Bionic Woman (2007 TV series)

Infobox Television
show_name = Bionic Woman

caption = Series logo.
format = Drama
runtime = 42 minutes (without commercials)
creator = David Eick
starring = Michelle Ryan
Miguel Ferrer
Molly Price
Lucy Kate Hale
Will Yun Lee
Chris Bowers
Mark Sheppard
country = USA
executive_producer = David Eick
Laeta Kalogridis
Jason Smilovic
writer = Laeta Kalogridis
Treena Hancock
location = Vancouver, BC
network = NBC
picture_format = 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
first_aired = September 26, 2007
last_aired = November 28, 2007
num_seasons = 1
num_episodes = 8 (List of episodes)
related = "The Bionic Woman"
"The Six Million Dollar Man"
website =
imdb_id = 0880557
tv_com_id = 71468

"Bionic Woman" is an eight-episode American science fiction television drama created by David Eick, under NBC Universal Television Group, GEP Productions and David Eick Productions that aired in 2007. The series is a re-imagining of the original television series, "The Bionic Woman", created by Kenneth Johnson and based upon the novel "Cyborg" by Martin Caidin, and retains its forebear's premise while taking on a more contemporary setting. [Goodman, Tim. [ "NBC Upfronts: Heroic expansions"] "Tim Goodman: The Bastard Machine". (May 14, 2007)] David Eick also serves as executive producer alongside Laeta Kalogridis and Jason Smilovic.

The series revolves around bartender Jaime Sommers, who is saved from death after receiving experimental medical implants. While adjusting to her new bionic powers and raising a rebellious younger sister, Jaime agrees to work for the Berkut Group, a quasi-governmental private organization that performed her surgery.

Production of the series was halted due to a strike by the Writers Guild of America, and it was not included in the Fall 2008 schedule announced by NBC in early April 2008. Coupled with low ratings and negative reviews, the series was cancelled.


Bartender Jaime Sommers struggles to make ends meet in San Francisco, California, while serving as a surrogate mom to her teenage sister. Nearly killed in a car accident, Jaime is saved by a cutting-edge operation — performed by her boyfriend, Will Anthros — that leaves her with advanced bionic prosthetics and implants. With extraordinary new strength, speed and other artificially enhanced abilities Jamie begins working for the Berkut Group, the organization responsible for her operation. Now, Jaime must learn how to use her new abilities while working to understand the new life that she has been thrust into. In addition to a bionic ear, and bionic legs and a bionic right arm, the new Jaime Sommers possessed a bionic eye like that of Steve Austin. [cite news | last = | first = | coauthors = | title = Ex-EastEnders star Michelle Ryan set for massive success as Bionic Woman | work = TV & showbiz | pages = | language = | publisher = Daily Mail | date = 2007-05-11 | url = | accessdate = 2008-07-08] In addition, Sommers possessed nanomachines called "anthrocytes" which were capable of healing her body at a highly accelerated rate. [cite web | last = | first = | coauthors = | title = NBC Fall Preview - Bionic Woman | work = | pages = | language = | publisher = NBC | date = 2007-05-23 | url = | accessdate = ]


The first mention of a revision of the "Bionic Woman" series occurred in August 2002 when a story in "The Hollywood Reporter" indicated that the series would be produced by "Team Todd": sisters Jennifer Todd and Suzanne Todd. The story quoted Suzanne Todd as saying:

We are going to take advantage of the fact that what seemed beyond the realm of reality back when they did the original show – some of the things in terms of advancement in prosthetics and in replacement limbs – are real in true life now. I think the idea that [prosthetics] exist in the world today and people make use of them – not in a superhero way the way that Jaime does – is going to allow us to do something really interesting and very different than the old show. [ [ Bionic Woman news] - from Lindsay Wagner website]

