The Kidd Stays in the Pictures

Fans of Charleston author Sue Monk Kidd’s bestselling novels – and they’re legion – will want to be setting out the hankies and tweaking their TiVos for Sat., Sept. 9 at 9 p.m. That’s when the Lifetime Channel will premiere its small-screen adaptation of Kidd’s last novel, The Mermaid Chair, which has sold an estimated eleventy-seven umptillion copies since its publication in April 2005, making the local gal a gazillionaire, at minimum. The made-for-TV flick stars Academy Award-winning actress (whether you think she deserved it or not) Kim Basinger in the role of Jessie Sullivan, an ennui-ridden, middle-aged empty-nester who has to return to her childhood home on a picturesque Southern island to deal with her increasingly loony mom, during which she develops a serious case of wet panties for a local Benedictine monk.

As Lifetime puts it, “While struggling with this temptation and delving into her family’s secretive past, Jessie undergoes a spiritual, artistic, and erotic awakening.” Call us cynical, but we’re guessing it ain’t necessarily in that order.

Said monk is played by Bruce Greenwood (Capote, 13 Days, I Robot), who in all fairness is a cracking good actor. So who knows, maybe the result will be watchable. No TiVo? Catch encores on Sunday and Monday.

For the curious, Kidd’s 2003 novel The Secret Life of Bees has also been greenlit for an eventual film adaptation – though for the big one instead of the little one. Last fall, ubiquitous mini-actress Dakota Fanning was attached to the role of young Lily Owens, but with no start date set for the production, that seems to have changed. In any event, she may be old enough to play Lily by the time Focus Features ever gets around to filming the thing. –Patrick Sharbaugh

Flying With the Eagles

We had an anonymous phone call last week that a member of the Charleston Police Department can be seen in the current Disney Film Invincible, starring Mark Wahlberg in the true story of a 1976 Phillie bartender who attends open tryouts for the Philadelphia Eagles and becomes a star receiver for the team. The CPD’s staying mum on it, but one blog commentator recalls seeing a former member of the force: “Short, dark guy, pudgy, very vocal”–PS