Pasadena, Calif. -- TBS Superstation has added eight new
titles to its development slate of original movies, and it is doing a martial-arts telepic
that will be the pilot for an action series, network officials said.
At the recent Television Critics Association tour here, Jim
Head, senior vice president of original programming for TBS, said that next year, the
superstation will air eight made-for-TV movies, double the number it is premiering this
The made-for-TV movie-development slate now includes: The
Triangle, a supernatural thriller executive-produced by actor Chris O'Donnell; The
Last Buckeroo, a contemporary Western starring Luke Perry; Attack on the Queen,
a political thriller based on the novel by Crimson Tide author Richard Henrick; and
medical thriller Dead in a Heartbeat.
This year, TBS' telepic offerings include Nowhere to
Land, an airplane disaster movie starring Jack Wagner and James B. Sikking, which
debuts March 12; On Hostile Ground, a thriller set in New Orleans starring John
Corbett; a remake of classicWestern High Noon; and possibly Invincible.
Invincible -- a project that was announced last week,
butnot at the TCA tour -- is a two-hour original movie/backdoor pilot that will
air late this year or in early 2001.
The brainchild of martial-arts expert Jet Li and
Oscar-winning actor-director Mel Gibson, Invincible could premiere as a series on
TBS in late 2001, officials said.The movie and possible series -- from Gibson's
Icon Productions and Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. -- will introduce audiences to wushu,the martial art that Jet Li is an expert in.
"Introducing wushu through the medium of
television will allow us to reach a wider audience than we could with film, and we can use
each episode of the series to expand on the martial art's complicated, but profound,
philosophy," Li said in a prepared statement.
TBS' first original series, The Chimp Channel,
flopped. But the network's second original show, Ripley's Believe It or Not, has
garnered some strong ratings and demographics.
Also at the TCA tour, TBS' sister service, Turner Network
Television, said it had placed its first order for an original series, picking up 13
episodes of Bull.
The drama, about six ambitious Wall Street investment
bankers, is being produced by TNT's corporate sibling, Warner Bros. Television. Bull will
begin production in April and premiere this summer.
Bull will star Peter Gallagher, George Newbern,
Christopher Wiehl, Donald Moffat and Malik Yoba.