It was later reported that the USA Network was considering airing the series, with Jennifer Aniston being in consideration for the lead role. [cite web | author= | url= | title=BSG producer's new Bionic Woman finally cast | | accessdate= | accessyear=] [cite web | author= | url= | title=Bionic Woman coming to Canada | | accessdate= | accessyear=] In October 2006, NBC Universal announced that it was bringing the project back with new producers and reportedly, a radical reworking of the original concept. The series would be written by Laeta Kalogridis (creator of the WB series "Birds of Prey") and produced by David Eick. Eick commented on the new series saying, "It's a complete reconceptualization of the title. We're using the title as a starting point, and that's all. It's going to be a meaningful departure [from the original] ."cite news|last=Adalian |first=Josef |title= 'Bionic' skein rebuilt at NBC |url= |publisher=Variety |date = 2006-10-09 |accessdate= 2008-07-25] In January 2007, "The Hollywood Reporter" reported that the series one-hour pilot was given an official greenlight by NBC. [ [ "NBC Greenlights The Bionic Woman"] The Hollywood Reporter. (January 3, 2007)] On May 10, 2007, NBC announced that they had given an early pick-up to "Bionic Woman" for their fall 2007 schedule. [cite news| author=Gorman, Steve (link dead as of July 17, 2007) |title = NBC enlists "Bionic Woman" to help rescue ratings | publisher=Reuters |date = 2007-07-17|url = | accessdate = 2007-05-11] Since the rights to the novel "Cyborg" by Martin Caidin were held by other parties, the new series excluded any elements from it. This was the same for the character Steve Austin from the "Six Million Dollar Man", of which the original "The Bionic Woman" was a spin-off. [cite web | last = Rhodes| first = Joe| title = Dark Makeover for a '70s "Cyborg" | publisher ="New York Times" | date =September 23, 2007 | url = | accessdate =September 10, 2008 ] Neither Kenneth Johnson nor Martin Caidin received screen credit on the new series, where they did in the original "Bionic Woman". Johnson has confirmed on his website that he had no involvement with the new "Bionic Woman" series. [cite web | last = Johnson | first = Kenneth| coauthors = | title = What's New? | work = | pages = | language = | publisher = | date = | url = | accessdate = ]

WGA strike

Due to a strike by the Writers Guild of America, production of the series was halted in mid-November 2007,cite web|url=|title=Hollywood writers strike hurts industry in Vancouver|publisher=CBC News|accessdate=2007-12-03] and the regular actors were suspended on half-pay for a period of five weeks. [cite web|url=|title=Studios Suspend Actors as Result of Writers’ Strike|publisher=World Screen|accessdate-2007-12-03] The series has since aired all of the episodes that were completed before production halted. [cite web|url=|title='Bionic Woman': Identity crisis||accessdate=2007-12-03] Several websites rumored that NBC had cancelled the series, but an NBC Universal Media Studios spokesperson told the press that the show had not been cancelled and that production of the first season would continue when the WGA strike ended. [cite web |title=Update: Bionic Woman Has Not Been Unplugged |url= |publisher=TVGuide] Upon the resolution of the strike, an Associated Press story classified "Bionic Woman" as being "on the bubble", and predicted that the remaining episodes would not air until the fall of 2008, "if ever". [cite web|url=|title=
] NBC later published a report regarding initial series renewals, and no announcement was made regarding whether "Bionic Woman" would return in the fall. The report also indicated that despite the earlier statement by NBC Universal, production of the series' first season was considered to be concluded.cite web|url=,0,5166001.story|title=NBC plans returns, makes pick-ups||accessdate=2008-02-13]


Main characters

* Jaime Sommers (Michelle Ryan) is a bartender who is involved in a near fatal car accident and becomes the Bionic Woman.
* Jonas Bledsoe (Miguel Ferrer) is a member of the Berkut Group.
* Ruth Treadwell (Molly Price) is Bledsoe's second in command.
* Jae Kim (Will Yun Lee) is a specialized operations leader with the Berkut Group, and was romantically involved with Sarah Corvus.
* Becca Sommers (Lucy Kate Hale) is Jaime's high school-aged sister.
* Will Anthros (Chris Bowers) is Jaime's boyfriend; he performs the operation that gives her the bionic implants, but is shot and killed by Sarah Corvus soon after.
* Anthony Anthros (Mark Sheppard) is the father of Will Anthros and one of the original developers of the bionic implants. He escapes prison at the end of the first episode.

