US set to unleash its own version of 'Footballer's Wives'

Click to follow
The Independent US

With its rampant intrigue and scenes of high drama, including the moment when a model's breasts caught fire, Footballers' Wives captivated millions of British television viewers.

With its rampant intrigue and scenes of high drama, including the moment when a model's breasts caught fire, Footballers' Wives captivated millions of British television viewers.

Now, the high-camp recipe of mock-Tudor mansions and scheming bottle blondes is to undergo a transatlantic makeover.

If all goes to plan, American audiences will soon be sitting down to a glossy drama series about the money, lifestyle and sleaze behind a team playing a national sport. Predictably, it will be called Baseball Wives.

HBO, the American television company behind Sex and the City and The Sopranos, has recruited the actor Steve Buscemi to direct a pilot of the programme with a view to making a 13-episode series.

Footballers' Wives became a cult success, quickly winning over the chattering classes and television critics for its trashy portrayal of a Premier League club. Shed Productions, the British company behind the programme, are waiting to hear whether ITV will commission a new series.

Where the British show centred on Earl's Park FC, a fictitious top-flight London side, the US version will be based in Miami and will chronicle the progress of an "ethnically-diverse" professional baseball side, according to HBO.

Julie Martin, the screenwriter of the American pilot, said: "It's a show about baseball, but it's also about marriage – the sacrifices and compromises it involves."

Viewers of the British programme, which is not linked commercially to the American version and is the brainchild of an actress and real-life former baseball wife, Michelle Grace, will recognise the formula.

Footballers' Wives featured characters such as Chardonnay Lane, a model whose ample chest fell victim to an arson attack on the eve of her wedding to the team's striker, and Tanya Turner, the cocaine-snorting wife of the alcoholic team captain, who inadvertently put the club chairman in a coma after she lost her temper.

If all goes to plan with both programmes, there could soon be a glut of sporting wives on British television screens. Baseball Wives would be likely to follow Sex in the City and The Sopranos to Channel 4, a regular HBO customer.

Comments