CBS ANNOUNCES SLATE OF NEW MOVIES AND MINI-SERIES FOR 2005-2006 SEASON
Cybill Shepherd, Tom Selleck, Diane Keaton and Tom Everett Scott Are Among The Stars Set To Appear In The "CBS Sunday Movie"
Pope John Paul II To Be Profiled In A New Four-Hour Mini-Series
"Category 7: The End of the World" Follows The Deadly Storm
As It Ravages The Rest Of The World Culminating Over Washington, D.C.
"The Christmas Shoes 2" Continues CBS's Tradition Of Holiday-Themed Movies
Alfre Woodard, Frank Langella, Marcia Gay Harden, Kate Nelligan, Anne Heche and Tate Donovan Star In Three New "Hallmark Hall of Fame" Presentations
Theatrical Movie Premieres Include "About Schmidt," "Die Another Day," "Panic Room," "Something's Gotta Give," "The Sum of All Fears,"
"We Were Soldiers" And "Enough"
CBS, which broadcasts network television's leading movie showcase, will continue to present a distinct mixture of star-studded and high concept movies in the 2005-2006 season, as well as three new presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame.
CBS had eight of the top 10 movies of the 2004-2005 season, including three of the top five: "The Magic of Ordinary Days (#2)," "Stone Cold" (#4) and "Riding the Bus With My Sister" (#5). In addition, CBS had the most watched mini-series, "Category 6: Day of Destruction," and the most watched theatrical film, "Ocean's Eleven."
Highlights for the 2005-2006 season include POPE JOHN PAUL II (working title), a mini-series from the producers of "Jesus" about the Pontiff's remarkable 26 year reign and his papal odyssey that covered more than 120 countries and earned him the reputation of an international fighter for freedom. The script was supervised by historians at the Vatican, and exclusive footage has been filmed for the mini-series on St. Peter's Square and surrounding areas; CATEGORY 7: THE END OF THE WORLD, a mini-series event that begins where "Category 6: Day of Destruction" ended as the ultimate superstorm continues to build in size as it ravages the rest of the world culminating over Washington, D.C.; MARTHA: BEHIND BARS, starring Cybill Shepherd in a drama that chronicles the events in Martha Stewart's life that led to the downfall and subsequent reemergence of America's favorite domestic diva -- from the day her company goes public through her release from Alderson Federal Prison; and JESSE STONE, NIGHT PASSAGE (working title) starring Tom Selleck, who reprises his role as Jesse Stone in a prequel to last year's "Stone Cold" that reveals how he became the Police Chief of the small fishing town of Paradise after being fired from the Los Angeles Police Department.
Additional highlights include MAYDAY, a thriller, based on The New York Times bestseller by Nelson DeMille, in which chaos and death engulf an airliner traveling from the United States to Tokyo when it is accidentally hit by a U.S. Navy test missile; THE HUNT FOR THE BTK KILLER (working title), based on the true story, is the bizarre saga of the most notorious serial killer, known at BTK, who was finally found and arrested after a 31 year spree of brutal murders in the mid-western town of Wichita, Kansas; TIME BOMB (working title), a thriller about a threat received by Homeland Security during a big football game, claiming the stadium in Washington, D.C. is rigged to explode during the fourth quarter; and SURRENDER DOROTHY, starring Diane Keaton and Tom Everett Scott in a drama about a mother who, following the accidental death of her only child, decides to move into the summer house the girl shared with friends to try to learn more about their relationships with her daughter and to find her daughter's diary.
And for Halloween, VAMPIRE BATS (working title), about a former voracious insect specialist, now a college professor, who gets caught up in the investigation of a student who is found dead with his body completely depleted of blood;
The three "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentations are: THE WATER IS WIDE, starring Alfre Woodard and Frank Langella in a drama about an idealistic young teacher of poor black children who lives on a small isolated island off the coast of South Carolina in 1969; IN FROM THE NIGHT, starring Marcia Gay Harden and Kate Nelligan in a family drama about a young, single writer who is surprised by a visit from her troubled 16-year-old nephew who comes to her in search of acceptance, understanding and love; and SILVER BELLS, starring Anne Heche and Tate Donovan in a story that takes place at Christmastime about a widower with children and a young woman who has lost her husband who help each other to rediscover the joys of being together during the holiday season.
