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October 6, 2015


Meteor: Part 1 - open thread

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 13th 2009 1:31PM
Back in the late 70s, there was a major disaster movie about a huge meteor coming to Earth and causing havoc. It was called Meteor and it starred Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden, Henry Fonda, and a ton of other big names, like all 70s disaster movies had.

Now we have another movie about two large meteors coming to Earth to cause havoc called Meteor, only this time it's on television and it's a miniseries and it stars Christopher Lloyd, Stacy Keach, and Jason Alexander. What did you think? Here's Part 1 if you missed it (Part 2 airs next week).

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The original V aliens ate rodents

by Bob Sassone, posted May 22nd 2009 11:30AM
John has already told you about the V remake that will air on ABC next season, and that got me thinking about the original 80s version. I clearly remember one scene where head baddie Diana (Jane Badler) chowed down. Here's the clip. I really hope they redo this scene in the new version.

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HBO plans Lincoln assassination mini-series

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 18th 2008 1:05PM
logo HBOA week from now, HBO will probably be one of the big stories from the Primetime Emmys thanks to the success of the John Adams mini-series. But it's not sitting on that success, the premium cable net is banking on it. HBO announced today a mini series based on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln called Manhunt. That news would be interesting enough because the series will deal with the 12 days after Lincoln was shot when the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was on the run. However, the guys that HBO have tapped to work on Manhunt are two of the best in television -- David Simon and Tom Fontana.

HBO knows Simon and Fontana's work really well. Simon was the creator of The Wire and Fontana's brainchild was Oz. This is also not a new collaboration. Fontana turned Simon's book, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, into the Homicide: Life on the Streets TV series for NBC.

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One site's early peek at the new V movie

by Debra McDuffee, posted Aug 7th 2008 3:06PM
cast of V TV miniseriesThe original '80s V miniseries is ingrained in my memory. In fact, when I was pregnant, I would get the inevitable question: do you want a boy or a girl? My pat answer was, "As long as it's not a lizard baby, we'll be happy."

If you watched V, you know my reference, and it was fun when the askers got it too.

Beyond lizard babies, lovable aliens who went on to play Freddie Kreuger (Robert Englund) and heroines imported from The Greatest American Hero (Faye Grant) -- I swear, I remember all of this; I didn't even look it up! -- V was so unique and addicting that if you haven't seen it, I suggest getting that DVD release tout de suite.

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HBO and BBC team up for Saddam Hussein miniseries

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 26th 2007 6:44PM

saddam husseinYigal Naor will play Saddam Hussein in a new four-hour miniseries about the Iraq president's reign that lasted from 1979 to 2003.

The miniseries, Between Two Rivers, is being produced by both HBO and the BBC. It will begin shooting this summer in North Africa. It will focus on Saddam's family and his personal relationships. The cast also includes Shoreh Aghdashloo, Christine Stephen-Daly, Said Taghmaoui, Phillip Arditti, Mounir Margoum, Uri Gavriel, Amr Waked and Sasson Gabay.

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HBO turning Richard Ford books into miniseries

by Bob Sassone, posted May 5th 2007 2:06PM

The SportswriterHBO has just announced that they are going to take Richard Ford's acclaimed trilogy of books, The Sportswriter, Independence Day, and Lay of the Land, and turn them into a six hour miniseries titled The Sportswriter.

The books focus on sportswriter Frank Bascombe and the problems he has in his life. The books cover everything from Vietnam to 9/11 and so will the miniseries. It will be directed by James Mangold (Men In Trees, Identity, Walk The Line) and written by Mark Bomback, who also wrote the upcoming third Die Hard movie with Bruce Willis and Justin Long.

This should be an interesting miniseries, especially if they get someone good to play Bascombe and stick close to the books. I've only read The Sportswriter. It's quite good.

[via TV Tattle]

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Andromeda Strain coming to A&E (and other news from the network)

by Adam Finley, posted May 2nd 2007 4:03PM

andromeda strainThis summer, filmmaking brothers Tony and Ridley Scott will begin production on a miniseries version of Michael Crichton's novel The Andromeda Strain for A&E. The brothers will executive produce the miniseries, which is being directed by Mikael Solomon (whose TV credits include Rome and Nightmares and Dreamscapes) and written by Robert Schenkkan (The Quiet American).

