New York -- Showtime unveiled its slate of upcoming
projects last week, including its most expensive to date: a co-production with NBC of Inherit
the Wind, starring Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott.
Under the deal, Showtime will air Inherit the Wind first,
with NBC then getting an early window that permits it to run the movie two to three months
after Showtime does. That deal was reached to help offset the $7 million to $8 million
cost of the telepic.
Showtime and NBC had a similar arrangement for Thanks of
a Grateful Nation.
At a press conference here, Jerry Offsay, Showtime's
president of programming, also said the network had just green-lighted two made-for-TV
movies based on true stories.
One is based on the controversial book Strange Justice,
about Clarence Thomas' struggle to become a Supreme Court justice. Showtime acquired
the rights from the Fox broadcast network after both Fox and Turner Network Television
reportedly passed on the project.
For the other, Noriega,Bob Hoskins has been
cast as "Panamanian Strongman" Manuel Noriega.
Some of the other new additions to Showtime's slate
are: A Storm in Summer, a remake of a Rod Serling story, in which Peter Falk stars
as a Jewish deli-owner who befriends an inner-city black boy; and Genius of the Heart:
The Rich Donato Story, which will feature Lou Diamond Phillips as a school custodian
who must pass a high-school exam in order to keep his job.