Recurring characters

* Sarah Corvus (Katee Sackhoff) is the "first Bionic woman" and a nemesis of Jaime. Corvus' bionics are malfunctioning; she believes that Jaime's newer bionics may be the key to repairing hers. Jaime has mixed feelings about Corvus.
* Antonio Pope (Isaiah Washington) is an advisor in the Bionics program described as an "outsider with a mysterious agenda" with the power to either help Jamie or bring her down. [cite news|last = Keveney|first = Bill|title = 'Bionic Woman' remake plugs into modern mindset|url =|date = 2007-08-21] Pope was shot and killed by a former colleague at the end of the seventh episode.
*Nathan (Kevin Rankin) is one of the Bionic team members.
*Tom (Jordan Bridges) is a member of the CIA and Jamie's new boyfriend.

Announced characters

*Bruce McGill was to play an as-yet-unnamed character who is a high ranking operative in the Bionics program. [cite news|title = Cast members added to yet-to-air TV shows|url =|date = 2007-08-03|publisher = Zap2It, Jackson Clarion Ledger] McGill's character had not yet appeared on the series by the time the WGA strike halted production.


The pilot starred Michelle Ryan, Miguel Ferrer, Molly Price, Will Yun Lee, and Mae Whitman. In June 2007, "TV Guide" reported that Mae Whitman was being replaced in the role of Jaime's sister. An NBC spokesperson confirmed this, stating, "The decision was purely creatively driven. It is very common to change storylines, characters, actors after the initial pilot is shot." The character, who was originally deaf, had her hearing restored when requested by an NBC executive. Lucy Hale was later cast as Whitman's replacement in July 2007. [cite news|last = Ausiello|first = Michael|title = Exclusive! A Bionic Recast!|date = 2007-06-27|accessdate = 2007-06-27|url =|publisher= TV Guide] In announcing the recasting, it was confirmed that the deaf trait of the character had been dropped. [cite news|last = |first = |title = "Bionic Woman" Gets a New Sister|date = 2007-07-17|accessdate = 2007-07-25|url =,0,826070.story|publisher=] Instead, Hale's version of the character is depicted as a rebellious teen and budding computer hacker. Katee Sackhoff was cast as Sarah Corvus, the first Bionic Woman, and her character subsequently appeared in the four episodes of the series, in addition to the series pilot. Sackhoff has compared the role to that of Number Six, a character in Sackhoff's concurrent series, "Battlestar Galactica". [cite web | title=NBC's New Bionic Woman A Mix of Dark Angel, Smallville & Alias!!|url= |publisher=Ain't It Cool News |date=2007-05-10 | accessdate=2008-07-15] [cite web |last=Broenfield |first=Robin |title=Sackhoff To Play A Machine This Fall |url= |work=SyFy Portal |publisher=The SyUniverse Group |date=2007-05-11 | accessdate= 2008-07-15] Sackhoff is joined by fellow "Galactica" co-stars Aaron Douglas as a prison guard appearing only in the series first episode, and Mark Sheppard as Will Anthros' father Anthony Anthros. Isaiah Washington appeared in at five episodes of the series, making his first appearance in "Paradise Lost", the first post-pilot episode.cite news|last = Levin|first = Gary|title = Washington to return to network TV|url= |date=2007-07-16] As Ryan is from England and naturally speaks with received pronunciation, she affects an American accent for her role as Sommers. [cite web|title=Michelle Ryan leaps into role of ‘Bionic Woman’ |url= |work=Access Hollywood |publisher=NBC |date=2007-09-26 | accessdate= 2008-07-15] One notable exception to this occurs in the episode "The Education of Jaime Sommers", when Jaime assumes the guise of a British exchange student, allowing Ryan to use a variation of her natural accent.


David Eick, Laeta Kalogridis, Jason Smilovic and Michael Dinner originally served as executive producers and writers. Dinner also directed the pilot but exited his post as executive producer in June 2007.cite web|url =|title = WHO'S IN & WHO'S OUT NEXT SEASON|publisher = The Futon Critic] Glen Morgan, writer and producer on "The X-Files", "", and "Millennium", joined the production team of "Bionic Woman" as an executive producer in May, only to leave four months later, [cite web|url = |title = NBC picks up four dramas; 'Friday' back |publisher = The Hollywood Reporter | accessdate= 2007-05-11] citing creative differences.cite web|url =,0,5298492.story|title = 'Lights' Boss Takes on 'Bionic Woman'|publisher =] In September, "Friday Night Lights" executive producer Jason Katims joined the show as a consultant. Katims ran the writer's room until late October, when "Sopranos" veteran Jason Cahill was hired as the new showrunner. [cite web|url = |title = Cahill in 'Bionic' driver's seat |publisher = The Hollywood Reporter | accessdate= 2007-10-25]

Broadcast history

"Bionic Woman" premiered in the United States on the NBC network on September 26, 2007, airing on Wednesday nights at 9:00/8:00c. It attained NBC's highest midweek premiere ratings since the 1999 premiere of "The West Wing", and was the second most watched program in its timeslot after ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" spin off "Private Practice".cite news|last = Esposito|first = Maria|title = US viewers turn bionic |url =,,2179226,00.html |publisher = Guardian Unlimited |date = 2007-09-28|accessdate = 2007-10-04] In addition to NBC, the series is broadcast on Sci Fi in Australia, E! in Canada, and in 2008 on ITV2 in the United Kingdom. [cite news|title = Brooke's big return|date = 2007-07-10|accessdate = 2007-07-11|url =,22606,22045146-5012985,00.html|publisher = Advertiser Australia] [cite news|last = Bawden|first = Jim|title = TV lineup launch disrupted|url =|publisher = Toronto Star|date = 2007-06-06|accessdate = 2007-06-15] [cite news|last = Grant|first = Jules|title = ITV continues Screenings spree|publisher = C21Media|url =|date = 2007-06-28|accessdate = 2007-06-29]

Due to the strike by the Writers Guild of America, production of the series was put on hiatus. [cite web|url=|title=Report on post strike network TV|publisher=TV Guide|accessdate=2008-02-11] Several media outlets have reported that "Bionic Woman" had been cancelled, although there has been no official confirmation from NBC. [cite web
title=When do our shows come back?
publisher=USA Today
] An announcement of series renewals by NBC did not indicate the fate of "Bionic Woman", although it was reported that production of the season was considered concluded. The SyFy Portal, citing a "TV Guide" column, suggested that the series cast and crew have been told that production has ended, although NBC has made no official announcement as to the series' fate as of that date and the blog author stressed that the news was only a rumor. [ SyFy Portal] , Feb. 20, 2008] David Eick, the series' co-executive producer, confirmed on March 19, 2008 that the series had been cancelled, although the network has still not officially announced it. [] The series was subsequently not included in the Fall 2008 schedule announced by NBC in early April 2008. [ [ NBC Fall Schedule Scoop! - Ausiello Report | ] ]

