[06/01/04 - 12:00 AM]
2004 Summer Programming Preview: Original Movies and Mini-Series
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- In recent years the summer months have evolved from being a dumping ground for dead projects and unaired episodes (don't worry there's still plenty of that to go around), as with the success of everything from "Survivor" to "The O.C." during the period, the networks have begun to take the June to August stretch much more seriously.

So in an effort to help navigate the increasingly complicated summer waters, we've compiled a list of everything you can expect to see during the period: from comedies to dramas to reality series to original movies and mini-series.

With that in mind, here's a breakdown of all the movies and mini-series set to launch this summer (all descriptions are taken from each network's respective press materials where available):

JUNE 2004

Premieres: Wednesday, June 2 (8:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT)

Twenty-five years ago they used a '69 GTO to get away. Now they'll use a new one to get even. When his wife is killed in a botched heist, notorious bank robber Ronnie Purnell (Dennis Hopper) surrenders to the police. Sentenced to a hefty prison term, he's forced to put his young son Aaron in the care of a back-stabbing friend by the name of Darryl Kurtz - who actually engineered Purnell's arrest. Thirty years later, a newly-freed Purnell is back on the streets looking for revenge - and his old getaway car, a 1969 GTO that holds the key to his redemption. Aaron (Will Patton) is now a clean-cut cop struggling to make sure his own son, Matt (Chris Carmack), steers clear of the criminal lifestyle he's been flirting with. But despite Aaron's best efforts to keep grandpa and grandson apart, Matt can't resist getting involved with Ronnie's plot to take down the man who set him up all those years ago. Nailing Kurtz and finding the vintage car means they'll have to race against the clock, the L.A.P.D. and a private security force. But in the hot new 350-horsepower 2004 GTO they just ripped off, they've got the drive to win.

Premieres: Sunday, June 6 (8:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT)

When Kelly (Maggie Lawson) and Michael (Joseph Lawrence) decide to get married, they want to have an off-beat wedding without all the traditional glitz. But when their friends and Kelly's mother (Marilu Henner) introduce them to the rules of engagement, all bets are off.

Premieres: Sunday, June 6 (8:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT)

Leslie Hope ("24") and Bruce Greenwood ("Thirteen Days") star in the drama, about a present-day nuclear plant disaster and its aftermath.

Premieres: Part 1 - Monday, June 7 (9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT); Part 2 - Tuesday, June 8 (9:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT); Part 3 - Wednesday, June 9 (9:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT); Part 4 - Thursday, June 10 (9:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT)

J.T. Neumeyer (Academy Award-winner Timothy Hutton) has just five days to solve his own murder. His only leads are a handful of clues inside a briefcase sent back to him from the future. Randy Quaid (Independence Day) co-stars in this four-night SCI FI Original Miniseries.

Premieres: Monday, June 7 (9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

A romantic comedy about a divorced woman who is convinced that her daughter has terrible taste in men. In desperation, she secretly goes online searching for her daughter's "Mr. Right." She finds a man she thinks will be the perfect mate and strikes up a cyber friendship. When things heat up, she invites him to the house. What she couldn't have anticipated is that he may be her "perfect romance," while her daughter's perfect match has been under their noses all along. Starring: Kathleen Quinlan, Lori Heuring, Henry Ian Cusick

KING SOLOMON'S MINES (Hallmark Channel)
Premieres: Part 1 - Saturday, June 12 (4:00 - 6:00 PM ET/PT); Part 2 - Saturday, June 6 (6:00 - 8:00 PM ET/PT)

For the first time since his 1986 starring role in the Civil War epic �North and South,� three-time Golden Globe Award nominee Patrick Swayze returns to television drama in �King Solomon�s Mines,� a tantalizing treasure viewers will discover Saturday, June 12 (5/4c). An encore presentation follows at 9/8c. Lensed on location in South Africa, �King Solomon�s Mines� is a romantic action-adventure set against the backdrop of 19th century Africa. Based on H. Rider Haggard�s wildly popular novel, the excitement unfolds around heroic explorer Allan Quatermain, a grieving widower fighting for custody of his young son. Hired by the beautiful daughter of an Oxford professor to find her father � who has vanished without a trace � Quatermain returns to the Dark Continent and embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue the captive archeologist, who holds the key to untold treasures � and ultimate power.

