Could there be a more natural candidate for a classy, four-hanky ABC made-for-TV movie than the story of Bob Woodruff’s brush with death in Iraq and his amazing recovery with much help from his family? Of course not.
It would be impossible to have watched him and wife Lee on “Good Morning America” or “Oprah” or “The View” and not be moved. David Letterman certainly was when Mr. Woodruff visited “Late Show.”
The miracle is not just that Mr. Woodruff recovered from devastating brain injuries after being caught in a roadside bomb attack while on assignment outside Baghdad in January 2006. He suffered that blow while he was still in his first month of co-anchoring “World News Tonight” with Elizabeth Vargas.
There’s also the fact that he regained his intelligence, sense of humor and can-do confidence after weeks in a medically induced coma. And the fact that he and Lee and their four children seem serene and strong in their love. Add to that the fact that he’s now telling the stories of soldiers who, like him, suffered traumatic brain injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan but who, unlike him, have not been as lucky and well treated as he since he left Walter Reed Hospital last year.
The whipped cream and cherry on top is that Mr. Woodruff retains his startlingly good looks in spite of extensive facial wounds and having about a quarter of his skull replaced by a man-made material after the swelling in his brain went away.
But The Insider digresses from her main order of business today. She has cast the major roles in the Woodruff story. Jim Caviezel would be a natural as Mr. Woodruff. Not only does he have the same chiseled mien and blue eyes, but he’s got the same zen exterior. Laura Linney would be perfect as Lee Woodruff. “Desperate Housewives'” James Denton looks so like ABC News President David Westin in person it’s uncanny, even unnerving.
The Insider is so far stumped on casting the three younger Woodruff children, but give Abigail Breslin a few months to grow some longer legs and she’d be perfect as the eldest.
If you haven’t read “In an Instant,” the Woodruffs’ book about their journey, you are missing a tale that won’t soon leave you.
And now for something completely silly, which is what The Insider’s readers generally get. It’s a question for which there is clearly only one answer. And if you can’t get that answer in five seconds, you will be voted off the island — but not before your TV industry membership and pop-cultural credentials are revoked.
Who returned to the mass-media scene looking eerily like “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson last week?
Yo dawg! It’s Star Jones Reynolds, late of “The View” and now returning to Court TV to host a weekday show.
Except for the facts that Mr. Jackson has put back on some of the weight he had lost, and Ms. Jones Reynolds has taken off so much she now has the figure of Dolly Parton, they look almost as much alike as the Olsen twins.
But when Ms. Jones Reynolds puts on her new and oh-so-au courant glasses—which folks who know her say she doesn’t need — she looks like a mirror image of Mr. Jackson.
It’s a mirror-cle!