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Friday, March 14, 2008

Law & Order SVU’s Chris Meloni: From Detective to Gym Teacher

It appears that one of our favorite sex crimes detectives is taking a role as a gym teacher for Nickelodeon. Yes, you heard that right. Chris Meloni is going to be starring in a comedy called “Gym Teacher: The Movie.” (Wow, such a deeply intense and creative title!) Maybe I should consider re-taking my gym classes.

Here are more details, from Americas News Today:

Law & Order: SVU star Christopher Meloni slips out of his usual dramatic groove to star in Nickelodeon's first family primetime movie, in the original comedy, Gym Teacher: The Movie, to premiere this August (date and time TBD). Joining Meloni in the film will be co-star Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy) and Nickelodeon's Nathan Kress (iCarly), in a combination of stars and story that will delight and entertain both kids and their parents.

"Gym Teacher: The Movie truly has something for everyone in the family, with its blend of broad comedy, sports competition and romance," said Marjorie Cohn, Nickelodeon's Executive Vice President, Development and Original Programming. "Christopher Meloni is one of the most versatile actors around, and alongside him is Nathan Kress from Nickelodeon's iCarly as the uncoordinated new student, in a funny yet touching story of redemption, for all those who like to root for the underdog."

Meloni steps into the sneakers of underdog Dave Stewie, a humiliated former gymnastics gold medal contender-turned gym teacher who gets a shot at redemption as he vies for the coveted Gym Teacher of the Year Award. But with dorky Roland Waffle (Kress) new to his team, Stewie's no shoo-in, and the coach and the gym-averse kid get mutual makeovers in their bid to be winners.

As the slightly bonkers principal of Hamm Lake Middle School, Sedaris' Abby Hofmann holds a not-so-secret crush on Stewie. David Alan Grier's prep school coach, Shelley Bragg, is dedicated to proving Stewie a failure and bringing the trophy home for himself. Chelah Horsdal gets Stewie's heart-a- thumping and complicates his life as Hamm Lake's new English teacher Winnie Bleeker, who just happens to be Roland's over-protective widowed mom. Playing himself, former Olympian Bruce Jenner turns up in a cameo as Stewie's idol.

While Dave Stewie's run into a vaulting horse trampled his gold medal chances in 1988, he rebuilt his life from the ashes of humiliation to become gym teacher extraordinaire at Hamm Lake Middle School. Ever-competitive -- albeit a tad over the top -- he's committed to molding physically fit kids. So when the nation's President announces a contest for the greatest physical educator, Dave hankers to lead his talented team to victory, redeem himself and bask in the glory.

Enter his worst nightmare in the person of sci-fi buff/helmeted Roland Waffle, a transfer student without an athletic bone in his body. And in a jaw-dropping irony, Roland's mom, Winnie, is the beautiful new teacher Dave hopes to date. In order to win the national contest and crush his nemesis, Coach Bragg, Dave must secretly turn this gangly thorn in his side into a competitor - against his overly-protective mother's wishes. And just as Coach Stewie's plans - for the competition and love - seem to move steadily on track, Coach Bragg catches wind of the ruse and clues in Winnie who could cost Stewie his shot at a gold medal and at love.

Gym Teacher is a Nickelodeon production in association with Dolphin Entertainment. Executive producers are Lauren Levine (Bridge to Terabithia, Shredderman Rules!), Stanley M. Brooks (Broken Trail), Jim Head and Bill O'Dowd. Paul Dinello (Strangers with Candy, The Colbert Report) directs a teleplay by brothers Daniel and Steven Altiere.

For nine seasons (1999-present) Meloni has starred as Detective Elliot Stabler on NBC's Law & Order: SVU, and the portrayal earned him an Emmy nomination (2006). Demonstrating a flair for comedy, on the big screen he played the football coach rejected by Julia Roberts' character in Runaway Bride and a maniacal mechanic named Freak Show in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. Earlier, he starred in the comedy series The Fanelli Boys and recurred on the TV drama series NYPD Blue and Homicide: Life on the Streets. Meloni has four upcoming films, including Nights in Rodanthe (Warner Brothers) also starring Diane Lane and Richard Gere; Harold & Kumar 2 (New Line Cinema), Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, also starring Julianne Nicholson and Timothy Hutton; and Carriers, an apocalyptic thriller to be released by Paramount Vantage about a viral pandemic.

Kress, 15, co-stars on Nickelodeon's hit series iCarly as Freddie, the tech-savvy web show producer who's smitten with Miranda Cosgrove's Carly. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in the 168-Hour Film Festival for his portrayal of a cocaine pusher in the independent comedy Bag. His additional roles include a wheelchair-bound basketball player in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and four characters, including the lead Ninja student Eizan, in Nickelodeon's animated series Shuriken School.

Nickelodeon, in its 28th year, has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 96 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for more than 13 consecutive years.

By AmericasNewsToday.Org staff "

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