‘Ballyhoo’ to hit small screen

ABC and Uhry tap Beresford to helm telepic

A year after its best-play Tony win gave it a much-needed boost on Broadway, “The Last Night of Ballyhoo” is eyeing expansion.

The play is now on tap to become a Disney/ABC telepic. And the play’s author, Alfred Uhry, has attached Bruce Beresford to helm the TV version of the play, according to a source familiar with the project. Beresford directed the hit film version of Uhry’s Off Broadway hit “Driving Miss Daisy,” which won Oscars in 1989 for picture, screenplay and actress (Jessica Tandy).

Dan Aykroyd, Oscar-nominated for “Daisy,” will be starring in the TV version of “Ballyhoo,” playing the role of Uncle Adolph. He’ll be joined by Ashley Judd, who is currently shooting Beresford’s film “Double Jeopardy.” Paul Rudd, who left the Broadway “Ballyhoo” to star opposite Jennifer Aniston in the 20th Century Fox comedy “The Object of My Affection,” will reappear in the “Ballyhoo” telepic as his original character, Joe. No word on when principal photography begins, but according to sources, it’s sure to be shot in Atlanta — the same location as “Daisy.”

The play celebrated its 500th performance at the Helen Hayes Theater on May 6, and will be popping up in Los Angeles and Chicago soon. While L.A. details are still being worked out (a planned stint as part of a “Broadway L.A.” roadshow series has been canceled), a Chicago production is being licensed at the Mercury theater to begin this fall. Toronto and London locations are being considered