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For a Change, Less Is More

The made-for-TV movie lineup is distinguished not by the usual quantity of films but by quality productions.

September 15, 2002|Josh Friedman, Daryl H. Miller, Mark Sachs, Scott Sandell and Jonathan Taylor

ABC

"Prince William": Jordan Frieda ("Band of Brothers") stars as the dashing member of British royalty. (Sept. 29)

"The Music Man": Another big ticket is a remake of Meredith Willson's classic musical starring Matthew Broderick as Professor Harold Hill and Kristin Chenoweth as his beloved Marian the librarian.

"Nancy Drew": This new adaptation of the mystery novels for young readers stars Maggie Lawson ("Inside Schwartz") as the indefatigable young sleuth. (October)

"Mr. St. Nick": This holiday tale stars Kelsey Grammer as the playboy son of Santa (Charles Durning). (November)

"Sounder": The family drama gets fresh treatment with Kevin Hooks (who directs the project) and actor Paul Winfield returning from the 1972 version.

"Phenomenon": Christopher Shyer assumes the John Travolta role as a sudden genius in an update of the 1996 movie.

CBS

"Back to the Batcave: The True Adventures of Adam West and Burt Ward" has the stars of television's "Batman" preventing would-be thieves from stealing the Batmobile.

"The I Love Lucy Movie": The roots of the classic Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz sitcom and the toll their marital woes almost took on the show are traced.

"Martin & Lewis": Sean Hayes of "Will & Grace" plays movie-comic Jerry Lewis, with Jeremy Northam ("The Net") as his longtime professional partner, Dean Martin.

"The Great One": Brad Garrett of "Everybody Loves Raymond" stars as high-living "Honeymooners" icon Jackie Gleason.

"Once Upon a Mattress": Carol Burnett continues her long relationship with CBS in the musical that made her a star.

"Footsteps": The previously unproduced Ira Levin play will air as a live production.

"The Boston Strangler": The controversial conviction of Albert DeSalvo is examined.

"The Battle of Mary Kay": Shirley MacLaine stars as the cosmetics queen.

"The Crooked E: The Inside Story of Enron": One of the year's top financial stories gets seriocomic treatment in a film starring Mike Farrell ("Providence") as former chairman Kenneth Lay. Brian Dennehy co-stars.

"XI: Race to the Moon": The challenge to put a man on the lunar surface before the 1960s ended is recalled.

"Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story": William Hurt has the title role in this miniseries.

"Salem Witch Trials": Shirley MacLaine, Kirstie Alley, Rebecca De Mornay and Gloria Reuben co-star in this drama detailing the fear of sorcery that beset the Massachusetts town in the late 17th century.

NBC

"Three's Company Revisited": Joyce DeWitt is the only one of the show's original stars committed to appear in the project.

"Carrie": This new version of Stephen King's classic includes scenes not dramatized in the 1976 movie about a telekinetic teenager.

"Hunter: Return to Justice": The comeback of Fred Dryer and Stepfanie Kramer as former police partners provides another blast from the past. (Nov. 2)

"1st to Die": This drama based on James Patterson's novel stars Tracy Pollan as a detective who teams with three other women to catch a serial killer.

"War Stories": A reporter (Jeff Goldblum) and his new photographer (Lake Bell) are followed through turbulent Uzbekistan.

"A Very Muppet Christmas": Kermit, Miss Piggy and company try to keep a crabby banker (Joan Cusack) from closing down a theater. Whoopi Goldberg and David Arquette co-star, and Michael Caine is among the many celebrities who make cameo appearances.

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