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apropos of nothing

Pitching the Inevitable ‘Wire’ Spinoffs on Network TV

Photo illustration: Everett Bogue; Photos: Getty Images (store, Shields), iStockphoto (grocer), Courtesy of HBO (Marlo)


Man, we miss The Wire already. With creator David Simon noncommittal on the idea of a Wire movie in the future, we have to hope that the geniuses who run television will find another way to bring our favorite Baltimoreans back for more. Luckily, we imagine the wheels are already turning in the heads of NBC wunderkind Ben Silverman and his network-president ilk, finding ways to capitalize on The Wire's positive notices while bringing its characters into a more audience-friendly setting. We can imagine the pitches now …

A New Day
Wednesdays at 9 on NBC
Cast: Jamie Hector, Brooke Shields (is she available?), Chad Coleman
The pitch: A reformed drug kingpin helps establish the New Day Food Co-op in an effort to raise his standing on the streets. He soon finds that his knowledge of the drug trade doesn't mean anything when it comes to selling organic, pesticide-free produce. Also starring Brooke Shields as the pushy yet vulnerable Co-op member who butts heads with Marlo Stanfield over the selling of bottled water.

The New Adventures of Old McNulty
Fridays at 8:30 on CBS
Cast: Dominic West, Amy Ryan, William Joseph Brookes, Stephen Tobolowsky
The pitch: A fish-out-of-water ex-cop moves in with his girlfriend and her two kids. But wait! He brought a homeless guy named Larry with him! Granted, Larry doesn't do much but sit in the corner and stare blankly at the wall, but that makes him the perfect foil for Jimmy "Nutty" McNulty. Also starring Stephen Tobolowsky as the wacky neighbor.


Valchek!
Mondays at 8 on Fox
Cast: Al Brown, Seth Gilliam, Marlyne Afflack
The pitch: What happens when a bumbling idiot gets appointed police commissioner in one of the most dangerous cities in America? Comedy! You want juked stats? No problem! You want good po-lice work? Don't look now, 'cause Stan Valchek just slipped on a T-shirt that says "Don't Blame Me. I Just Work Here." How will he work with newly elected mayor Nerese Campbell? How will the rest of the police force, like rising star Sergeant Ellis Carver, work under him? Most important, will he ever find that missing surveillance van?


Rawls of Fire
Movie; airing July 11 on Logo
Cast: John Doman, Sean Hayes, Aidan Gillen, Sonja Sohn
The pitch: In this made-for-TV movie for Logo, William Rawls, now of the Maryland State Police, is forced out of the closet by a jilted ex-lover (Sean Hayes). Rather than turning tail and hiding, Rawls stands tall and proves that there's room for an alternative lifestyle in typically heteronormative institutions. Featuring guest appearances by Governor Tommy Carcetti (Aiden Gillen) and Detective Shakima Greggs (Sonja Sohn).


Top Bunk
Tuesdays at 9 on the CW
Cast: Wendell Pierce
The pitch: After years of frustration working for a broken system, Detective Bunk Moreland quits the Baltimore police force and becomes a private investigator. Using his contacts from the police force and his knowledge of the streets of Baltimore, Bunk develops into a neo-noir guardian angel of the city. Watch as Wendell Pierce delivers every line of dialogue with a cigar planted firmly in his mouth, even when dealing with his rebellious daughter (Raven-Symoné).


Mishpacha, Youshpacha
Pilot; never ordered to series
Cast: Michael Kostroff, Domenick Lombardozzi
The pitch:
One taste of Mrs. Levy's world-famous brisket was enough for Thomas "Herc" Hauk to decide his future … as a Jew! Herc's decision to convert to Judaism is initially met with reservation from his boss, Maurice Levy, but Herc won't take no for an answer. He continues his Torah studies anyway, and Levy has no choice but to take Herc under his wing, as one mitzvah deserves another. —Stan Park