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Today's News, Tomorrow's Television : HBO has four original films in the mill; 'Harry and the Hendersons' turns into a syndicated series



HBO Pictures has four new films in production this month, all set for 1991 debuts on HBO. Armand Assante, Sam Neill and Marcia Gay Harden star in the thriller "Fever." Rutger Hauer, Mimi Rogers and Joan Chen will headline the futuristic action-romance "Wedlock." Dennis Hopper makes a rare foray onto the small screen in "Barry Seal," a drama based on a true story of a drug informant who became the key U.S. witness against the Colombian Medellin drug cartel. And "The James Brady Story" marks the first time David Puttman has a produced a movie for the small screen. Beau Bridges, Joan Allen and David Strathairn star.

Kris Kristofferson and Kim Cattrall are in New Mexico filming TNT's first original Christmas movie, "Miracle in the Wilderness," based on the novella by Paul Gallico. The two-hour drama, set during the pioneer days of the American Northwest, is scheduled to air in December, 1991.

Mark Harmon has been set to star in "Long Road Home," an NBC drama about migrant farm workers in the late 1930s. Based on Robert B. Taylor's book, "Long Road Home" tells the story of an uneducated man's struggle to keep his family together during the Great Depression. The two-hour film will be telecast this season.


NBC's "Midnight Caller" has won the 1990 Nancy Susan Reynolds Award in the Prime-Time Drama category. Sponsored by the Center for Population Options, the honored episode, "Someone to Love," originally was telecast in November, 1989. The award consists of a sculpture and a $5,000 media-research scholarship to be established in the name of "Midnight Caller" at an institution of higher learning selected by the Center for Population Options, which seeks to encourage and reward sexual responsibility in the media.

Fox has ordered nine additional episodes of its comedy "Get A Life," starring Chris Elliot as a 30-year-old paperboy who lives above his parents' garage. "Get a Life" also is the No. 1 rated new Fox series with a season average 9.5 rating and a 15 share.

Legendary rocker Little Richard will make a special guest appearance on the upcoming NBC series "Blossom," starring Mayim Bialik of "Beaches" fame. Little Richard pops up in a dream sequence, playing a minister performing a surprise wedding ceremony.

Production has begun on "Harry and the Hendersons," a new half-hour weekly first-run syndicated series based on the 1987 film of the same name. Bruce Davison of "Longtime Companion" and "Willard" fame will star as the head of the Henderson family. Kevin Peter Hall reprises his role as the lovable bigfoot Harry. The series will premiere January on KTTV.


"True Tales: The Real Heroes of America," a series of four dramatic prime-time family specials featuring the unusual heroic achievements of children, adults and celebrities, is in development at NBC. Emmy-winning producer Michael Manheim ("Roe vs. Wade") will be the executive producer of the specials, set to air on NBC later this season.


Sixteen-year-old Danielle DuClos, starring on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Aspects of Love," has joined the cast of ABC's "One Life to Live." She's the confused, innocent Lisa Porter, daughter of the recently arrested federal agent Fred Porter (David Purdham).

Stage actor Mark St. James is the latest cast member on ABC's "General Hospital." He's playing the newly created role of music-video director Evan "Edge" Jerome, who arrives in Port Charles after Scott Baldwin (Kin Shriner) tracks him down in Berlin. As the grandson of Victor Jerome, Evan stands to inherit Victor's fortune in diamonds.

John Novak is a new resident on NBC's "Santa Barbara." He's essaying the role of Keith Timmons, the wandering ex-husband of Gina DeMott (Robin Mattson). After being absent from "Santa Barbara" for two years, Timmons suddenly reappears.

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