[08/21/03 - 12:00 AM]
USA's 'Dead Zone' a Go for Third Season
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- USA has renewed its original drama "The Dead Zone" for a third season. The news was announced this afternoon via press release from the network:

"The Dead Zone," the hit series starring Anthony Michael Hall ("61*," "The Pirates of Silicon Valley," "Sixteen Candles"), has been picked up for a third season, as announced by Jeff Wachtel, executive vice president, series and longform programming, USA Network. The series is set to resume production this Fall.

"'The Dead Zone' is one of the top-rated shows on basic cable and we're confident that it will continue its strong performance in its third season," said Wachtel. "Lions Gate and Paramount have consistently delivered a top-quality show that we're all extremely proud of."

"The Dead Zone" premiere remains the highest-rated and most-watched original dramatic series debut in the history of basic cable.

Based on characters from the Stephen King novel, "The Dead Zone" is produced by Lions Gate Television and Paramount International Television in association with Piller(2) and The Segan Company.

The series was created for television by acclaimed writer-executive producer Michael Piller (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager) and his son, supervising producer Shawn Piller.

The series stars Hall as Johnny Smith, a man injured in a near-fatal car crash who emerges from a six-year-long coma with the blessing and curse of second sight. His startling psychic abilities allow him to see into the past and future through visions triggered by touch -- visions he is unable to ignore, especially when others are at risk.

Executive produced by Michael Piller and Lloyd Segan ("The Bachelor," "Boondock Saints," "Bones"), "The Dead Zone" also stars Nicole deBoer ("Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "Rated X") as Sarah Bannerman, Johnny's former fiancee, who is now married to the county sheriff and raising the son she conceived with Johnny on the eve of his tragic accident; Chris Bruno ("All My Children," "Another World") as Walt Bannerman, Sarah's devoted husband and a dedicated cop, who continues to develop what began as an uneasy alliance with Johnny through their work together in solving cases; John L. Adams ("The Parenthood," "Pacific Blue") as Bruce Lewis, Johnny's physical therapist and close friend; Kristen Dalton ("Gleason," "Beverly Hills, 90210") as Dana Bright, a local reporter with more than a professional interest in Johnny; and David Ogden Stiers ("Curse of the Jade Scorpion," "Lilo & Stitch") as Reverend Gene Purdy, an ambitious televangelist who inherited a fortune from Johnny's late mother and still controls Johnny's trust.

Also continuing in their guest appearances are Sean Patrick Flanery ("The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles," "Powder") in the role of Greg Stillson, a polished but ruthless young congressional candidate backed by Reverend Purdy, and Frank Whaley ("A Good Night to Die," "Pulp Fiction") as a man from the future who makes contact with Johnny.

"The Dead Zone" is backed by an outstanding production team headed by executive producers Piller and Segan, and newly named executive producer Karl Schaefer ("Strange Luck," "Eerie, Indiana"). Anthony Michael Hall is co-producer. Shawn Piller ("Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Star Trek: Voyager") and Craig Silverstein ("The Invisible Man") are supervising producers; Robert Petrovicz ("The Outer Limits," "Smallville") and Michael Taylor ("Star Trek: Voyager," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine") are producers; Kira Domaschuk ("Higher Ground," "Mysterious Ways") is co-producer; and Harold Tichenor ("Marine Life," "Children of the Dust," "Higher Ground") is consulting producer. The series' visual effects are produced by Stargate Digital Studios.

The series' new season of 13 episodes is expected to bow next summer. Overall "The Dead Zone" averaged a 1.6 rating in adults 18-49 for its second season, a decrease of more than 33% from its first season average (2.4). USA executives attributed the loss to the show airing in the winter against the broadcast networks' regular programming. The show's "extended" season season this summer however actually came in below its winter episode average.

  [august 2003]  

· 61* (HBO)

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