Denis Leary (Mychal Watts/WireImage via Getty Images)
Actor and comedian Denis Leary is producing a hockey-centric new TV series for IFC – and we've come up with a dozen more NHL-related TV shows that would have viewers' eyeballs riveted to the screen (or wherever people are watching shows these days).
News Wednesday that actor and famous hockey/Boston Bruins fan Denis Leary was producing for IFC a new series centered around an amateur hockey team should inspire puck fans to pitch more hockey-themed shows to TV networks in the hope they might get picked up and put on air. Here, I'll show you what I mean, using titles of TV series as examples:
The Walking Dead An outbreak of a mysterious virus ravages the Sabres, Coyotes and Maple Leafs and leads to locals staggering aimlessly and dead-eyed in the streets in Buffalo, Arizona and Toronto. While death sometimes seems to be a merciful option for our heroes during such a bleak time, they bravely continue to search and hope for a place to settle and grow.
Justified Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher faces heat for a slumping Wild team that can't get consistent goaltending, then trades a measly third-round draft pick to Arizona for veteran Devan Dubnyk. Fletcher no longer faces that heat. (Okay, this would be more of a one-hour special than a series.)
Shameless After another season that began with big expectations and ended with terrible results, the Oilers decide to not make any changes at the very top of the management chain. (Alternate title: Arrested Development)
Fringe The Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers describe, in excruciating detail, what it's like to be sort of (but not really) in the throes of a playoff race.
Rizzoli & Isles Join Charles Wang, Garth Snow and Islanders brass as they scour the planet for anyone named Rizzoli (first name or surname) who can play hockey half-decently and help them get some decent mainstream publicity for their exciting-to-watch squad.
The Wonder Years The true story of the Chicago Blackhawks, beginning in 2009 and leading up to the present day. Voiceovers by Daniel Stern not included.
Damages An inside look at the triage center that was the Columbus Blue Jackets' injured reserve this season.
The West Wing An ongoing series chronicling the highs and lows of the Sharks, Kings and Ducks. (Alternate title: The Californians)
Scandal A very quick glimpse at the Stars' roster. The perfect show for today's modern TV viewer suffering from attention-deficit disorder.
American Horror Story A game-by-game breakdown of the Sabres' season. After watching this program, you may come to believe in supernatural evil. Viewer discretion advised.
Grimm Projecting the Bruins' more immediate future as Zdeno Chara's effectiveness ebbs.
The Last Man On Earth A plague wipes out every male on the planet – except for Jaromir Jagr, who was saved because he was in a gym somewhere injecting himself with a sample from the fountain of youth. Jagr eventually catches and bypasses Wayne Gretzky for first on the NHL's all-time scorer's list, but the new record is unofficial, as nobody is around to confirm it.