POPE JOHN PAUL II (working title) (four hours) is a fact-based drama from the producers of the mini-series "Jesus" about the life of the remarkable man who passed away after an extraordinary 26 year reign, and whose papal odyssey encompassed more than 120 countries and earned him the reputation of an international fighter for freedom. It will begin with Karol Wojtyla's journey from his youth in Poland through his late days on the chair of St. Peter. It will also explore the 264th Pope's fascinating life behind the scenes: how he managed to touch the hearts of millions of people and change the face of the church and the world; how he defended the dignity of mankind against all kinds of Totalitarianism � from Nazism to Communism to consumerism; and who successfully related to people of all ages. The script was supervised by historians at the Vatican and exclusive footage has been filmed for the mini-series on St. Peter's Square and surrounding areas. Producers of the mini-series are Matilda and Luca Bernabei for Lux Vide, Max Gusberti for RAI Fiction, Stephen Davis for Granada America, ("Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story"), Tarak Ben Amar ("The Bible") for Quinta Communications, Juergen Biefang for Tele Munchen and Chris Grabowski and Slawomir Jozwik for Baltmedia/Projektor.
CATEGORY 7: THE END OF THE WORLD (four hours) begins where "Category 6: Day of Destruction" ended -- with the destruction of the city of Chicago by a catastrophic weather system. As the disastrous storm gathers even more strength and begins to ravage the rest of the world, a television evangelist, preying on the fears of a storm battered nation, begins to broadcast alarming warnings of epic biblical plagues. As his predictions begin to come true, the deadly storm continues to wreak havoc culminating over Washington, D.C. Frank von Zerneck and Robert M. Sertner are the executive producers for von Zerneck Sertner Films.
Among the television movies:
MARTHA: BEHIND BARS, starring Golden Globe Award winner Cybill Shepherd ("Moonlighting"), chronicles the events that led to the downfall and subsequent reemergence of Martha Stewart, from the day her company goes public through her release from Alderson Federal Prison. Stewart (Shepherd) was at the pinnacle of her success when she decided to sell her shares of ImClone stock, one day before the FDA rejected an application for the approval of a new cancer drug, which sent the company's stock prices tumbling. Through her stockbroker, she is linked to ImClone's CEO Sam Waksal, who is under investigation for insider trading. Suspected of conspiracy, securities fraud and obstruction of justice, Stewart is ultimately indicted, found guilty of all charges and sentenced to five months in prison followed by five months of house arrest. While Stewart pursues her appeal, she asks to begin her prison sentence early in an effort to put it all behind her. Prison proves to be a life-altering experience for Stewart, and when she is released, the nation embraces a new Martha � ready to put the past behind her and start a fresh chapter in her intriguing, remarkable life. Tom Patricia ("Homeless to Harvard," "Dawn Anna") is the executive producer for Paramount Network Television.
JESSE STONE, NIGHT PASSAGE (working title) stars Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner Tom Selleck ("Magnum, P.I."), who reprises his role as Police Chief Jesse Stone in a prequel to last year's "Stone Cold," in a story that reveals how he became Police Chief in the small fishing town of Paradise after being fired from the Los Angeles Police Department. An unlikely candidate, Stone is recruited by Paradise's board of selectmen in the hopes that the failed cop won't dig too deeply into the town's dirty secrets. Michael Brandman ("The Heidi Chronicles") and Tom Selleck are the executive producers for Brandman Productions Inc. in association with Sony Pictures Television.
