CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest telefilm news, culled from recent wire reports:
AUDREY'S RAIN (Hallmark, New!) - Jean Smart stars in the story of Audrey Walker, a single woman who�s put her life on hold to raise her deceased sister�s children and care for a retarded sibling, but fate brings a long-lost love (Richard Gilliland) who helps her break free from the emotional baggage of her family�s tragedies to embrace her life, love and family. It premieres Sunday, May 11 at 9:00/8:00c.
DEATHLANDS: HOMEWARD BOUND (Sci Fi) - Sci Fi's small screen adaptation of the James Axler's "Deathlands" novels debuts on Saturday, May 17 at 9:00/8:00c. Vincent Spano and Traci Elizabeth Lords ("First Wave") star.
DREAMKEEPER (ABC) - ABC has delayed the mini-series until November 2003. The network had previously scheduled it to air May 11-12 at 8:00/7:00c. In its place ABC will air "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" on May 11 and continue with regular programming on the 12th.
THE GOODBYE GIRL (TNT) - Jeff Daniels is in final negotiations to star opposite Patricia Heaton in the cable channel's remake of Neil Simon's "The Goodbye Girl." Simon is writing and executive producing the new take on his 1977 film, which finds a woebegone divorcee (Heaton) sharing her New York apartment with a would-be actor (Daniels). Simon, Don Saffran, Ron Ziskin and Dave Collins ("Stealing Sinatra") are executive producing the project, which is a co-production between Warner Bros. TV and TNT. Production is set for the summer for airing during the first quarter of 2004.
HITLER: THE RISE OF EVIL (CBS) - The Eye network will premiere its two-part mini-series about the Nazi dictator (played by Robert Carlyle) on Sunday, May 18 and Tuesday, May 20 at 9:00/8:00c.
ICE BOWL (ESPN, New!) - Joe Eszterhas ("Basic Instinct," "Flashdance") has signed on to write the script for ESPN's third original telefilm, a docudrama that will re-create the NFL's famed 1967 "Ice Bowl" playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers in which Wisconsin temperatures sunk well below zero. The game became a part of football lore, in part due to the call of NFL Films' John Facenda in which he referred to the icy field as "the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field." ESPN is set to air the telefilm on Saturday, December 13 at 9:00/8:00c as playoff season heats up in the real NFL.
LOVE COMES SOFTLY (Hallmark) - The cable network's adaptation of the best-selling novels by Janette Oke debuts Sunday, April 13 at 9:00/8:00c. Katherine Heigl, Skye McCole Bartusiak, and Dale Midkiff star.
OUR TOWN (Showtime, New!) - The pay channel will debut a new adaptation of the classic play featuring Paul Newman and Jane Curtin on Saturday, May 24 at 8:00/7:00c.
SALEM'S LOT (TNT) - Rutger Hauer and Samantha Mathis have joined the cast of TNT's mini-series remake of "Salem's Lot." Rob Lowe stars as a journalist who returns to his New England hometown to find that it has become infested with vampires. Production on the project is expected to start later this month in Austrailia. Peter Filardi ("The Craft") wrote the new script adaptation and Mikael Salomon will direct. Mark Wolper and Jeff Hayes are executive producers of "Salem," also a Warner Bros. TV production.
SILENT WARNINGS (Sci Fi, New!) - Stephen Baldwin ("Dead Weekend"), Billy Zane ("Titanic," "The Phantom") and Callie De Fabry ("Birds of Prey") star this telefilm about crop circles and alien invaders. It bows on Saturday, May 3 at 9:00/8:00c.
SOLDIER'S GIRL (Showtime) - Showtime's docudrama about Pvt. Barry Winchell (Troy Garity), who was harassed and murdered by fellow soldiers because of his romance with a transsexual woman is set to air Saturday, May 31 at 8:00/7:00c. Andre Braugher also stars.
TENNESSE WILLIAMS' THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONE (Showtime) - Director Robert Allan Ackerman's version of the Tennessee Williams novella debuts on the pay channel on Saturday, May 24 at 10:00/9:00c. Mel Brooks, Brian Dennehy, Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith are among the cast.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters