTF happened at 1am on the 9th???" 

 

Those ratings is literally the only thing fans have to hang on.  FX *WILL* notice them and investigate.  Anomalies like that get looked into.

I hope Harriet and Co. stomp on this right away. This should not have occurred. 

Clearly, this was a low budget, rushed production that will disappoint most fans of the series. With that in mind, at least the attempt was made. Hopefully, someday a full commitment will be made to tackle this awesome book series in a meaningful way. I would love the opportunity to be a part of that extravaganza. Long live the wheel!!!

Concur with most everyone. Poor quality, blurry.  Although that may have been planned as it continued throughout the film.  Definitely not the best but also not the worst.  They really should have worked with Brandon and Harriet.  Not sure how Red Eagle expects success without those two camps.  That being said, I have to say I was excited to actually see it on the screen. 

That female narrator with the fake accent was awful.

http://www.wired.com...-time-tv-pilot/

This link has some information, also a link to where you can watch the pilot. 

At http://genedeitchcre...lliam-l-snyder/ there is a description of a similar rights-grab movie made of The Hobbit in 1966.

What does REE have to gain by this? You would think they would be relieved to lose the rights to WoT, seeing how they failed in just about everything they did with it. So why do this? I seriously have no trust whatsoever that they will make this a succes.

 

So why, then? I'm inclined to believe they are just doing it for the sake of pestering the fans, the community. Would they do such a thing?

 

It makes me sad for the legacy of Robert Jordan.

While the pilot could have been better, 

 

When Ishmael showed up and started talking, I got chills. Finally something is happening! Can we please make something actually move forward with this story?

 

Too bad this is bound to be tied up in legal action forever. 

 

I get the impression that my grandkids might actually see a Wheel of Time Series, but I never will.

 

 

I realize that this wasn't meant to be good just made, but atill l

Curse on the production?  The director, Seda James, passed away a few of days ago.

I saw Brandon's post on FB and had to watch.  Disappointing to say the least.  It did however, re-ignited my passion for the series.  I think the main pain point is the fervent hope to one day have a fabulously done television series based on this awesome epic story.  I hope this doesn't delay a well done TV series.

More then the bad production there were some weird plot mistakes. First in the beginning the narrator said that the dark friends channel the true power but only the forsaken had access to the true power and even they used the one power more often. Also they left out the end seen where Lews Therin kills himself and  creates Dragonmount. Also the scenes with Ilyena (her name is pronounced ill yay na not elena) and the kids were way to long. Also why was Lews Therin wearing a suit. I realize that the age of legends was more like are time but it still didn't ring true. Still the acting wasn't too bad and as many have said it's nice to see WOT on the big screen in almost whatever form.

I am of the unfortunate group of folks to have paid REE For the privlage of being a subscriber to the New Spring Comics. The frustration and anger of being had worn off over the years until last night. Terribly unfortunate that these people will likely retain the rights to WOT.

This was the most disappointing thing that they could have done.  So cheap and rushed and just so they could throw out a horrible product prior to the deadline for rights termination.  Casting mistakes, narration mistakes, storyline mistakes, JUST A MISTAKE PERIOD!  I have seen fan films that are 1000 times better than that garbage!      



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