A&Es New Fare Gets Historical


New York -- A&E Network took the wraps off some of its
original programming for the coming season last week -- a roster that includes Jeremy
Irons in a nonfiction miniseries and Jeff Daniels starring as General George Washington in
an adaptation of Howard Fast's The Crossing.

At its upfront presentation, A&E outlined in detail the
lineup of original movies that it has slated to debut in the 1999-2000 season.

The planned projects include parts two and three of The
Scarlet Pimpernel
; Beau Bridges as P.T. Barnum in a four-hour co-production
with Hallmark Entertainment; Vanity Fair; and Joe Mantegna as Boston detective
Spencer in an adaptation of Robert B. Parker's mystery novel, Small Vices.

Irons will be featured in Longitude, which is based
on a book about the clock-maker who succeeded in defining the concept of longitude in the
18th century. And A&E's two-hour movie, The Crossing, will be
written by Fast based on his novel. It depicts Washington as a heroic fighting general.

During the upfront, Brooke Johnson, A&E's general
manager, also said the network will produce a special chronicling its "top 10"
in a variety of categories, such as top 10 spas and top-10 cars.

A&E's lineup will also include some new spins on
its signature Biography series, including Biographies of the Millennium.

In terms of documentaries and specials, next season,
A&E will air Geisha and Horses,on those two topics; In Search
of Atlantis
; and It's Only Talk, a behind-the-scenes look at talk shows.