Reception and ratings

Critical reception

The series met with mixed critical reception. Mary McNamara of the "Los Angeles Times" wished that the episodes following the pilot were just as good as the pilot itself, and wanted Katee Sackhoff to play the lead role. [cite web |url=,0,3217193.story |title=Times TV Critic Mary McNamara on surprises and disappointments |accessdate=2008-09-06 |author=McNamara, Mary |date=August 25, 2008 |publisher="Los Angeles Times"] Alessandra Stanley of the "New York Times" felt that "Bionic Woman" was more about "fembot martial arts and slick Matrix-ish special effects than about character development"; oriented towards young male viewers. [cite web |url= |title=New Series: Women Test Mettle, and Metal |accessdate=2008-09-06 |author=Stanley, Alessandra |date=September 26, 2007 |publisher="New York Times"] Tim Goodman of the "San Francisco Chronicle" felt that the remake was "a lot darker than the campy original", but said that "trouble lies in the casting and the concept". Goodman thought that "Ryan seems too inert, not nearly aggressive enough for the role", and that even Sackhoff was "infinitely more likable as an antiheroine". He said that they either "got the wrong bionic woman", or "they need to let the bad bionic woman get a whole lot more screen time". [cite web |url= |title=Tim Goodman: Reviews: "Journeyman", "Chuck" and "Bionic Woman" |accessdate=2008-09-06 |author=Goodman, Tim |date=September 24, 2007 |publisher="San Francisco Chronicle"] Michael Idato of "The Age" said that since the series had gone "through a series of writers and producers", it was "no surprise that what finally lands is a little messy". However he said that "despite some early uncertainty, Ryan becomes a likeable Sommers, leaving only the show's dark tone and relentless pace as potential problems." He said that they were great for setting up the story, "but could become too much as the season progresses". [cite web |url= |title="Bionic Woman" - TV Reviews |accessdate=2008-09-06 |author=Idato, Michael |date=October 3, 2007 |publisher="The Age"] Not all reviews were as optimistic; Michael Hinman of SyFy Portal referred to the show as "a disaster".

US ratings

In the following summary, "rating" is the percentage of all households with televisions that tuned to the show, and "share" is the percentage of all televisions "in use at that time" that are tuned in. Unless otherwise cited, the overnight rating and share information comes from Zap2It. [cite web|url= |title=TV Ratings on Zap2it |accessdate=2006-11-14] The following week, the numbers are updated with the final Nielsen numbers from [cite web|url= | |accessdate= 2006-11-14] Additional ratings information, including the 18–49 rating, comes from BroadcastingCable. [cite web|url= |title=TV Ratings on BroadcastingCable |accessdate=2006-11-14] Viewer numbers and rank numbers come from Google Groups. [cite web|url=|title=Week of December 11th-17th/2006 complete ratings |accessdate= 2006-11-14]

Australia ratings

The first episode rated 1.6 million viewers, making it the most watched program of the night. Ratings began to dive with the third episode rating 1.2 million viewers. The fifth episode only rated one million viewers. Viewer numbers soon fell below one million. cite web | last=Dale | first=David | title=The Tribal Mind: A year of neophilia | work=SMH: Stay In Touch | publisher=Sydney Morning Herald | date=2007-11-25 | url= | accessdate=2008-07-08] Sci Fi Australia has picked up the show from Channel Seven, with the first episode aired Friday, 24th June 2008 at 8:30pm EST.

DVD release

The series was released on DVD in North America a two-disc set on March 18, 2008. Besides the extant episodes, the set also includes interviews, behind-the-scenes featurettes, as well as a featurette on real-life bionics. The set was subtitled "Volume 1", suggesting that Universal still expected the series to be renewed at that time.cite web | last = Lambert | first = David | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = "Bionic Woman - Universal announces 'Volume 1' of the Michelle Ryan series" | work = | publisher = | date = 2008-01-30 | url = | format = | doi = | accessdate = 2008-01-30 ]

The pilot episode was released in the United Kingdom on Region 2 on April 7, 2008. A further Region 2 two-disc set containing all eight episodes from the show was released on May 12, 2008; unlike the Region 1 release, this version was entitled "The Complete Series". cite web | title = Region 2 DVD Cover | work = | publisher = | date = | url =| format = .jpg | doi = | accessdate = 2008-07-08]


External links

* [ NBC's Official Bionic Woman site]
*imdb title|id=0880557|title=Bionic Woman
* show|id=71468|title=Bionic Woman

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