(I have to give shout-outs to THUD readers Jarrett D. and Phil H. for sending me the uncensored version of that Wire clip I mentioned last week. Unfortunately, I was looking for the censored clip with all the tape hiss that appeared on BET. But watching it again was awesome, so thanks!)
- As anyone who watches the Tonys knows, Hugh Jackman doing musical theatre is enough to make GOB Bluth (or your other favorite ridiculously heterosexual tv icon) go gay – just find a recording of "Not The Boy Next Door" from The Boy From Oz for proof. Now Jackman’s bringing his musical talents to a filmed musical at last – he’s executive producing Viva Laughlin!, the CBS pilot based on the BBC’s series Blackpool and Viva Blackpool. Laughlin! ‘s pilot focuses on a family running a casino in Laughlin, Nevada and is directed by Gabriele Muccino, of The Pursuit of Happyness. In addition to executive producing the pilot, Jackman will play a recurring role if Laughlin! makes it to series. Blackpool was a musical in the Dennis Potter (Singing Detective) style – where the characters lip-synched to pop tunes rather than singing the songs themselves – but there’s no word on whether Laughlin! takes the same approach. Forget New Amsterdamn – this is the pilot I’m most looking forward to.
- Gabrielle Union of Bring it On and Bad Boys II fame signed last week to star in ABC’s latest attempt to bitchslap Les Moonves around Black Rock, Football Wives, based on the hit British soap FootballERS Wives about the glamorous antics of soccer stars. Seeing as how no one still cares about pro soccer in the U.S., the American version will focus on (you guessed it) the lives of pro football players and their spouses. Union plays a recording artist and the wife of a star wide receiver, reports Yahoo. The American Wives has been a buzzed about project since ABC bought the rights, so this could be either the next Ugly Betty or the next Supertrain.
- BBC television host Barney Harwood will front The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, described by BBC News as a reality series that follows "a group of children learning magic at a Harry Potter-like boarding school." In addition, the show has children learning both Latin spells (reason number 1 this show will never make it to America) and card tricks. I’m sorry – card illusions. Because a trick is something a tart does for crumpets.
- Roger Ebert says that if you go to the movies long enough, you’ll see your own story on the screen – and I’ve found that the same thing is happens on television. Well, the Brendan M. Leonard story is making its way to Lifetime – if I were a girl. Lifetime’s new pilot The Virgin of Akron, Ohio focuses on a young woman from Manhattan who returns to her Ohio town after a stint in rehab to live with her dysfunctional family. I’ll let you choose the parts of that I identify with. I know I’ve bitched about New York shows not being shot in New York, but the really shitty economy around Akron could use a boost – so I’m crossing my fingers that creator Cary Brokaw actually chooses to film the damn thing in Akron. Northeastern Ohio represent!
- SPOILER! When it’s sweeps, no one is safe – and Heroes is jumping on the "kill a beloved character bandwagon" for February’s roaring rampage of ratings stunts. Heroes creator Tim Kring says that the superhero serial (I need to come up with new ways to describe this show) will "kill off one of our regulars, someone who has been with the show from the very beginning," but wouldn’t clue TV Guide readers in to who that may be. (Please be Nikki. Please be Nikki. Please be Nikki.) However, Heroes is unlike other shows that slaughtered its stars to be top dog in viewer’s boxes (ratings boxes, pervs). Hiro Nakamura’s ability to do the time warp doesn’t mean the end for the character who goes to the big Justice League headquarters in the sky and "not all those who are killed are making their appearance on the show", according to Kring. (Please be Nikki. Please be Nikki. Please be Nikki.)