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TV Notes: Ideal Job

Wednesday, March 14, 2001

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

Pittsburgh native Bill Nunn starred in two previous television series, but he's hoping for better luck with ABC's "The Job" (9:30 tonight on WTAE).

Nunn's 1994 CBS police drama "Traps" aired for less than a month. In 1992 he starred in an NBC sitcom titled "Local Heroes." Seven episodes were filmed, but a change in management resulted in the series never airing.

Now the 1970 Schenley High graduate stars in "The Job," an unconventional comedy about a miserable cop (Denis Leary). Nunn plays Pip, Leary's far more upbeat and optimistic partner. Unlike typical sitcoms that are shot with three cameras in front of a studio audience, "The Job" is filmed with one camera, no audience and no laugh track.

"If I had a dream job, this would be it," Nunn said in January at the TV critics press tour in Pasadena, Calif. "I prefer this to traditional sitcoms because it's like making movies."

And Nunn enjoys working with the irascible Leary.

"I like guys like that," Nunn said. "All my friends are like that. They're crazy."

Nunn said his parents, Francis and Bill Jr. (Nunn is actually Bill III), still live in the Hill District but spend winters in Florida. When he's not working, Nunn lives in Georgia with his wife and daughters. He's been there since graduating from Morehouse College in Atlanta and never gave a thought to returning to Pittsburgh.

"It's kind of a small town. After a couple weeks, you start running into yourself in Pittsburgh. I didn't realize that until I left," Nunn said. "But I love Pittsburgh, I was there over the summer."

Nunn wasn't involved in acting or theater during his days at Schenley.

"I stumbled into it by accident when I was in my first year of college," Nunn said. "A couple friends were going to audition for the play and I went one time to look at the girls. I was waiting for them and they didn't have enough people and the director says, 'Want to be in the play?' And I said I'd do it and the rest is history.

"Next thing I know, I'm on stage with Samuel L. Jackson and his wife, LaTanya," Nunn said. "They were very serious about it, so I got caught up in it too."

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