[05/16/05 - 12:00 AM]
NBC Unveils Provocative Longform Events as Well as Exciting Entertainment and Music Specials for 2005-06

[via press release from NBC]


Lineup Includes Miniseries "The 9/11 Project" and "10.5" Sequel; Three-Hour Movie Remake of "The Poseidon Adventure"; "Saturday Night Live" '80s Tribute; 2006 Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe Awards; Musical Specials Starring Elton John, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw

NEW YORK - May 16, 2005 - NBC introduced a varied lineup of longform programs and specials for the 2005-06 season headed by such events as the seminal miniseries, "The 9/11 Project," the earthshaking miniseries sequel "10.5: Apocalypse"; a three-hour modern classic remake of "The Poseidon Adventure," a "Saturday Night Live" salute to the '80s special, telecasts of the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Golden Globes Awards, plus musical specials featuring popular artists Elton John, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Lopez.

The announcement was made today at the network's annual Upfront presentation by Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment, and Jeff Gaspin, President, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment & Cross Platform Strategy.

"NBC will have the lion's share of premier event programming next year," said Reilly. "We are fortunate to have the respected award-winning creative team behind the upcoming 'The 9/11 Project' miniseries. We understand the enormity of this history-changing event and recognize these moving stories will have an impact on viewers everywhere."

"A variety of our projects span the spectrum from dramatic longform events to major entertainment shows and music specials," said Gaspin. "This year, NBC will have two of the crown jewels of glamour awards shows with the Emmys and the Golden Globes in 2006 and our longform programs are well-positioned for showcase roles in next season's lineup."

In addition, NBC will offer such traditional favorites as "The 79th Macy's Thanksgiving Day ParadeTM," "Christmas in Rockefeller Center," the 117th "Tournament of Roses Parade" in 2006, "Miss USA/Universe," "The National Dog Show Presented by Purina" and "The Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks(r) Spectacular."

Following are program descriptions for some of NBC's longform programs in 2005-06:

"The 9/11 Project" - The seminal miniseries "The 9/11 Project" will chronicle the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 as it features a high-pedigreed ensemble that includes Emmy Award-winning executive producer and writer Graham Yost ("From Earth to the Moon," "Boomtown") and executive producers Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and David Nevins. Also on board are consultants Peter Lance ("1,000 Years for Revenge: International Terrorism and the FBI - the Untold Story.") and Steve Coll ("Ghost Wars: the Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001"), and writer Fred Golan (NBC's "Law & Order: Trial by Jury," "Boomtown"). In addition, The New York Times will consult on the project.

The programming event will define and explore the dramatic circumstances leading up to - and including - the tragic assault on America of September 11, 2001. "The 9/11 Project" is produced by NBC Universal Television Studio, Imagine Television and Twentieth Television.

"10.5: APOCALYPSE" - Last May, NBC unleashed a powerful ratings temblor in its hit miniseries "10.5" - and the possibility of the ultimate disaster looms large in the sequel "10.5: Apocalypse." Kim Delaney, David Cubitt and Beau Bridges will return to star as they reprise their roles from "10.5" and are joined by new cast members Frank Langella, "Superman Returns") and Carlos Bernard ("24"). John Lafia ("The Dead Zone") also returns to write and direct and also serve as co-executive producer of the new miniseries. Likewise, Howard Braunstein and Michael Jaffe (both from "10.5") will be back on board as executive producers; Gary Pearl ("10.5") also will serve as executive producer.

"THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE" -- NBC presents an edge-of-your-seat new version of the classic disaster film "The Poseidon Adventure" that brings the story into the 21st century. The three-hour movie stars Steve Guttenberg ("Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus," "Cocoon"), Rutger Hauer ("Batman Begins"), Peter Weller ("Mighty Aphrodite," "RoboCop"), Alexa Hamilton ("Santa Barbara"), Bryan Brown ("Along Came Polly," "Gorillas in the Mist"), C. Thomas Howell ("Hidalgo"), Adam Baldwin ("The Patriot") and Sylvia Syms ("What a Girl Wants"). While the 1972 Irwin Allen-produced blockbuster featured a large cruise ship that foundered under a tsunami wave, in this new version a diverse group of passengers and crew members struggle to survive after a terrorist bomb causes the cruise ship to capsize on New Year's Eve. As time runs out, the small band of survivors must find a way to stay alive until rescuers arrive. "The Poseidon Adventure" is a Hallmark Entertainment presentation of a Silverstar Limited production in association with Larry Levinson Productions. Robert Halmi Jr. (television's "The Lion in Winter") and Larry Levinson (the 2004 television miniseries "Frankenstein") are the executive producers; John Putch ("Grounded for Life") is the director. Bryce Zabel ("Dark Skies") wrote the teleplay based on author Paul Gallico's novel.

