it's high time DC started thinking about "What's next?" I give you:
My pitch for a live action TV series featuring DC's mistress of mysticism tentatively titled "Z."
Like Smallville, "Z" takes place in the "before they were heroes" era. The series begins as Zatanna is enrolled by her father (the Amazing Giovanni Zatara) in a performing arts school. She's a natural magician, but must learn classic legerdemain, and focus her stage performance.
Zatanna herself is competent with magic when around her father, but a little bit bumbling on her own (Buffy fans think: Willow's early years dabbling in witchcraft).
The series itself is a mixture of genres, combining a little bit of Professor X's "School of gifted youngsters," with a dash of Glee (Fame!) and a brooding gothic overtone. Stages are dressed in Victorian fixtures, from Zatara's mansion to the old world style performing arts school in New York.
Storylines switch from the everyday, teen angst, coming of age tales that Buffy Summers was known for, to the meta-story set in motion during the first season with the larger arc of classic Zatanna searching for her father. Her journey takes her to every corner of the DCU, from a meeting with Jason Blood in London to the monasteries of Nada Parabat to the magic locked in the crypts of Khandaq, and so on.
The cast of characters is limitless, with her classmates providing the core Scooby Gang. Along with a Chloe Lane type, we'd add a special effects/set design student Danny Cassidy. Better known to comic fans as the future Blue Devil, Cassidy is also the school's impish mascot.
Blue Devil has a history of teaming up with Zatanna, and a Hollywood/performer background and is a natural fit for the unrequited love role (Buffy fans think: Xander).
Another stage performer in the DCU with ties to Zatanna (albeit loose ties) is Shilo Norman, who focuses his talent on escape artistry. Good at picking locks, Shilo would be an invaluable asset when the group is snooping around looking for clues.
Together, this core group of teens encounters all things mystical in the DCU, with occasional guest star advice from the Phantom Stranger, brushes with Madame Xanadu, and reoccurring villains like Neron and Felix Faust.
Now who to get to head up this project? I'm sure Paul Dini would be interested, and Joss Whedon needs a new project. Hmmm. A school for performing arts could even reasonably feature a music number on occasion, something right up Joss's showtune alley.