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[07/23/04 - 12:00 AM]
TCA Summer Press Tour: Usa
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The cable portion of the TCA's summer press tour began on Wednesday in which the networks outlined their plans for the 2004-05 season and beyond.

Here's the breakdown of USA's presentation (via press release):

HE�S BALD. HE�S BACK. AND THIS TIME AROUND, HE�S BADDER THAN EVER.

CHAZZ PALMENTERI AND ROSELYN SANCHEZ JOIN VING RHAMES IN USA NETWORK ORIGINAL MOVIE �KOJAK�

PRODUCTION BEGAN JULY 21 IN TORONTO

LOS ANGELES -- July 22, 2004 -- Chazz Palmenteri and Roselyn Sanchez have joined the cast of the USA Network Original movie "Kojak," which stars Ving Rhames ("Pulp Fiction," "Mission Impossible") in the title role, it was announced today by Jeff Wachtel, USA's executive vice president, series and longform. Production began on July 21st in Toronto. The movie will premiere on USA Network in the first quarter 2005.

Academy Award-nominated Chazz Palminteri ("Bullets Over Broadway," "The Usual Suspects") stars as Kojak's former partner and now boss Captain. Roselyn Sanchez ("Dragnet," "Rush Hour 2") will appear as Assistant District Attorney Carmen Warrick.

"Kojak" is the first in a possible series of movies based on the hit police drama, which originally starred Telly Savalas as the bald, street-wise police detective with a fondness for lollypops, Lieutenant Theo Kojak, and aired on CBS from 1973 to 1978. The show was celebrated by police departments around the country for what was then considered a realistic portrayal of police work. In the film, Kojak hunts down a serial killer who continues to puzzle New York City detectives by targeting prostitutes with young children. After visiting a crime scene where he meets a victim's children left without their mother � let alone a legal guardian � he is overcome with anger and compassion, and vows to personally avenge the killings.

"Kojak" is executive produced by Rhames and Tom Thayer (A&E's "The Great Gatsby"). Michael Watkins ("Five Days To Midnight," "Las Vegas" pilot) directs the script penned by Tony Piccirillo ("The 24th Day"). The movie is being produced by Playa Inc.

USA Network
USA Network is cable television's leading provider of original series and feature movies, sports events, off-net television shows, and blockbuster theatrical films. USA Network is available in 82% of all U.S. homes and is seen in over 88 million U.S. homes. The USA Network Web site is located at www.usanetwork.com.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

USA NETWORK ANNOUNCES SLATE OF TRUE CRIME MOVIES FROM EXECUTIVE PRODUCER STAN BROOKS

PAUL MICHAEL GLASER AND JASON GEDRICK HEADLINE FIRST TWO PRODUCTIONS

LOS ANGELES -- July 22, 2004 -- USA Network is developing a slate of four original crime movies with award-winning executive producer Stanley M. Brooks and his Once Upon A Time Productions, it was announced today by Jeff Wachtel, USA's executive vice president, series and longform. The movies will premiere during the fourth quarter 2004 and the first quarter 2005.

"Our viewers love true crime stories, and these types of movies have proven to be extremely successful for the network," said Wachtel. "Our continued goal, as with this longform programming slate, is to create movies that stir up some controversy based on real-life events. Having worked with Stan [Brooks] in the past on our Heidi Fleiss movie, we knew that he was the one who could bring this slate to life in an energetic and provocative way."

An award-winning producer of movies and television, Brooks has made numerous films based on stories ranging from such favorite television shows as "Dynasty: Behind the Sex, Greed and Manipulation" and "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three's Company" to the stories of the famous and infamous including "Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss." Earlier this year, Brooks' Diane Keaton-starrer, "On Thin Ice," received the PRISM Award for Best Picture. Similar honors were bestowed on Brooks' "Behind the Mask," which won Best Picture from both the California Governor's Committee Media Access Award and the Monte Carlo Film Festival. Other credits include "Beautiful Girl" on ABC Family, "Living with the Dead" on CBS and "Atomic Twister" on TNT. Early in his career, Brooks brought "Rain Main" to Executive Producers Peter Guber and Jon Peters, which went on to win Best Picture at the 1988 Academy Awards.