"BEHIND THE CAMERA: THE UNAUTHORIZED STORY OF 'DIFF'RENT STROKES" -- NBC will re-visit one of television's most popular comedy series, "Diff'rent Strokes," with a new movie that serves as a powerful cautionary tale about the tragedies and challenges facing the child stars of the sitcom. Original cast members Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges will serve as consultants on the movie and will also appear in on-camera interviews. "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Diff'rent Strokes'" takes viewers behind the scenes of the popular sitcom and also follows the lives of Coleman, Bridges and Dana Plato in the years after the series went off the air as their lives spiraled downward. In addition, the project also takes a look at the pitfalls of child stardom. The movie is executive-produced by Stanley M. Brooks (NBC's "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Three's Company'") and Scott W. Anderson ("Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber"), with Damian Ganczewski ("Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss") producing. Robert Iscove ("She's All That") directs from a script written by Greg Pincus and Susan Rinehart.

Following are program descriptions for some of NBC's specials in 2005-06:

"LIVE FROM NEW YORK: SNL - THE '80S" (working title) - Following the success of the 2005 special commemorating the first five years of "Saturday Night Live" --about which TV Guide raved "...vividly entertaining...a 10" - "Live from New York: SNL The 80s" pays tribute to the first full decade in this revolutionary show's history. NBC proudly presents an all new two-hour primetime special featuring a look back at the legendary sketches such as "I'm Gumby, Damn it!", The Church Lady, "Yeah...that's the ticket" and Hanz and Franz and artists that instilled a hilarious legacy that still thrives today. Featuring classic clips, contemporary interviews with key cast members of the era, and never-before-seen footage from such iconic players as Dana Carvey, Dennis Miller, Billy Crystal, Kevin Nealon, Eddie Murphy, Phil Hartman, and Jon Lovitz, this special promises to be a real treat for fans of yesterday and today. As he did in "The First Five Years," Kenneth Bowser will again serve as producer, writer and director as this special explores the "second act" in one of television's longest-running and most influential shows.

"THE 58TH ANNUAL PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS" - Television's biggest night features the medium's biggest stars of past and present as America's favorite small-screen stars vie for the industry's top award - the Emmy - in 2006.

"THE 63RD ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS" -- For the 11th consecutive year, NBC will showcase the glittering awards ceremony that has become known as Hollywood's hottest ticket event for its intimate setting and relaxed, festive atmosphere. The Golden Globes are regarded to be a solid indicator of TV's Emmy and feature film's Oscar prospects as well as an internationally recognized honor in its own right for both the film and television industries. On only one night can Hollywood's A-list of film and television stars be found celebrating together in one location. Originating "live" from the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, the special will be produced by dick clark productions in association with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Dick Clark (NBC's "American Dreams") and Barry Adelman are the executive producers.

"CHRISTMAS IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER 2005" - NBC's holiday tradition continues afresh with its live, eighth-annual national telecast of the 73rd celebration of the world's most famous Christmas tree in the star-studded, one-hour special from Rockefeller Center in New York City. The popular musical lineup will include a mix of current hits along with holiday music. "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" is produced for a national audience by NBC Entertainment in association with WNBC.

"79TH ANNUAL MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADETM" -- NBC and Telemundo inaugurate the holiday season by stepping off with the network's traditional and exclusive coverage of the 79th annual "Macy's Thanksgiving Day ParadeTM" on Thursday, November 24. Celebrities will join the usual pomp of the mid-town Manhattan parade, which will include floats, bands from New York to Hawaii, giant character helium balloons, "Falloons," equestrian units, and other special attractions. The traditional end of the colorful and diverse parade will bring Santa Claus and his sleigh to signal the start of the Christmas season.