MAYDAY, based on The New York Times bestseller by Nelson DeMille, is a thriller in which chaos and death engulf an airliner traveling from the United States to Tokyo when it is accidentally hit by a U.S. Navy test missile. Because of the sudden change in cabin pressure from a gaping hole in the fuselage, many passengers are lost and a weekend pilot is forced to take control of the plane and try to navigate it to safety. Richard Waltzer ("Perfect Murder, Perfect Town") and Jerry Leider ("Coast to Coast") are the executive producers for Paramount Network Television.
THE HUNT FOR THE BTK KILLER (working title), based on the true story, is the bizarre saga of the notorious serial killer known as BTK, who was finally found and arrested after a 31 year spree of brutal murders in the idyllic mid-western town of Wichita, Kansas. Dennis Rader was thought to be an upstanding citizen, a city employee who was even president of his church group. For years, he taunted the police and the media with cryptic messages that kept the city in a grasp of fear until those very messages finally lead to his arrest earlier this year. Frank von Zerneck, Robert Sertner, Diana Kerew and Judith Verno are the executive producers for Diana Kerew Productions and von Zerneck Sertner Films in association with Sony Pictures Television.
TIME BOMB (working title) is a thriller about a threat received by Homeland Security during a big football game, stating that the stadium in Washington, D.C. is rigged to explode during the fourth quarter. Unfolding in real time, the agency joins forces with the FBI, stadium officials and Special Ops to mount a massive reconnaissance operation to break the code and stop the impending disaster that could annihilate 95,000 people. Tom Patricia is the executive producer for Paramount Network Television.
SURRENDER DOROTHY stars Academy Award winner and four-time Academy Award nominee Diane Keaton ("Annie Hall," "Something's Gotta Give," "Marvin's Room," "Reds") and Tom Everett Scott ("ER") in a drama about a mother, Natalie (Keaton), who, following the accidental death of her only child, Sara (Alexa Davalos), decides to move into the summer house the girl shared with friends to try to learn more about their relationships with her daughter. Natalie decides to visit the last place that Sara spent time, a summer home she shared with a group of young friends. Natalie's visit turns into a longer stay as she gets to know each of Sara's friends, especially Adam (Scott), who was in the car with Sara when she died. Long-held secrets are revealed as they spend time together. Then, as both Natalie and Sara's friends see the special place that Sara held in their lives, they begin to understand the effect she had on all who knew her. Diane Keaton, Bill Robinson ("Elephant") and Academy Award winner Wendy Finerman ("Forrest Gump," "Stepmom") are the executive producers for Stu Segall Productions. Sony Pictures Television is the distributor.
The "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentations:
THE WATER IS WIDE, starring Emmy Award winner Alfre Woodard ("Miss Evers' Boys," "Hill Street Blues," "The Practice," "L.A. Law") and two-time Tony Award winner Frank Langella ("Seascape," "Fortune's Fool"), is a drama based on the memoir of the same name by The New York Times best-selling author Pat Conroy ("The Prince of Tides"). It recounts Conroy's experiences as a young, idealistic and unconventional teacher who strives to bring literacy, knowledge and self-respect to the predominantly poor black children living on a small isolated island off the coast of South Carolina in 1969. Richard Welsh ("The Blackwater Lightship") and Brent Shields ("Back When We Were Grownups") are executive producers for Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions.
IN FROM THE NIGHT stars Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden ("Pollock") and Academy Award nominee Kate Nelligan ("The Prince of Tides") in a family drama about a young, single writer who is surprised by a visit from her troubled 16-year-old nephew who comes to her in search of acceptance, understanding and love. Vicki Miller's (Harden) well-ordered life is plunged into complete chaos when her nephew, Bobby (Taylor Handley), the child of her mentally-challenged brother and sister-in-law, appears on her doorstep. A boy of very few words, it soon becomes apparent that he has run away from home and wants to live with Vicki. Initially, Vicki keeps his presence a secret, even from her probing mother, Vera (Nelligan), who knows he is missing and calls Vicki looking for him. Though Bobby is deeply disturbed, he trusts Vicki and slowly opens up to her about the pain he has experienced in the past with his parents. His memories force Vicki to open herself up to her own dark feelings. Then, as time goes by, with the strength that their alliance gives them, they find themselves on the road to healing and happiness. Richard Welsh ("The Blackwater Lightship") and Brent Shields ("Brush With Fate") are the executive producers for Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions.