Below is USA Network's true crime development slate in various stages of production:

"Ladies Night"
When insurance investigators Susan Vercillino and Jesse Grant attempt to recover embezzled money for a client, they soon realize this particular case is more dangerous than any they have faced before. Trailing the stolen money, the two intrepid investigators are shocked to discover that a number of female bank employees have been murdered -- and a serial killer is on the loose. Jesse and Susan discover the women have been seduced by one of the killers, a charming and handsome con artist named Art Kirkland convinced to steal money from their employers, then murdered. What they don't at first suspect is that the murderers are father and son. Having found the link between these murders, Susan and Jesse must stop the killers before they strike again. Starring Paul Michael Glaser ("Starsky & Hutch"), Colin Ferguson ("Coupling") and Claudette Mink ("Paycheck"). The film is executive produced by Stanley M. Brooks and Chad Oakes ("Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss," "Family Values: The Unauthorized Biography of Michael Jackson"). Normal Bailey ("The Stalking of Laurie Show," "Secret Cutting") is directing a script by Larry Mintz ("The Nanny," "Step By Step") and Marvin J. Wolf ("Perfect Crimes"). This film is currently in production.

"Untitled Bank Robbery Project" (working title)
Five robbers hold up the Security Pacific Bank in Norco, California, igniting a chain of events resulting in one of the deadliest shootouts and pursuits in law enforcement history. When the bandits flee the bank with $20,000 in cash, the men and women of the police department descend upon the scene. Two officers are immediately wounded in the intense crossfire and a civilian hostage is held at gunpoint. The robbers lead an unprecedented chase throughout the city, numerous neighborhoods, countless freeways, and a national forest where the extraordinary chase finally comes to an end. This is the true story of heroism in the line of fire. What begins as a routine afternoon for civilians, bank tellers and police officers turns into a day none of them will ever forget. Starring Jason Gedrick ("Boomtown") and David Cubitt ("Robbery Homicide Division"). Kari Skogland ("Queer as Folk") is directing a script by Robert Carney. The film is executive produced by Stanley M. Brooks and Chad Oakes ("Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss," "Family Values: The Unauthorized Biography of Michael Jackson"). Evan Taylor ("Watchtower") serves as producer. This film is currently in production.

"Murder at the Presidio" (working title)
Desperate to cash in on his wife's life insurance policy, a highly decorated marine plots to kill his wife in the true tale of military murder. When James Willis of the Criminal Investigation Division gets pulled into this convoluted murder case, Willis finds his own tragic past comes to haunt him. With the help of the murdered woman's grieving brother, Willis goes beyond the call of duty to solve the crime -- even bending protocol in his passionate determination to find the killer. Others give up hope and suggest Willis do the same. However, Willis and Military Police Corporal Tara Jeffries finally blow the case wide open, bringing down the commanding officer and uncovering the most unlikely hitman -- the CO's mother. This film is currently in pre-production.

"The Pierre Jewel Heist" (working title)
A thief from the age of six, Bobby Comfort bounced in and out of prison for years. When he turns twenty-two, Bobby finally settles down and starts a family, determined to lead a calmer life. Bobby, however, soon is lured back into the only profession he knows, agreeing to help a friend rob a string of high-end New York City hotels. When their forays prove extremely lucrative, Comfort once again embraces his talent for crime. While his unsuspecting family believes he is traveling for business, Bobby and his partner are having the time of their lives conning wealthy socialites, culminating in the largest jewel heist in American history. This film is currently in pre-production.

USA Network
USA Network is cable television's leading provider of original series and feature movies, sports events, off-net television shows, and blockbuster theatrical films. USA Network is available in 82% of all U.S. homes and is seen in over 88 million U.S. homes. The USA Network Web site is located at www.usanetwork.com.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.





  [july 2004]  
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· ATOMIC TWISTER (TBS)
· BEAUTIFUL GIRL (ABC FAMILY)
· BEHIND THE CAMERA: THE UNOFFICIAL STORY OF 'THREE'S COMPANY' (NBC)
· BOOMTOWN (NBC)
· CALL ME: THE RISE AND FALL OF HEIDI FLEISS (USA)
· COOL MONEY (USA)
· COUPLING (NBC)
· DYNASTY: THE MAKING OF A GUILTY PLEASURE (ABC)
· FIVE DAYS TO MIDNIGHT (SYFY)
· GREAT GATSBY, THE (A AND E)
· KOJAK (USA)
· LA DRAGNET (ABC)
· LADIES' NIGHT (USA)
· LAS VEGAS (NBC)
· LIVING WITH THE DEAD (CBS)
· MAN IN THE MIRROR: THE MICHAEL JACKSON STORY (VH1)
· MURDER AT THE PRESIDIO (USA)
· ON THIN ICE (LIFETIME)
· QUEER AS FOLK (SHOWTIME)
· RAPID FIRE (USA)
· ROBBERY HOMICIDE DIVISION (CBS)
· SECRET CUTTING (USA)
· STALKING OF LAURIE SNOW, THE (USA)











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