"THE MACY'S FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS(r) SPECTACULAR" - America's largest fireworks display returns in this annual extravaganza live from New York City with shooting stars as well as musical and movie stars. The pyrotechnic special will also be accompanied by music with this year's theme, "The Light of Freedom." "Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks(r) Spectacular" will pay tribute to the nation's 229th birthday on Monday, July 4.

MISS USA/MISS UNIVERSE AND MISS TEEN USA 2006 -- NBC will once again broadcast Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA in 2006. These live, two-hour primetime telecasts will be broadcast from locations around the world. NBC and Donald Trump -- equal partners in the Miss Universe Organization, which produces the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA Pageants, continues to introduce production changes to redefine the competition for 21st century women. The Miss Universe Organization, producers of the Miss Universe*, Miss USA* and Miss Teen USA* Pageants, is a Donald J. Trump and National Broadcasting Company, Inc. (NBC) partnership.

"THE NATIONAL DOG SHOW PRESENTED BY PURINA(r)" -- This fourth annual two-hour family entertainment special has become a major event in the dog show world, sanctioned by the AKC. The special will spotlight conformation judging of the finest show dogs from over 150 breeds and varieties in competition for "Best in Show" as the centerpiece of a family-oriented celebration of the world of canines. Expert commentary by David Frei, the dean of dog show commentators.

"ELTON JOHN: LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS" -- Music sensation Sir Elton John brings his popular and critically acclaimed Las Vegas show to NBC in November 2005. Heralded as "the most exciting show in Las Vegas for 2004" by the Las Vegas Review Journal, John's show, filmed at Caesar's Palace, treats fans to their all-time favorite songs from his more than three decades of performing. As one of the top-selling solo artists of all time with over 200 million records sold worldwide, John has garnered a wide array of industry awards, including Grammys, Tonys and an Oscar, and continues to add innovative work to his personal repertoire of 35 gold and 25 platinum albums. In December 2004, John received the Kennedy Center Honor for his lifetime contributions to American culture and excellence through the performing arts. Emmy Award winner Rocky Oldman (NBC's "Cher: The Farewell Tour") is executive producer and Dave Mallet is the show director.

"THE JAMIE FOXX SPECIAL" (tentative title) - A unique music special showcasing the talents of Oscar and Golden Globe winner Jamie Foxx (for details, please see accompanying release).

"JENNIFER LOPEZ SPECIAL" -- Superstar Jennifer Lopez will perform live in concert singing her catalog of hits as well as the songs from her newest album, Rebirth.

"THE FAITH HILL SPECIAL" - Faith Hill has taken the country music world by storm in just six years as the singing superstar has sold more than 11 million records, garnered eight #1 singles and earned 10 #1 music videos. This past year alone, she received numerous nominations and awards from the Country Music Association, the Grammy Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, Blockbuster Awards and the TNN Music City Awards. Hill takes center stage for her second special on NBC in this eventful, one-hour special.

"THE TIM MCGRAW SPECIAL" - One of the most popular country music artists of all time is back on NBC as Tim McGraw hosts his second primetime special for the network. Expect McGraw to dazzle fans in the audience and at home in this two-hour special with his chart-topping country hits such as "Down on the Farm" and "I Like It, I Love It," among others. Some of today's top recording artists will join the country legend for electrifying duets covering both pop and rock music.

"2005 RADIO MUSIC AWARDS" - The biggest names in music will be in Las Vegas to celebrate their successes at the 2005 Radio Music Awards (RMAs). Regarded by the music industry as the "Golden Globes" of the music award shows because of its casual, party-like style, the newest edition promises to be even bigger than ever. In its first two years on NBC, the RMAs featured the most celebrated names in music, including Elton John, Destiny's Child, Chingy, Tim McGraw, Nelly and Tom Petty. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Janet Jackson were each honored in the two previous years with the Legend Award.

  [may 2005]  

· 10.5 (NBC)
· 24 (FOX)

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