Reports of the death of the network miniseries have been greatly exaggerated. After this month’s Lonesome Dove sequel and JFK epic, a slew of multi-night dramas will be hitting the airwaves. Among the biggies:
The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years (ABC, six hours, unscheduled): Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward will reprise their 1983 roles as a priest and the Aussie babe he’s smitten with. Will they make love again? “It’s what the public wants, isn’t it?” says producer David Wolper.
The Sonny & Cher Story (Fox, four hours, unscheduled): Based on Sonny’s 1992 autobiography; no cast yet, although Bono suggests, “Kevin Costner could play me and Roseanne Arnold could play Cher.”
The Stand (ABC, eight hours, May 1994): Molly Ringwald and Rob Lowe star in Stephen King’s futuristic horror story. “ABC said I could have 51/2 hours (eight with ads), so I jumped like a hungry trout,” says King.
Scarlett (CBS, eight hours, November 1994): The two-year search is finally over: Joanne Whalley-Kilmer (Storyville) gets to play the South’s “first feminist” (as producer Robert Halmi Sr. calls her) in TV’s Gone With the Wind sequel.
The Menendez Trial (CBS, length not set, unscheduled, untitled): Edward James Olmos (Miami Vice) reportedly will play the murdered patriarch in America’s latest favorite real-life melodrama. NBC and ABC are said to be on the case, too. Move over, Amy.