POST IMPACT (Sci Fi Channel)
Premieres: Saturday, June 12 (9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

An asteroid crashes to Earth, plunging the northern hemisphere into a new ice age. One man braves the frozen wasteland in order to return to his wife and daughter � and possibly save all humanity. Dean Cain (SCI FI Pictures' Dragon Fighter) and Nigel Bennett (Lexx, Forever Knight) star.

Premieres: Sunday, June 13 (8:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT) Rage unleashed. Kyle LeBlanc (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is an American who is employed overseas in Russia. After the murder of his wife by a Russian mobster who is later found not guilty due to "lack of evidence," Kyle takes the law into his own hands and avenges her death. Sentenced to life in prison without parole, he is thrown into the most corrupt jail in the country, a place where the warden delights in pitting prisoners against each other in fights to the death for his own profit. Quickly discovering that Kyle is a sure thing, the warden forces him to participate in numerous bouts, and the brutality begins to strip Kyle of his human dignity. Soon only his cellmate, 451 (Lawrence Taylor), stands between Kyle and complete insanity.

Premieres: Sunday, June 13 (9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS, a new television movie starring Aidan Quinn ("Legends of the Fall"), Academy Award-winner Marcia Gay Harden ("Pollack") and Will Estes ("American Dreams"), will be broadcast as the "CBS Sunday Movie," Sunday, June 13 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The drama, which also stars Cheech Marin ("Nash Bridges") and Jacinda Barrett ("The Human Stain"), revolves around a star-crossed romance between a rancher and his beautiful wife and his relationship with his young son in whom he invests his own grand dreams. The movie is based on autobiographical short stories from the books Cruising Paradise and Motel Chronicles by Pulitzer Prize-winner Sam Shepard. Quinn plays Joe, an overwrought rancher who is striving to emerge from the shadow of his harsh upbringing and make a better life for himself and his family. When his business ideas falter, Joe, fearing he is going to lose his beautiful wife, Angela (Harden), to another man and set a bad example for his son, Ben (Estes), inadvertently begins driving a wedge between himself and the two people he loves most. Out of apprehension that Ben's life will follow the same futile path that his has, Joe forces him out of the house at the age of 15, breaking Angela's heart and deepening the already growing cracks in their marriage. Years later, with the encouragement of Ben's new wife, Ingrid (Barrett), and the support of Joe's loyal friend, Esteban (Marin), Joe, Ben and Angela must decide how to bridge the gaps among them and face the consequences of unrealized dreams.

LA FEMME MUSKETEER (Hallmark Channel)
Premieres: Sunday, June 20 (8:00 - 11:30 PM ET/PT)

Celebrate Father�s Day with �La Femme Musketeer,� a tantalizing twist on the classic tale of heroic quests in 17th century France. Michael York stars as D�Artagnon, whose love for his unconventional daughter (Susie Amy) gives swashbuckling a spectacular, seductive makeover. Shot on location in Croatia, �La Femme Musketeer� boasts a stellar international cast including G�rard Depardieu, Nastassja Kinski and John Rhys-Davies, who stars as Gimli in the �Lord of the Rings� trilogy. Hired by King Louis XIV to protect his bride-to-be, the sons of the legendary Three Musketeers stumble into a sinister plot to overthrow the monarchy. Amid thievery, kidnapping, seduction and betrayal, the trio is joined by an unknown fourth musketeer. This brilliant swordsman � the most gifted musketeer of the lot � turns out to be not another son of an original musketeer, but Valentine � D�Artagnan�s daughter. Stars Gerard Depardieu, Nastassja Kinski, Susie Amy, and Michael York.

