Whoopi to Develop Series for USA


Hollywood -- Actress and producer Whoopi Goldberg and movie-production team
the Hughes Brothers will spearhead separate original series projects for USA
Network in the near future, the network announced Tuesday at the Television
Critics Association tour here.

USA will provide Goldberg -- through her production company, One Ho
Productions -- with a discretionary development fund and some guaranteed
overhead to develop original programming, while the network gets a first look at
material generated through the company, the network said. Terms of the deal were
not disclosed.

The first project of that part of the deal is an original movie,
Sullivan's Travels, based on a 1941 film written and directed by Preston
Sturges. The movie is slated for a Christmas 2004 release.

The Hughes Brothers (Menace II Society, From Hell) will direct
and produce Touching Evil, a 90-minute series pilot that will begin
production next month. The show, based on a British Granada Television series,
focuses on a detective who, after surviving a near fatal incident, dedicates his
life to solving high-profile crimes.

Other new scripted series on tap for USA in 2003 include
Thoughtcrimes, about the exploits of a woman with telepathic gifts, and
Peacemakers, about a federal marshal who attempts to solve crimes in the
late 1880s.

Original movies slated for 2003 include Anne Rule Presents the Stranger
Beside Me
, set to debut March 21, and Stealing Christmas, starring
Tony Danza (Taxi, Who's the Boss), to premiere in winter 2003.

USA sister service Sci Fi Channel also unveiled two new scripted series to be
developed as part of a joint venture between the network and sister Universal
Television Group company Reveille.

Brother Voodoo, based on the Marvel Comics series of the same name, and
1000 Days, based on Marvel's Strikeforce: Morituri series, will
air on the network, although no premiere dates have been set.