Whatever Happened to Gabrielle Union?

Oh, you know, she's always been around, but she coulda been a contender! But she isn't, for some reason. Also today: a new HBO show about theater finds its potential cast, plus a new Wizard of Oz movie.

Gabrielle Union has signed on to star in a spin-off of Lifetime's popular series Army Wives, this one about Atlanta ladypolice. So it's come to this, eh Gabrielle? Not that starring in a Lifetime show isn't a good job — it beats professional linking to things, which is my chosen profession — but I'd always hoped/expected that she'd be a lot bigger than this. She had charming turns in 10 Things I Hate About You and Bring It On earlier in her career and she seemed poised for bigtime stardom. But I guess it's too much to ask that a black actress get big parts when such distinct, interesting white talents as Katherine Heigl and Kate Hudson are available. You understand, I'm sure, Gabrielle. [THR]

Five actors and director Kathryn Bigelow are all circling the TV pilot Miraculous Year, an HBO project about a BROADWAY FAMILY. Isn't that exciting? Broadway! Theater vet Norbert Leo Butz (he was in Dan In Real Life as the non-Dane Cook brother) would play a famous show composer, Hope Davis his sister, Frank Langella his famous painter father, PATTI LUPONEEEEEE a Broadway diva, and Eddie Redmayne (who just won a Tony last night for Best Looking Handsome in a Tux) would play a mysterious and sexy singer/dancer. All of this directed by Kathryn Bigelow. So will it be about defusing Broadway bombs? Get it?? You did? But... you're not laughing. I don't think you got it. [Deadline]

Speaking of movie directors, Evil Dead evil genius Sam Raimi is in "early negotiations" to direct a Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz, the Great and Powerful. There are like twelve different Oz pictures in the works — there's an animated one with Lea Michele, and another thing simply called Oz that's unfortunately not about the Scarecrow somehow winding up in a brutal supermax prison — but this is the big one from Disney that Sam Mendes was rumored to be directing for a while. So might Raimi dark things up a bit? One hopes. Though he also made the frustratingly bright and bland Spider Man pictures, so who knows. Drag Me to Hell was... gummy. So maybe this will be too. [EW]

TLC has renewed their series Little People, Big World for a sixth season. So yet another year of us wondering when it's finally going to be OK to talk openly about the glaring and uncomfortable Jeremy issue. [Variety] Ghost Hunters has also been renewed. Finally a reality show about something real! [THR]

Production has finally begun on a movie adaptation of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's charming novel about people being nice to each other. It's a $5 million indie, and the biggest star is basically Grant Bowler, who played a role on Ugly Betty and was the lead werewolf on True Blood last night. Wasn't Charlize Theron supposed to be in this movie? Or Angelina Jolie or something? Guess not. This is just Part One, though, so maybe bigger people will come on in the next two? Who knows. Anyway, here it is, Ayn Rand fans. [Variety]

The dad from 7th Heaven, Stephen Collins, has been made a regular on No Ordinary Family, the new series starring Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz. The mom from 7th Heaven has just wrapped filming Elf Sparkle and the Special Red Dress, in which she plays the role of Snowdorable. So, everyone's doing pretty well there. [THR]