001Torque star Martin Henderson is trading in his wheels for an assassin’s rifle. The New Zealand actor, who is currently one of the galaxy of stars appearing in Smokin’ Aces, signed with to star opposite Jordan Brewster in the pilot for Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The ABC show, based on the film of the same name, picks up with the husband-and-wife assassin team trying to make a fresh start in a new home. But as anyone who’s not stupid knows, just when you think you’re out, know what happens? They pull you back in. Violence, of course, ensues.
  • The full Nielsen report released today confirmed CBS’s overnight prediction. Sunday’s Super Bowl Orgy of Manly Madness was indeed the second-highest rated Super Bowl in history. Approximately 93 million people watched the Colts whomp da Bears and had their faces melted off when Prince raised his goblet of rock. (It’s not saying much, but after checking out the footage online, I have to agree: Best. Halftime. Show. Ever.) Super Bowl XLI was also the third-biggest television audience ever, behind the “nobody’s ever going to beat this one again” M*A*S*H finale (105 million viewers) and Super Bowl XXX (94 million viewers). However, only 26 million viewers decided to watch James Van Der Beek play psycho on Criminal Minds, the Mandy Patinkin show where the only way to profile perverts is by putting it together, bit by bit.
  • Grant Show, who I guess used to be kind of a big deal on Melrose Place, has joined the cast of the CBS pilot Swingtown, reports Variety. I don’t know any better way to describe Swingtown other than this: It’s The Ice Storm: The Show. (Sexual liberation in 70s suburbia, open marriages, and key parties.) The pilot also stars Jack Davenport. I guess we now know what happens to him in Pirates of the Caribbean III.
  • From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. How Did We Miss This One: ESPN Original Entertainment is moving into the miniseries realm, and boy did they pick a great project to start out with. Oliver Platt, John Tuturro, Dan Lauria, Stephen Lang, and Casey Siemasko will headline a ten-episode adaptation of Jonathan Mahler’s Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning. The series takes place in New York City in the summer of 1977 and alternates the tug-of-war between New York Yankees superstars Reggie Jackson and Billy Martin (Tuturro) with the hunt for serial killer Son of Sam. Oliver Platt is playing George Steinbrenner, which is an awesome bit of casting, and the series premieres on ESPN this summer. Get excited about this one, folks. It could be great.
  • Love ‘em or hate ‘em magicians Penn Jillette (and his partner Teller) are returning to Showtime on March 22nd for the latest season of their taboo-busting series Penn & Teller: Bullshit! The press release from Showtime lists a number of episode topics for the fifth season, including “The Obesity Myth”, Wal-Mart, Satanic conspiracy theories, the Americans with Disabilities Act (Huh?) and the energy crisis. I really enjoy watching this show, but every season to have a few episodes where the hate and scorn is pretty strange. I mean, really, “the Americans with Disabilities Act?” and “the energy crisis?” What’s next, taking on global warming? (Oh wait, they did that one already.)
  • Adam Beach is bringing his investigative skills to the elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Beach will play the new partner of Ice-T this fall, which means that Richard Belzer’s John Munch will probably move further and further into the background – except, of course, when they need a creepy old man to infiltrate a pedophile travel agencies. This isn’t the first time the awesome Beach has played a detective – he previously portrayed Navajo Tribal Police officer Jim Chee in a series of movies for PBS.
  • The live special based off internet sensation Nobody’s Watching is dead, reports an NBC source. The failed WB pilot about reality television from Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence became a critical darling when it was leaked to YouTube last summer, which led to NBC to look into resurrecting the series, including the special. But with the last minute cancellation of the special and the actors’ contracts expiring at the end of February, Lawrence says this effectively kills the future of the project. Do what I do in cases like these, Bill: Blame Jeff Zucker.
  • Boy, Stephen Frears isn’t wasting anytime spending his Oscar goodwill, is he? The Academy Award-nominated director signed on today to the pilot for Skip Tracer. The CBS drama, focusing on a man who finds people who are trying to disappear, stars and is executive produced by Stephen Dorff. I guess Dorff’s other pitch, a series version of Deuces Wild, was too risky for Les Moonves.
  • Thanks to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, you too may be able to tell what truthiness tastes like. Rumors swirl (pun, as always, intended) that the expensive but delicious confectionary company is developing a Stephen Colbert-themed ice cream. Possible names include “Americone Dream,” and B&J spokesperson Rob Michalak told Salon.com while he can neither confirm nor deny it, “there’s been a lot of experimentation with red, white, and blue.” (Best Ben & Jerry’s flavor? Dublin Mudslide.)