Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Lights, Camera, Action
2006-10-12 09:40
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

ESPN is currently filming an 8-part TV movie version of Jonathan Mahler's hugely entertaining book, "The Bronx is Burning." Since ESPN has yet to make a credible movie, count me skeptical that this will be any different, even though gifted actors like John Turturro and Oliver Platt are featured in this one (imagine, Turturro playing both Billy Martin and Howard Cosell during his career, that's some kind of feat). Roger Catlin, TV critic for the Hartford Courant, dropped by the film set a few days ago. Check out his write-up. The biggest sign of trouble?

The screenplay was vetted with Major League Baseball to avoid the kind of confrontation that led ESPN's critically lauded series "Playmakers" to be canceled over objections by the NFL.

"One thing we were cognizant of was our relationship with our very valued partners," Semiao says. But there's nothing in "The Bronx Is Burning" that is injurious to baseball, all agreed.

Who wants to see a sanitized version of the Bronx Zoo? That's like watching "Good Fellas" on broadcast TV. But we are talking about a Disney movie, after all. Who knows, maybe we'll be surprised.

2006-10-12 10:11:51
1.   vockins
I'd like to be surprised, but I'm going with crap.
2006-10-12 10:21:20
2.   rsmith51
First time I saw The Usual Suspects was on network television.

"Give me your freakin' keys, you fairy godmother."

2006-10-12 10:22:56
3.   Chyll Will
Even when I read the casting call notice, a little voice in my head said to me, "Just ease out the side door quietly, don't look back..."
2006-10-12 10:24:40
4.   Alex Belth
They actually aired "Blue Velvet" on broadcast TV. Imagine that. Heck, "Scarface" is on all the time.
2006-10-12 10:39:59
5.   Chyll Will
If it were Pixar, then a possible maybe.
2006-10-12 10:44:15
6.   Shaun P
The way things are going, it won't be long until they show all these things unedited on broadcast TV.

I'm still trying to figure out, what, exactly, about the Bronx Zoo and that summer could possibly be "injurious" to baseball.

2006-10-12 10:45:16
7.   jkay
A Bronx movie filmed in CT? I am not enthused. I've got your movie set right here!!!
2006-10-12 10:49:16
8.   standuptriple
Disney. 'Nuff said. I'll pass. Enjoy the corporate Kool-Aid if you must.
2006-10-12 11:07:12
9.   dianagramr

Sparky Lyle's naked butt and any birthday cake perhaps?

2006-10-12 11:12:49
10.   Chyll Will
6 Was Karim Garcia born that year?
2006-10-12 11:13:27
11.   Chyll Will
Good to have you back, Cliff. Sorry about the mess... >;)
2006-10-12 11:15:03
12.   Jeb
Who says there won't be profanity in the series? When ESPN made the movie about Bob Knight (with Brian Dennehey starring as a not-so-believable Knight, given the fact that Dennehey was 129 years old), there were lots of F-words, GD's, BS's, etc., etc. Same thing with the Bear Bryant movie ("Junction Boys").

Maybe it won't be just laced with cussing, but I'd expect some.

2006-10-12 11:35:14
13.   Knuckles
If you had told me when I finished that book that one day I'd take a pass on seeing the movie, I'dve said you were crazy. But the letters E-S-P-&-N beng involved change the entire equation.

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