Much of football's popularity can be traced to how well football translates to television, with tens of millions of people tuning in every weekend to enjoy the sport on every level from high school and college to the NFL.
So, considering how well suited football is for the small screen, it's a surprise just how few TV shows about football there have been over the decades. Sure, there are plenty of live shows with pundits and former players discussing next week's matchup or breaking down last week's game film, but we mean honest-go-goodness programming -- you know, like dramas, comedies, reality shows. Why haven't there been more about the ol' pigskin?
Yes, according to Variety, the channel once known as Video Hits One is again embracing the world of reality celebutainment, this time with 'Football Wives.' The new series, which will follow the trials and hardships of a group of women married to NFL superstars, has been given a green light to the tune of an eight-episode order.
We're in the middle of pilot season right now, and of the approximately 9000 different shows all fighting to be part of this fall's network schedule (as long as they aren't put up against American Idol), a handful have shown promise, some even more than was expected. Here's the buzz:
Dirty Sexy Money is at the top of the list. The ABC drama stars Peter Krause, Donald Sutherland, and William Baldwin and is about a lawyer who defends rich New Yorkers. It also has a title that catches your attention. Marlowe, the new modern take on the Raymond Chandler hero on ABC, is getting better than expected reviews. Other shows that look like winners: FOX's Action News, with Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton, ABC's Football Wives, and an untitled CBS drama starring Jimmy Smits.
Viva Laughlin, a musical produced by Hugh Jackman and based on the British series Blackpool, is also getting good early buzz, but I don't know. A weekly musical drama? Hmmm...
The Hollywood Reporter, in an article that contains a ton of casting news, reports that Shannon will star with Natasha Richardson in the serialized soap. The two play socialite sisters, the younger of whom (Shannon) is on trial for murder. Yes, I did say earlier that it was a comedy, if you want to check.
According to Reuters and the Hollywood Reporter, Kiele Sanchez may be the latest addition to the cast of Football Wives, the latest British television import. Sanchez is currently starring in the role of Nikki on Lost, although she has not made frequent appearances. This does not necessarily mean that Sanchez will be leaving the ABC drama, however. Reuters claims that the Football Wives role would be "in second position" to her work on Lost.
If negotiations go well, Sanchez will be playing an NFL player's pregnant wife, "a good-natured woman with a secret." Is there another kind? Football Wives centers on several women married to professional football players, similar to the British original Footballers' Wives, which focused on the wives of soccer players.
The networks are revving up a few new pilots, and they've hand-picked some ladies from the, um, lady garden ... of entertainment. Yeah. So, anyway:
First, Louise Lombard will play Judy in ABC's Judy's Got a Gun, about a single suburban mother who investigates suburban crimes. She'll balance work and family because balancing things is common in television land. Seriously, every season there are at least a dozen new shows that involve somebody balancing something and something else. You gotta have balance, you know.
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