The season's mix of made-for-television movies and feature films include projects based on best sellers by Stephen King, Jackie Collins and Danielle Steel, in addition to the usual array of fact-based films drawn from recent headline-grabbing events.
Following are the season's highlights. Theatrical titles are designated by year to set them apart from new made-for-TV productions.
Fred Savage of "The Wonder Years" fights for better patient care among the disabled in "The Legacy," October. ... Susan Lucci is "The Bride in Black," a suspense yarn about a lonely woman whose husband is gunned down as the newly married couple exits the church, Oct. 21. ... Stephen King's "It" centers on six childhood friends who reunite to confront an evil entity they thought had been destroyed 30 years earlier. It's a two-part, four-hour production, November.
Steve Martin and John Candy play mismatched traveling companions in John Hughes' 1987 comedy "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," Sept. 18 at 9 p.m.
In a counterprogramming move against Major League Baseball's post-season play on CBS next month, NBC goes to bat with the works of two best-selling writers. "Jackie Collins' Lucky/Chances" condenses two books into one story airing over three nights. It's a six-hour miniseries about a gangster and his headstrong daughter (Nicollette Sheridan), Oct. 7-9. Going opposite the World Series will be "Danielle Steel's Fine Things" (Oct. 16) and the author's "Kaleidoscope" (Oct. 17).
Bickering John Cusack and Daphne Zuniga travel cross-country in Rob Reiner's 1985 comedy "The Sure Thing," Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ... Willem Dafoe and Gregory Hines are "Off Limits" (1988) as they track a killer in 1968 Saigon, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. ... William Hurt learns about "Broadcast News" (1987) from Holly Hunter and Albert Brooks, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m.
Coming soon to a small screen near you: "My Life as a Dog," the 1985 story of a mischievous 12-year-old boy; "The Last Emperor," Bernardo Bertolucci's 1987 Academy Award-winning epic about Chinese leader Pu Yi (John Lone), and the hard-driving police dramas "Cobra" (1986), starring Sylvester Stallone, and "Action Jackson" (1988), with Carl Weathers.
The station's schedule includes such comedies as the Daryl Hannah-Tom Hanks 1984 fantasy "Splash," along with Neil Simon's "Biloxi Blues" and "Short Circuit 2" from 1988. Among the dramas are Michael J. Fox in "Bright Lights, Big City" and Rob Lowe in "Masquerade," two other 1988 releases. Deborah Raffin and George Peppard are paired in "Night of the Fox," a new World War II thriller.
Eric Rohmer's 1987 French comedy "Boyfriends and Girlfriends" gives us the friendship--and tangled courtships--of two strikingly different women, Sept. 20. ... Marcel Ophuls' "Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie," the Oscar-winning 1987 documentary about the infamous Nazi war criminal, screens Nov. 17.
Three films from 1989: In "Shirley Valentine," Pauline Collins reprises her Tony Award-winning role as a Liverpool housewife on holiday in Greece, Monday at 8 p.m... . Violence between whites and Indians leads to the formation of a "War Party," Wednesday at 8 p.m. ... Randy Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt play a pair of cannibals in the black comedy "Parents," Sept. 21 at 9 p.m.
Rick Moranis miniaturizes his children--by accident, of course--in 1989's "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. ... Two of Mark Twain's most enduring characters investigate a murder in "Back to Hannibal: The Return of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn," Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.
The Civil War as seen through the eyes of a young boy from Illinois unfolds in "Across Five Aprils," Sept. 17 at 5 p.m.
A photographer (Roy Scheider) tries to solve a murder--and thereby save a condemned man--in "Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture," Sunday at 9 p.m.
"Sudie and Simpson" teams Louis Gossett Jr. and Sara Gilbert of "Roseanne" in a drama about the friendship between a lonely man and an impoverished girl in Georgia, Tuesday at 9 p.m. ... In "Storm and Sorrow," a young rock climber (Lori Singer) scales Peak Lenin in the Soviet Union, November.
THE MOVIE CHANNEL & SHOWTIME
A cluster of 1989 flicks: Tom Hanks shares top billing with a drooling dog in "Turner and Hooch," Saturday at 8 p.m. (Showtime), Sept. 26 at 11 p.m. (TMC). ... In October, both services will present "Dead Poets Society," starring Robin Williams; Gene Hackman and Tommy Lee Jones in "The Package," and Andie McDowell in "sex, lies and videotape."
"The Lost Capone" follows the life of gangster Al's brother Jimmy (Adrian Pasdar), Monday at 5 p.m. ... Vanessa Redgrave, re-creating her stage role, stars in an adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play "Orpheus Descending," Sept. 24. ... "The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson" documents the 1944 military trial of the baseball legend, Oct. 15. ... In "Which Way Home," Cybill Shepherd takes five orphans on a trek toward freedom after the fall of Saigon, Nov. 5.
"After the Shock" tells of the earthquake that rocked the Bay Area nearly one year ago, Wednesday at 9 p.m. ... A Presidential aide tries to stop "Hitler's Daughter" from occupying the White House, Sept. 26. ... "Web of Deceit" involves an attorney (Linda Purl) who defends an auto mechanic accused of rape and murder, Oct. 17. ... A time-traveling professor (Robert Hays) finds himself accused of President John Kennedy's assassination in "Running AgainstTime," Nov. 21 at 9 p.m..