Premieres: Part 1 - Sunday, June 20 (8:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT); Part 2 - Monday, June 21 (8:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT)

A dark terror has come to the picture-perfect town of Jerusalem's Lot, and it's up to a writer with a haunted past to uncover the horror that has taken over the town in SALEM'S LOT, an Original dramatic miniseries event for Turner Network Television (TNT). Rob Lowe (Lyon's Den, The West Wing), Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street), Donald Sutherland (The Italian Job), Samantha Mathis (TNT's THE MISTS OF AVALON), Rutger Hauer (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind), and James Cromwell (Babe) star in this gripping two-part, four-hour thriller. Shot on location in Melbourne, Australia, SALEM'S LOT will premiere on TNT Sunday, June 20 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) and conclude Monday, June 21 at 8 p.m (ET/PT).

DECOYS (Sci Fi Channel)
Premieres: Saturday, June 26 (9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

When men are found murdered, frozen from the inside out, one hapless college student learns the hard way that the sorority girls on his campus are to die for � literally! Richard Burgi (TV's The Sentinel) and Nicole Eggert (Baywatch) co-star in this scary-sexy romp.

Premieres: Saturday, June 26 (9:00 - 10:30 PM ET/PT)

Written and directed by Jim McKay ("Our Song," "Girls Town"), the film explores the subtleties of daily interactions among people of different colors, ethnicities, generations and classes during a single day at a struggling Brooklyn diner. What starts as just another day at work evolves into a series of small but critical moments in the lives of a diverse and complex cast of characters. "Everyday People" is executive produced by Nelson George, Sean Daniel, Caldecot Chubb, Jim McKay and Michael Stipe, and produced by Effie T. Brown and Paul Mezey. The film was an official selection at this year's Sundance Film Festival and recently was selected as the opening night film at the New Directors / News Films festival at Lincoln Center in New York City.

JULY 2004

THE TRAIL TO HOPE ROSE (Hallmark Channel)
Premieres: Saturday, July 3 (9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

Released from prison where he served seven years for armed robbery, Keenan Deerfield (Lou Diamond Phillips) arrives in an 1850s mining town asking for nothing more than the means to make an honest living. Although his arrival is met with scrutiny and hostility, Keenan insists on staying � and soon learns that the locals are virtual slaves of the corrupt mine owner and his son. Under the watchful eye of the town�s sole lawman (Lee Majors) and with the support of a sympathetic landowner (Ernest Borgnine), Keenan toils in the mines and tills the fields where he intends to put down roots. The ex-con even manages to steer clear of trouble until a battered woman (Marina Black) asks for his protection, unleashing the rage of a drunken miner who would sooner see Keenan dead. Forced to fight for his future, Keenan learns that too few stand on the right side of the law on �The Trail to Hope Rose.�

THE RANCH (Showtime)
Premieres: Monday, July 5 (9:00 - 10:30 PM ET/PT)

Amy Madigan ("Carnivale") and Nicki Micheaux star in this ensemble drama that details the, um, ins and outs of life at a Nevada brothel for a group of legal prostitutes.

BABY FOR SALE (Lifetime)
Premieres: Monday, July 12 (9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

Inspired by a true story of an innocent couple who goes undercover in a dangerous sting operation to bust a baby-selling ring. Nathalie Johnson and her husband, Steve, are finalizing the adoption of a baby girl when they discover the child is being auctioned off to the highest bidder. The Johnsons go undercover to help police even though there is no guarantee that they will be given the baby girl they have grown to love. Starring: Dana Delany, Hart Bochner

THEY ARE AMONG US (Sci Fi Channel)
Premieres: Saturday, July 17 (9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

They destroyed their own world...now they want ours! This creepy tale of alien infiltration in a small, close-knit suburban community stars Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5 and the SCI FI Pictures hit Snakehead Terror), Nana Visitor (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and Corbin Bernsen (L.A. Law).

Premieres: Sunday, July 25 (7:00 - 9:00 PM ET/PT)

An action-packed thriller starring Steven Seagal about an ex-CIA agent�s quest to find his kidnapped daughter that leads him down a trail of intrigue, corruption, danger and betrayal. Two girls are kidnapped by a group of Islamic fundamentalists known as the Abu Karaf. One girl is a senator�s daughter, who will be used as a political pawn. The other girl, Jessica, is seemingly inconsequential � just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But what the Abu Karaf could not possibly know that they picked the wrong girl. Jessica�s father, Jake Hopper, is ex-CIA and will and will stop at nothing to get his daughter back.

