Disregarding an unsold pilot film starring Cathy Lee Crosby as the title character, William Moulton Marston's celebrated comic-book superheroine Wonder Woman made her TV bow in the formidable person of Lynda Carter. Introduced on November 7, 1975, with the two-hour opener The New Original Wonder Woman, the ABC fantasy adventure series began its semi-weekly run on April 21, 1976. Initially set during the WWII years, the series chronicled the adventures of a legendary Amazonian princess who hailed from Paradise Island, where her forebears had fled from male persecution back in the third century B.C. Like the other female residents of Paradise Island, Wonder Woman had powers far beyond those of ordinary women, and was decked out with gold bracelets and a golden belt containing the miracle metal Feminum, enabling her to deflect bullets with her wrists. She also possessed a golden lasso with which she "wrangled" various villains. Assuming the "mortal" identity of Diana Prince, Wonder Woman joined the U.S. army air corps as a yeoman, the better to be near handsome pilot Major Steve Trevor (Lyle Waggoner), whom she'd met when his plane crash-landed on Paradise Island. Since "Diana" wore glasses and dressed more modestly than her "real" self, Steve never quite caught on that she and Wonder Woman were one in the same. Most of the first-season episodes found Diana Prince helping Steve battle Nazi spies and saboteurs, with our heroine transforming herself into Wonder Woman by twirling around and around at super speed. These early episodes also featured Wonder Woman's younger sister Drusilla (aka Wonder Girl), played by no less than Debra Winger; also, Beatrice Cohen appeared as Corporal Etta Candy, Diana's best friend.
When Wonder Woman moved from ABC to CBS for its second season, quite a few changes were imposed upon its format. First, the title was altered to The New Adventures of Wonder Woman. Second, the series' time frame was moved up from the 1940s to the 1970s, with Diana/Wonder Woman fighting contemporary baddies on behalf of the IADC (Inter-Agency Defense Command), headed by Joe Atkinson (Norman Burton). Finally, Steve Trevor was replaced by his lookalike son (and W.W.'s immediate superior), Steve Trevor Jr. (played again by Lyle Waggoner), who because Wonder Woman was "immortal" appeared to be the same age as the heroine -- or, more accurately, she appeared to be the same age as he. Other additions to the property included IADC's all-purpose computer I.R.A. (voiced by Tom Kratochzil) and Steve Jr.'s secretary, Eve (Saundra Sharp). In this revised form, The New Adventures of Wonder Woman survived on CBS until September 11, 1979. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
- Lynda Carter, Lyle Waggoner, (more)