SILVER BELLS stars Anne Heche and Tate Donovan in a story that takes place at Christmastime, about a widower with children and a young woman who has lost her husband who help each other to put their painful pasts behind them as they discover the joys of being together during the holiday season. Every year, Christy Byrne (Donovan) has traveled with his children to sell their homegrown Christmas trees in the Chelsea District in New York City. This year, Christy will also try to find his 17-year-old son, Danny (Michael Mitchell), who, following a bitter argument, ran away just before they were headed home one year ago. Catherine O'Meara (Heche), who lives in the same Chelsea neighborhood, lost her enthusiasm for the holiday season when her husband passed away on Christmas Eve three years ago. Neither Catherine nor Christy realize that their lives are connected by Danny, who met Catherine at a photography exhibit and has been in touch with her ever since. Widow and widower are brought together when Danny wants to visit his sister and Catherine lends a hand. Catherine finally confesses to Christy that she has seen Danny over the past year which upsets Christy, who has been tirelessly searching for the boy. But, when Danny is in an accident and taken to the hospital, Christy has the chance to see his child and try to make things right for all of them. Richard Welsh ("Riding The Bus with My Sister") and Brent Shields ("The Magic of Ordinary Days") are the executive producers for Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions.
VAMPIRE BATS (working title) is the story of a former voracious insect specialist, now a college professor in search of a simpler life, who gets caught up in the investigation of a student who is found dead with his body completely depleted of blood. It first appears that he was murdered by another college student, until the professor realizes that the killers are actually vampire bats that have mutated due to a tainted water supply. As the bats become more aggressive, she must find a way to stop them as they threaten the entire college community. Frank von Zerneck, Robert Sertner and Jill Tanner are the executive producers for von Zerneck Sertner Films in association with Sony Pictures Television.
The holiday movies:
THE CHRISTMAS SHOES 2 (working title), stars Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother"), Angus T. Jones ("Two and a Half Men") and a special appearance by Rob Lowe ("The Christmas Shoes") in the sequel to "The Christmas Shoes," which finds the young boy, Nathan Andrews, from the original movie, grown up and now a medical resident. There, he meets a young woman and a little boy who are both in need of miracles for their holidays. Nathan, in turn, discovers that hope, love and blessings can come from the most surprising places. Craig Anderson and Beth Grossbard ("The Christmas Shoes") are the executive producers for Craig Anderson Productions.
JUST LIKE THE ONES stars Mary Tyler Moore ("Blessings") and Jennifer Esposito ("Crash") in a new holiday movie, based on the short story by Connie Willis, in which a suspiciously magical Christmas Eve snowstorm blows some small miracles into the lives of people around the country. They are: Paula, a lovelorn maid-of-honor at her best friend's wedding who, with the help of the blizzard, suddenly realizes that her unrequited love for the groom isn't so unrequited; Bev, a recently widowed woman who flees to New Mexico to escape memories of her husband's favorite holiday; Pilar, a single, divorced mother who dreads the idea of her son spending Christmas with his abusive father; Luke, who is trapped inside his tiny apartment with his crazy Aunt Lula and is amazed when she reveals the secret romances she had with some famous actors; and Marjean, who, thanks to the weather, discovers the truth about her philandering husband. Mark Wolper ("Helter Skelter") is the executive producer for The Wolper Organization in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Among the theatrical motion pictures CBS will present during the season are ABOUT SCHMIDT, starring Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates and Dermot Mulroney; DIE ANOTHER DAY, starring Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Judi Dench and John Cleese; PANIC ROOM, starring Jodie Foster, Forest Whitaker and Dwight Yoakam; SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, starring Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves and Frances McDormand; THE SUM OF ALL FEARS, starring Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman and James Cromwell; WE WERE SOLDIERS, starring Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe, Greg Kinnear and Keri Russell and ENOUGH, starring Jennifer Lopez.