The U.S. Postal Service breaks into the movie biz

The U.S. Postal Service is trying to refurbish its mail carriers’ tarnished image by backing a Showtime movie about heroic post office inspectors who track down a bomber. With the film, which stars Louis Gossett Jr. and Jonathan Silverman (“The Single Guy”), the mail agency hopes to show that postmen aren’t all gun-happy lunatics or weirdos like “Seinfeld”‘s Newman or “Cheers”‘ Cliff Clavin. (Or pretentious dullards, as in Kevin Costner’s “The Postman.”) The mail agency will be paying the movie’s promotion costs and will advertise the flick in post offices, hoping it turns their employees into heroes. A Showtime executive has said the film has the potential to become a series. Who knows? Maybe mailmen will supplant cops as a popular TV subject, and we’ll see the following shows:

“Beverly Hills P.O. 90210”: A group of 19-year-old civil servants learn about life and love while delivering mail to the glitziest homes in Los Angeles. Issues affecting today’s youth will be addressed, as in one episode when a shy postman is convinced by a gang of toughs that sending things by private couriers like Airborne Express is “really dope.”

“Single White Mailman”: The first mail-centered sitcom focuses on a young, eligible postman’s mating tribulations as he searches for a postwoman wife. The dating antics get bawdy and bawdier for this randy bachelor, especially with kooky misunderstandings like, “She said ‘metered mail’? I thought she said ‘meatier male’!”

“Postman Chat”: This afternoon talk show gives Jerry Springer a run for his money as it tackles all the hottest, most salacious topics you’ve come to expect from mailmen. Sample shows: “That Woman at 452 Maple Lane is a Hoochie,” “I Delivered a J. Crew Catalogue to a Transvestite,” and “I’ve Been Licking Your Mail.”