ABC Tackles 'Footballers Wives'

An American adaptation of the over-the-top British soap "Footballers Wives" is at least one step closer to reality.

ABC has given the go-ahead to produce a pilot for the show, and the production may have found a director as well: "Superman Returns" and "X-Men" helmer Bryan Singer, who is considering the project as part of a deal he has with ABC's sister studio, Touchstone TV.

The involvement of Singer, who's also an executive producer of FOX's "House," isn't a sure thing, the showbiz trade papers say. He signed a development deal with ABC over the summer that will allow him to choose one project among several to direct.

"Footballers Wives" ran for five seasons on Britain's ITV and was an out-and-out phenomenon. The story centered on the wives and girlfriends of players for a high-profile soccer club and featured outrageous plot twists not seen since the "Dynasty" era, including kidnappings, aborted weddings, murder and serial bed-hopping.

The ABC pilot will be transplanted to American football, soccer not being the obsession here that it is overseas. Marco Pennette ("Ugly Betty," "Inconceivable") wrote the script and will executive produce with Bert Salke and Chris Brancato ("North Shore," "Boomtown").

Maureen Chadwick, Eileen Gallagher and Ann McManus of Shed Productions, the producer of the British show, will also have exec producer credits.

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