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[06/22/07 - 04:35 PM]
ABC Slates 'Laughs' for Tuesdays, Confirms 'Masters' Installments
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- ABC had added "Just for Laughs" to its summer schedule as the half-hour entry is set to premiere on Tuesday, July 17 at 8:00/7:00c.

Back-to-back episodes of the series - which features a mix of practical jokes and other hidden camera pranks - will air on said night before it settles into its regular Tuesday, 8:30/7:30c slot the following week.

In addition, the network has also confirmed the lineup for its upcoming anthology series "Masters of Science Fiction" premiering Saturday, August 4 at 10:00/9:00c.

Here then are the official descriptions of the four installments set to air:

"A Clean Escape" (#101) - Four thought-provoking tales of present and future Earth are brought to life in "Masters of Science Fiction," an all-new anthology series featuring a stellar lineup of actors and directors, and narrated by acclaimed physicist Professor Stephen Hawking. The series premieres with "A Clean Escape" (SATURDAY, AUGUST 4), based on Nebula Award-winning author John Kessel's short story. Mark Rydell ("On Golden Pond," "The River," "The Rose") directed from a script by Sam Egan ("The Outer Limits"). In "A Clean Escape," set not too far in a post-Apocalyptic future, psychiatrist Dr. Deanna Evans (Judy Davis) interrogates a distinguished, if befuddled, man (Sam Waterston) who appears to be suffering from a lapse in memory. Why can't he remember - and why is it so important that she uncover the secret he holds deep inside?

"The Awakening" (#103, previously known as "The General Zapped an Angel") - Four thought-provoking tales of present and future Earth are brought to life in "Masters of Science Fiction," an all-new anthology series featuring a stellar lineup of actors and directors, and narrated by acclaimed physicist Professor Stephen Hawking. The second episode, "The Awakening" (SATURDAY, AUGUST 11), stars Terry O'Quinn and Elisabeth Rohm. Based on the short story by Hollywood Blacklist author Howard Fast ("Spartacus," "Citizen Tom Paine"), the episode opens outside Baghdad, where U.S. soldiers discover a mysterious casualty - one they can't even identify as human. William B. Davis ("The X-Files") guest stars as the President of the United States. Michael Petroni ("Till Human Voices Wake Us") directed from a script he wrote, based on the short story by Howard Fast.

"Jerry Was A Man" (#102) - Four thought-provoking tales of present and future Earth are brought to life in "Masters of Science Fiction," an all-new anthology series featuring a stellar lineup of actors and directors, and narrated by acclaimed physicist Professor Stephen Hawking. The third installment is "Jerry Was a Man" (SATURDAY, AUGUST 18), featuring Anne Heche and Malcolm McDowell. Michael Tolkin ("The Player," "The Rapture," "The Burning Season") directs from a script he wrote based on the classic Robert Heinlein story. Set in the future, the world's seventh richest couple, the van Vogels, find their lives changed forever when they acquire an anthropoid named Jerry.

"The Discarded" (#106) - Four thought-provoking tales of present and future Earth are brought to life in "Masters of Science Fiction," an all-new anthology series featuring a stellar lineup of actors and directors, and narrated by acclaimed physicist Professor Stephen Hawking. The series concludes with "The Discarded" (SATURDAY, AUGUST 25), based on the short story by seven-time Hugo Award winner, three-time Nebula Award winner and Science Fiction Grand Master Laureate Harlan Ellison. The episode is written by Harlan Ellison and 2005 Academy Award nominee Josh Olson ("A History of Violence"). Jonathan Frakes ("Star Trek") directed. Brian Dennehy, John Hurt and James Denton star in this ultimate story of despised minorities sentenced to drift in the darkness of outer space forever. These men and women make a desperate pact in the hope of being offered refuge at home on Earth.

Two other installments were also shot however it's not clear when or if they will air (descriptions are taken from ABC's original press release):

The fourth installment is "Little Brother," written and adapted for the screen by Walter Mosley ("Devil in a Blue Dress") and directed by Darnell Martin. Featuring Clifton Collins, Jr., and Kimberly Elise, "Little Brother" is set in the future, where courtrooms exist without human judges or juries, and automated justice is the law of the land.

Episode five is "Watchbird," based on the short story by the legendary Robert Sheckley and written Sam Egan. The episode stars Sean Astin and James Cromwell and is directed by Harold Becker. In "Watchbird," as society creates robotic droids to prevent killing before it takes place, they discover that all life depends on a fragile formula of killing and death.





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· JUST FOR LAUGHS (ABC)
· MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION (ABC)
· X-FILES, THE (FOX)





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