- The Washington Times - Friday, January 30, 2009

‘Eastwick’ series eyed

“The Witches of Eastwick” has gone from novel to movie to stage musical, and now ABC is hoping the story will translate to television.

The network has given a pilot order to a drama called “Eastwick,” based on the book by John Updike, who died earlier this week, says the Hollywood Reporter.

“Eastwick” is the second attempt at turning the novel into a TV series. Fox developed a version of the show in 2002 that starred Marcia Cross, Kelly Rutherford and Lori Loughlin, but it didn’t get past the pilot stage. The book was first turned into a 1987 movie starring Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cher and Susan Sarandon and also was adapted into a musical in 2000.

ABC’s version comes from writer Maggie Friedman, who has worked on “Dawson’s Creek,” “Jack & Bobby” and “Once and Again.”

The show, which will be a loose adaptation of Mr. Updike’s book, centers on three women who discover otherworldly abilities when a mysterious man enters their lives.

Bowled over

The really big TV news this weekend, though, centers mostly on Super Bowl XLIII on NBC.

Whether you plan on watching the game itself, its million-dollar ads and the halftime show or have little or no interest in sports and look forward to the array of counterprogramming — there’s something for everyone.

Simply interested in the big game’s big entertainment?

• The halftime show will be performed by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Note to die-hard Bruce fans: Sportsbook.com is taking bets on what the order of songs will be on the Boss’ playlist for his 12-minute set. Also, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, in her first performance since the murders of three family members in October, will open the game with the national anthem.

• The ever-expanding pre-game show (beginning Sunday at noon) looks to be even more extravagant. According to TVWeek.com, “Today” weatherman Al Roker will host the event, and numerous NBC Universal personalities will be pressed into service in special appearances. That includes new “Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon, whose show premieres a month after the game.

Talent from Bravo’s “Top Chef,” Universal feature films and other NBC series are expected — and NBC will feature updates on game-day meteorological conditions from one of its newest assets, the Weather Channel.

Sci Fi Channel will get a promotional spot during the pre-game, while a 60-second spot for USA Network is planned for immediately after the game ends.

Country music superstar Faith Hill will sing “America the Beautiful.”

Oh, and there’s “Today” host Matt Lauer’s one-on-one interview with President Obama.

Other game-related entertainment fare:

Jerry O’Connell hosts the “Pepsi Musica Super Bowl Fiesta,” now on VH1.com. Lifehouse, Enrique Iglesias and Rihanna are among the performers on this show, which also airs tomorrow on Telemundo.

Elsewhere, those with less interest in the game may find comfort in, well, comfort food.

On “Paula’s Party” ( 7 p.m. tomorrow, Food Network), Southern chef Paula Deen explores the “Fried vs. Barbecue” theme with deep-fried lasagna, Neely’s Barbecue Spaghetti, deep-fried chocolate pound cake, Neely’s Barbecue Baked Potato and the Deen Family Deep-Fried Baked Potato.

Also on the Food Network, “Unwrapped” (10 p.m. tomorrow) host Marc Summers homes in on tailgating temptations — sampling fare from such well-known haunts as Quiznos and the ESPN Zone.

Also this weekend:


20/20 (9 p.m., ABC) — In a segment titled “The Science of Seduction: Why Him, Why Her?” biological anthropologist Helen Fisher explores the brain chemistry behind romantic love.


Lisa Lampanelli: Long Live the Queen (10 p.m., HBO) — Politically incorrect comic Lisa Lampanelli, aka the lovable Queen of Mean, stars in her first HBO comedy special, an hour of outrageous and shockingly scathing humor taped before a live audience at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, Calif.


Puppy Bowl V (3 p.m., Animal Planet) — Adorable dogs put their best paws forward in a number of stunts for this annual competition. According to the network, this year’s featured dogs are from local animal shelters and hoping for a good home.

Cheaters marathon (3 to 10 p.m., G4) — Illicit affairs, participants in them and their emotional confrontations are caught on tape.

Written and compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports

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