Crichton's novel was also made into a motion picture in 1971.

The miniseries could run as long as six hours. In addition, A&E has plans for more original series to air in 2008, including The Cleaner, about an addict who helps others kick their habit; Homestead, a cop drama; The Beast, an FBI drama; Takedown, a drama about U.S. Marshals; and Under, about a mob informant turned NY City cop.

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AMC developing several new miniseries

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 19th 2007 12:02PM

L19AMC hasn't produced a miniseries since Broken Trail back in June of 2006, but now the network hopes to develop several new ones from producers and screenwriters most known for their work in film.

The first miniseries, Against the Guns of Quantrill, tells the story of Confederate prisoners who defend a Union town. It's being written by Michael Blake (Dances with Wolves). Other miniseries include Berlin Mesa from Spy Game writer Michael Frost Beckner and producer John Baldecchi (Simon Birch, The Mexican), about FBI and Nazi prisoners in the southwest United States; Skylark, about a Jewish woman helping American soldiers in France during World War II from writer and producer Michael Nankin, whose television credits include helming episodes of Battlestar Galactica; writer and producer John Leekley's White Rose, about an investigation into a Nazi youth movement in Germany; and L-19, about German pilots stranded at sea in a crashed blimp.

AMC hopes to draw viewers in with original material that still maintains a theatrical quality. Also, it apparently has a proclivity for anything with Nazis. Most likely, only one miniseries will be aired each year.

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Generation Kill mini-series coming to HBO

by Julia Ward, posted Feb 28th 2007 6:37PM
Generation KillHBO has given the greenlight to Generation Kill, a seven-hour miniseries based on the true stories of Marines fighting in the Iraq war. The series will focus on the early movements of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. The series is being co-written by David Simon and Ed Burns of The Wire and is based on Evan Wright's nonfiction book of the same name. Wright was embedded with U.S. troops during the war's first phase in 2003.

Expect to see nothing but Iraq war films, miniseries and television shows coming out of Hollywood over the next couple of years. Enough time has passed since the war's inception to see all manner of first person narratives and analysis published and snapped up by production companies. What distinguishes Generation Kill is its look at the war's earliest days, the specificity with which it addresses military bueracracy and its characterization of today's soliders. They are not their WWII and Vietnam counterparts. As Wright described them, Marines are "on more intimate terms with videogames, reality TV shows and Internet porn than they are with their own parents." Different generation. Different war.

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Jimmy Smits to helm Latino family drama on CBS

by Julia Ward, posted Feb 15th 2007 8:32AM
Jimmy Smits CBSIs Hollywood finally waking up and smelling the census report? Add to the growing list of shows centered around Latino families CBS' Los Duques. Starring Jimmy Smits, who also serves as the program's executive producer, the show focuses on the Duques, a powerful South Florida family of rum merchants. In typical telenovela fashion, the family's ailing patriarch leaves control of the company to an outsider, Smits' character Alex Vega.

Smits' production company El Sendero has two additional projects set up at FX and ABC. The FX program, The Inside, focuses on a former Special Forces operative who gives up his identity to infiltrate a drug cartel. The ABC project is an epic miniseries about immigration told through several interconnected storylines. The miniseries will be written and directed by Gregory Nava, who directed Smits in the feature film My Family/Mi Familia.

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Could Stephen King's Dark Tower become a miniseries?

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 14th 2007 8:22PM

dark towerVarious sources are reporting that Stephen King's seven-volume opus The Dark Tower could be making it to the screen. The question is: will it be the TV screen or the movie screen? As an unapologetic fan of King's work, and especially his Dark Tower series (a narrative that expands into his other books as well) I really don't care how they do it, as long as they don't screw it up. The Dark Tower, the tale of a gunslinger named Roland who seeks out the titular tower that is the center of all existence, is an engaging, if sometimes overwrought amalgam of fantasy, sci-fi, horror and a bit of King's own existentialism tossed in for good measure: he himself becomes a character in the latter part of the series. Much like Lord of the Rings, the series begs to be developed in a visual medium, but one hopes whoever tackles this project can do it justice.

