[01/12/04 - 12:00 AM]
USA Slates 'Touching Evil' for Fridays
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- USA is hoping to add a third tentpole to its original series lineup as the cable channel has scheduled the premiere of "Touching Evil" for Friday, March 12.

The drama will kick off with a two-hour premiere beginning at 9:00/8:00c that night before settling into the 10:00/9:00c hour the following week. USA has committed to 11 episodes of the series in addition to its two-hour pilot. "Evil" takes the place of "Monk," which wraps its second season on March 5.

Here's how USA describes "Touching Evil" (via press release):

Allen and Albert Hughes (Menace II Society, From Hell) make their television debut as executive producers of Touching Evil, a USA Network original series based on the hit series by British Granada Television. Cheyenne Enterprise principals Arnold Rifkin (Tears of the Sun, Crocodile Hunter) and Bruce Willis (Armageddon, Die Hard) also executive produce the series. The series pilot is directed by Allen Hughes and penned by Bruno Heller (The Expendables, The Huntress).

Jeffrey Donovan (Storyteller, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2) stars as Detective David Creegan, who after surviving a near fatal gunshot wound to the head, takes a 12-month psychological leave of absence. He returns to work for the FBI's new Organized and Serial Crime Unit, a rapid-response, elite crime squad. His brush with death renders him fearless in his relentless pursuit of justice as he and his partner Vera Farminga (UC: Undercover) specialize in solving shocking, high profile crimes.

"The work that Allen Hughes, Arnold Rifkin and Bruno Heller did on this pilot is both brilliant and unique. It is a pleasure and an honor to be working with artists performing at this level," says executive vice president, original programming, USA Network, Jeff Wachtel. "Now we just need to do it every week."

"Working with USA provided me with more latitude than I expected in television. It was important for me to bring a style, feel and vibe to the series that doesn't currently exist in TV," says executive producer and director Allen Hughes. "The script was one of the best I had seen, and once the casting came together with Jeffrey Donovan and Vera Farminga and we had Arnold Rifkin and Bruce Willis on board, I was confident that the series would exude the energy I was looking for."

"It's an absolute dream for me to see what I've believed in finally come to the screen. What makes this project even more extraordinary is the addition of the talented film director Allen Hughes doing his first TV project for Cheyenne Enterprises," says executive producer Arnold Rifkin.

The Hughes Brothers began making movies at age twelve, but their formal film education began their freshman year of high school when Allen took a TV production class. They soon made a short film entitled How To Be A Burglar and people began to take notice. Their next work, Uncensored Videos, was broadcast on cable, introducing them to a wider audience. After high school Albert began taking classes at LACC Film School where two shorts, Menace and Drive-By established the twins' reputation as innovative filmmakers and enabled them to direct Menace II Society, which made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and grossed nearly 10 times its $3 million budget. After following up with Dead Presidents, the Hughes Brothers directed the feature-length documentary American Pimp which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. Most recently, the brothers further demonstrated their range with the Jack The Ripper film, From Hell, starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham.

  [january 2004]  


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