or


[04/23/03 - 12:00 AM]
Lost 'Dead Zone' Episode Found
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- "The Dead Zone" executive producer Michael Piller has shed some light on the "lost" episode of USA's original series. In a post to the series' official web site, Piller told readers:

And there is of course the mystery about "The Hunt for Osama" which many of you have written us about.

Well, first of all, it's now called "The Hunt," and I'll tell you why in a moment.

Second, when will it run? I don't know. USA decided that it might seem exploitative during the war in Iraq. Now that the war is winding down, will they change their minds? I just don't know. The truth is they've always been nervous about this one.

Some months ago, well-connected friends at the University of North Carolina and Duke told me that psychics like Johnny Smith had been in the employ of the CIA doing "remote viewing" - using second sight to gather intelligence in foreign countries. (I'm not making this up - there's plenty of documented evidence online. Check for yourself.) But what was new and what I found impossible to ignore was information brought to my attention suggesting that the American government was actually using psychics to track down Osama Bin Laden.

My old newsman juices started flowing. Here was an untold story about the war - why shouldn't we tell it on The Dead Zone? I approached it as docudrama (I used to run the docudrama accuracy unit at CBS when Cassutt and I worked together). I partnered up with Joe McMoneagle, a psychic who has worked for the CIA in the past (and may or may not still be working for them - Joe's one of those guys who "neither confirms or denies" a whole lot of things.) Joe helped me put together a story that is obviously fictional (since Johnny isn't real), but it is based on information we believe to be accurate. We took no liberties with the facts as they were presented to us.

USA was nervous when they read the story: Johnny Smith chasing Osama? Wasn't that treading into sensitive areas? I argued it was a war story, and a real one, and no different from seeing Humphrey Bogart chase Rommel across the Sahara during World War II, or movies that featured Hitler as a character. (In our story, Osama is never on screen.) I also pointed out that shows like The Agency, 24, and JAG were doing stories about the war on terrorism almost every week.

OK, they said, let's do it.

But when they screened the episode, it made them nervous again. They asked that all mentions of Osama Bin Laden by name be excised. That was actually not a serious problem, since he was only mentioned twice. Thus, the title also changed. Then the war with Iraq broke out, and they just decided this wasn't the time to run it.

It's a very unique episode that avoids adding fake stuff for the sake of pumping up the drama - one of the things I learned running the docudrama unit was that the truth was usually dramatic enough. So this is a lean, no-nonsense look at this incredible story of unusual soldiers in the war on terrorism.

I can say that there are many people here who think it is one of the great episodes of the series. We recreated a Pakistani village in Vancouver and staged a huge battle with a U.S. strike force - with Johnny's vision taking him into the middle of the fight.

If it is scheduled by USA, you'll hear about it here on this site. If not, I'll let you know when it will be out on DVD.

Because of the unusual circumstances, I'm going to break the embargo and post Mike Taylor's remarkable teleplay. I doubt anyone will mind letting you see what we had in mind.

In addition, Piller went on to confirm a new batch of second season episodes is in store for this summer and Karl Schaefer ("Strange Luck," "Eerie, Indiana") has joined the series as a new head writer and co-executive producer to meet the demands of going back into production so quickly. Mike Cassutt ("The Twilight Zone," "Farscape") has also joined the writing staff as a creative consultant.

For Piller's complete post, click here.





  [april 2003]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
  


· DEAD ZONE, THE (USA)
· FARSCAPE (SYFY)
· TWILIGHT ZONE, THE (UPN)





[09/02/15 - 02:58 PM]
"Live with Kelly and Michael" Kicks Off Its 28th Season on September 8, 2015 with a Line-Up of Top Talent
From September 8-11, Ripa and Strahan will be challenged to "put their money where their mouth is" as they take on experiences that they've talked about on the show.

[09/02/15 - 02:57 PM]
The Official "Shark Tank" Companion Series, "Beyond the Tank," Returns for a 4-Week Event Beginning Tuesday, September 29 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC
The one-hour episodes of "Beyond the Tank" will feature the captivating and surprising outcomes after the Sharks strike a deal with the Entrepreneurs on "Shark Tank."

[09/02/15 - 02:04 PM]
Bill Wolff Named Executive Producer of Chelsea Handler's New Series on Netflix
The new talk show will feature an updated format that encompasses Chelsea's unfiltered opinions on topical entertainment and cultural issues, as well as her signature guest interviews.

[09/02/15 - 02:00 PM]
Disney Channel to Air a Special "Girl Meets World" Episode About Asperger's Syndrome on Friday, September 11
Three experts consulted on the episode to help deliver an authentic storyline that can spark conversation among kids and their families.

[09/02/15 - 01:54 PM]
Adult Swim Hits the Road with the 2015 Adult Swim Drive-In
The six-week, 15-city national tour will kick off September 17 providing fans the opportunity to screen all-new content like unaired episodes of current Adult Swim series, never-before-seen pilots and specials, and more favorites from Williams Street.

[09/02/15 - 01:15 PM]
Summer Was Hot on WE tv - Network Bucked Industry Trends to Grow Ratings More Than 30 Percent in Key Demos, Year-Over-Year
WE tv spins the numbers for the summer to date.

[09/02/15 - 01:15 PM]
Starz Hits a Three-Pointer with Third Season Renewal for Hit Comedy Series "Survivor's Remorse"
Mike O'Malley has signed on again to serve as executive producer and showrunner.

[09/02/15 - 01:13 PM]
Glenn Morshower Joins "Supergirl" Cast as General Sam Lane
Upon his arrival in National City, this stern military man will recruit Supergirl to help execute a top-tier government mission.

[09/02/15 - 01:10 PM]
2015 "MTV Video Music Awards" Generates More Than 73 Million Views Across Platforms
MTV further spins the numbers for Sunday, August 30.

[09/02/15 - 12:47 PM]
Hallmark Channel Introduces Its Newest Tradition, "Fall Harvest," With Four All New Original Premieres Every Saturday Night in October
Just in time for Halloween, the programming event presents a special two-hour sneak peek of "Good Witch" season two on Saturday, October 24.

[09/02/15 - 12:37 PM]
truTV Announces Additional Celebrity Guests for "Funny Or Die's Billy on the Street"
A 90 second sneak peek of the upcoming season will premiere during the "Impractical Jokers Live Punishment Special," set to air Thursday, September 3.

[09/02/15 - 12:31 PM]
New Jersey Educator to Star in DIY Network's Popular "American Rehab" Series
The series follows Shalina Joy, a Newark educator and veteran house flipper, as she tackles her largest renovation yet - restoring a 6000 sq. ft. 19th century Victorian mansion to its former glory.

[09/02/15 - 12:09 PM]
Velocity Greenlights Season Three of Top Car Culture Series "Americarna," Hosted by NASCAR Legend Ray Evernham
Evernham has given viewers unprecedented access to our nation's fascinating cultural history through the scope of its greatest invention: the automobile.

[09/02/15 - 11:53 AM]
OWN Delivers Double-Digit Growth in Key W25-54 Demo and Total Viewers in August 2015
OWN spins the numbers for the month of August.

[09/02/15 - 11:41 AM]
Lifetime Posts Double Digit Year-on-Year Growth in Key Demos for August
Lifetime spins the numbers for the month of August.