Right now, J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alias) is the name attached to the rumored project, and the belief seems to be that it will be developed as a miniseries, given the length of time needed to tell the whole story. My only suggestion would be to shorten the part of the story told in The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass; I loved The Dark Tower as a whole, but Wizard and Glass bored me to tears -- too much romance, not enough action.

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Sidney Sheldon dead at 89

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 30th 2007 11:30PM

Sidney SheldonHe might be best remembered by television fans as the creator and writer of such shows as I Dream of Jeannie and The Patty Duke Show, but Sidney Sheldon also wrote for the theater and was a novelist as well, writing several over the years (and he started writing novels at age 50!), including The Other Side of Midnight, If Tomorrow Comes, Rage of Angels, Bloodline, and Master of the Game.

Besides I Dream of Jeannie and Patty Duke, he also wrote or created several other series, including Hart to Hart and Nancy, and wrote an episode of the Twilight Zone revival in the mid 80s. Movies he wrote or co-wrote include the Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis comedy Pardners, Easter Parade, The Buster Keaton Story, and The Bachelor and The Bobby Soxer.

Sheldon died this afternoon in Los Angeles from pneumonia.

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Starter Wife gets going on USA - TCA Report

by Kevin Kelly, posted Jan 13th 2007 12:03PM
Starter Wife - or could it be the alternator?The USA six hour miniseries The Starter Wife presented a half and half panel as the closing event at Friday's TCA ... half of the panel was here in Pasadena, the other half in sunny and gorgeous Australia. Based on the novel by Gigi Levangie Grazer, the series is being shot down under, which doubles as Malibu, and follows the trials and tribulations of Gracie Pollock (Debra Messing) as a freshly dumped (via cell phone just beofre her 10th anniversary) "starter wife".

The miniseries is airing a bit oddly, if you ask me. Not that you did, but since I'm telling the story here, let's pretend like it happened. They're airing the first episode as a two hour show, and then four one-hour episodes after that. All on the USA Network this May. While that may be a bit odd, the show looks like it'll pull in fans of Sex and the City, and is directed by veteran Jon Avnet.

It also stars Joe Mantegna who had the two zinger quotes of the evening:
  • Joe Mantegna, on starter wives: "I've been on the same starter wife for 32 years."
  • Joe Mantegna: on hearing writer and executive producer Josann McGibbon say that she'd been bitten by a leech in Australia, but that it wouldn't have happened in Los Angeles: "Did you just say there's no leeches in L.A.?!"

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Paul Giamatti to play John Adams in HBO miniseries

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 21st 2006 10:11AM
Paul Giamatti and John AdamsIf you were casting a miniseries about the American Revolution, concentrating on John Adams, who would be the first person you would think of to play the second president? That's right, the name Paul Giamatti doesn't come to mind right away, does it? Well, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman did; they're producting a seven-hour HBO miniseries based on the David McCullough book John Adams, and they cast Giamatti in the title role. He'll play Adams during the revolutionary years, when he stoked the revolt behind-the-scenes. The series is set to start shooting in January and will begin airing in March 2008.

I've got to say, resemblance-wise, it doesn't seem to be a match. Even tempermant-wise, I'm not sure. Adams was more of a low-key guy, while almost every role Giamatti's played has been on the high-strung or emotional side. If anyone's got the acting chops to pull this off, though, it's Giamatti. And he'll be the only actor that can say he played both a Founding Father and Pig Vomit.

(UPDATE: I have been taken to task by the readers for calling Adams "low-key." Apparently, my knowledge of American history needs an update, because Adams was supposedly a big pain in the ass. So Giamatti might be perfect for the role.)

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TNT to launch DramaVision

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 10th 2006 2:05PM
into the westTNT is taking their "We Know Drama" mantra to the Web with a new broadband site called DramaVision. The site will launch on August 15 and will kick off with the full six-part miniseries Into The West. Other dramatic offerings originally aired on TNT will also be added to the mix, including Lakota Woman, A Christmas Carol (with Patrick Stewart), The Goodbye Girl, The Librarian, and a plethora of other made-for-television movies I've never seen before. The site will also show special footage of live events such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Black Movie Awards, plus dramatizations of real life court cases. The new on-demand service will be a part of TNT's Web site.

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