[03/19/03 - 12:00 AM]
Telefilm Roundup: March 19
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest telefilm news, culled from recent wire reports:

BEHIND THE CAMERA: THE UNAUTHORIZED STORY OF "THREE'S COMPANY" (NBC) - The Peacock network has announced it will air the telefilm on Monday, May 12 at 9:00/8:00c. It had previously been scheduled for an April air date.

DC 9/11 (Showtime, New!) - Timothy Bottoms ("That's My Bush!") is set to star while Penny Johnson ("24") George Takei ("Star Trek") are in talks to star in Showtime's telefilm "DC 9/11," an inside look at Bush in the days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the decisions he and his administration faced. Bottoms will once again play President Bush with Johnson and Takei expected to play National Security Adviser Condeleezza Rice and Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta respectively. Still to be cast are President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell. Lionel Chetwynd wrote the script and will produce the telefilm with Daniel Petrie, Sr. on board to direct.

ELOISE AT THE PLAZA (ABC) - The Alphabet's small screen adaptation of Kay Thompson's beloved novel will air Sunday, April 27 at 7:00/6:00c as part of the network's "Wonderful World of Disney" franchise. Julie Andrews ("The Princess Diaries"), Jeffrey Tambor ("That Was Then"), Christine Baranski ("Cybill"), and Debra Monk ("N.Y.P.D. Blue") star along with newcomer Sofia Vassilieva as Eloise.

UNTITLED CHARLES II PROJECT (A&E, New!) - Rufus Sewell ("A Knight's Tale") will play Charles II in an upcoming four-hour mini-series for A&E in a co-production between the cable network and the BBC. The mini-series chronicles the 17th century monarch's turbulent reign, which coincided with the plague and the Great Fire of London as well as his equally stormy personal life, including his succession of mistresses. Rupert Graves ("Extreme Ops") will co-star as Lord Buckingham, Charles' nemesis. Shooting is scheduled to begin next month in Prague for an early 2004 air date. Delia Fine, Laura Mackie and Kate Harwood will produce the project, with Joe Wright (BBC's "Crocodile Snap") directing from a script by Adrian Hodges ("Lorna Doone"). The announcement marks the first longform project greenlighted by Bob DeBitetto, A&E's new senior vp original programming. No budget was disclosed, but it will be one of the biggest productions in A&E history.

UNTITLED HEIDI FLEISS PROJECT (USA, New!) - The cable network is developing a biopic of infamous Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. Fleiss served more than three years in federal prison for tax evasion, money laundering and attempted pandering associated with a high-priced prostitution ring she ran in Hollywood during the 1990s. Stan Brooks' Once Upon a Time Films has come on board to executive produce the project. No cast or creative team was announced.

WUTHERING HEIGHTS, CA (MTV) - The music channel has greenlighted the contemporary take on Emily Bronte's classic novel. Casting is underway on the project which is set along the Mendocino coastline. It concerns a young woman who falls in love with a poor musician, but marries someone from a wealthy family instead. Annie deYoung and Max Enscoe ("Prince William") wrote the script with Suri Krishnamma ("New Year's Day") on board to direct. Jim Steinman and Paul Mason are producing. The telepic will be the second classic tale to get an MTV makeover - "Carmen: A Hip Hopera," which co-starred Mekhi Phifer and aired in March 2001. Music obviously will play heavily in MTV's "Heights" however no specific genre was announced.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2003]  

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