Premieres: Sunday, July 25 (8:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT)

Kaley Cuoco and Dominic Chianese star in the ABC Family original movie CRIMES OF FASHION premiering Sunday, July 25 (8:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT).

Premieres: Friday, July 30 (8:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT)

TNT takes drama into high gear with a new original movie based on the life of famed daredevil Evel Knievel. George Eads (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) will star in the title role, with Jaime Pressly (Happy Family) to portray his wife and Beau Bridges (We Were the Mulvaneys, Smile) as his father-in-law, in this production from Icon Productions and Jaffe/Braunstein Films, in association with ApolloProScreen. Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey serve as executive producers and Nancy Cotton as co-producer for Icon Entertainment; Michael Jaffe and Howard Braunstein serve as executive producers for Jaffe/Braunstein Films; and Jan Korbelin serves as executive producer for ApolloProScreen. The screenplay is by Jason Horwitch, who also co-produces, from the book Evel Incarnate: The Life and Legend of Evel Knievel, by Steve Mandich, with John Badham the director.

OUT FOR BLOOD (Sci Fi Channel)
Premieres: Saturday, July 31 (9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

An L.A. cop clashes with a secret cabal of vampires in this action-fest starring Lance Henriksen (the Aliens films, TV's Millennium, SCI FI Pictures' Antibody and Lost Voyage), Vanessa Angel (Weird Science, SCI FI Pictures' Sabretooth) and Kevin Dillon (No Escape, Medusa's Child).


Premieres: Sunday, August 8 (9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

A high society Hollywood actress is found dead in her neighbor Lucy's swimming pool, and everyone, including Lucy's husband is a suspect. Lucy is determined to clear her husband's name, and like a good Hollywood mystery, she becomes an amateur sleuth, set on solving the whodunit. Lucy unravels some deep dark Hollywood secrets which may bring the killer to justice, but will she be the next on his list? Stars Justine Bateman, Andrew McCarthy, Angie Everhardt, and George Hamilton.

MIRACLE RUN (Lifetime)
Premieres: Monday, August 9 (9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

Golden Globe and Tony Award winner Mary-Louise Parker and Aidan Quinn star in the LIFETIME Original Movie "Miracle Run," the remarkable, triumphant drama, inspired by a true story, of a single mother's devoted love and perseverance against heartbreaking odds in fighting for her autistic twin sons so they could get an education and flourish in a society that expected them to fail.

RAPTOR ISLAND (Sci Fi Channel)
Premieres: Saturday, August 21 (9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

Lorenzo Lamas (TV's Renegade and The Immortal) and Steven Bauer (Scarface and Traffic) star in this fast-paced adventure about a team of special agents whose search for a murderous terrorist leads them to the South China Sea � and to a mysterious island populated by vicious, prehistoric raptors.

Premieres: Thursday, August 26 (9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

First up is "Romy and Michele: In the Beginning," the prequel to the 1997 feature film, "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion." The story begins in 1987, when new high school graduates Romy and Michele are desperate to get away from their hometown of Tucson, Arizona. The goal of this lovable and lucky duo is to leave their square town behind and be among the beautiful, hip people in Hollywood, California, where they can realize their dream of socializing with the rich and famous. The two-hour ABC Premiere Event will air THURSDAY, AUGUST 26 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. "Romy and Michele: In the Beginning" stars Katherine Heigl ("Roswell") as Romy, Alex Breckinridge as Michele, Paula Abdul as herself, Nat Faxon as Chad, Scott Vickaryous as Taylor, Kelly Brook as Linda Facciabella, Dania as Elena, Alexandra Billings as Donna, Rhea Seehorn as Ashley Schwartz, DJ Johnson as Rafael and William Ragsdale as Kevin. Robin Schiff, who wrote the screenplay of "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion," is also screenwriter, executive producer and director on "Romy and Michele: In the Beginning." Barry Kemp is executive producer and Kevin Inch is the producer. The two-hour prequel is from Touchstone Television.

Look for additional series to be added to this page as soon as they are announced!

  [june 2004]  

· 24 (FOX)
· RFK (FX)

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