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Fans who wanted to see Xena the Warrior Princess donning Tanya Turner talons will be sorely disappointed: ABC did not pick up Football Wives, the American remake of BBC AMERICA’s Footballers Wive$. The U.S. show had Bryan Singer as its producer and a truly stellar cast – Lucy Lawless, Ving Rhames, Eddie Cibrian (seen above), Gabrielle Union, James van der Beek, Brian White, and Holly Robinson Peete were all attached – so it’s a wonder why it didn’t make the fall cut. AOL Sports Blog has an interesting theory. Did the image-conscious NFL object to the envelope-pushing show?

You see, the show might possibly have cast pro football players in a negative light. Maybe it would have shown a football player making it rain or doing time on weapons charges or smoking pot or possessing ecstasy or doing something else that we know no football player would do in real life.

So the NFL apparently reminded Disney, the parent company of both ABC and ESPN, that its games are by far the most popular programming on ESPN, and that it doesn’t want to see football players — even fictional players — shown on screen doing things that make pro football look bad. And just like that, Football Wives doesn’t have a TV home.

The AOL Sports Blog notes that NFL has interfered with programming decisions before. They infamously got ESPN’s first original drama, the football soap Playmakers, cancelled because it showed NFL players engaging in drugs, sex, and crime. Of course, the fact that the show was fiction meant nothing to the fascist enterprise that is the NFL. Hitting a little too close to home for you guys, huh? If you wanted to help your image, why not clean up some of the excesses in the league?

Well, at least American viewers still have the original artifact: the fifth season of Footballers Wive$ premieres June 6th right here on BBC AMERICA. Thanks, Tanya, as always, for the link!

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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.