PREVIEW ’91 : Mystery, Tragedy and Reality: Made for TV


Dolly Parton, Jessica Lange, Richard Dreyfuss and Jack Lemmon are among the stars signed for upcoming TV movies and miniseries on the broadcast and cable networks.

Here is a list of the projects planned for the fall; dates are given when possible (and subject to change).




First shown on Lifetime cable, “Stop at Nothing” concerns an activist (Veronica Hamel) and a cop-turned-bodyguard (Lindsay Frost) with a mutual interest in the welfare of an 8-year-old girl, Sept. 18 at 9 p.m. .... Screenwriter Robert Slatzer’s little-known romance with Marilyn Monroe unfolds in “Marilyn and Me,” Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. ....

“Keeping Secrets,” based on the autobiography of Suzanne Somers (who plays herself), documents the performer’s turbulent life as the child of an alcoholic father, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. .... “The Heroes of Desert Storm” follows the exploits of American servicemen and women during the Persian Gulf War, Oct. 6 at 9 p.m. ....

John Stamos plays a heavy who kidnaps an Oregon couple (Barry Bostwick, Joanna Kerns) in the fact-based drama “Captive,” Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. .... Blake (John Forsythe), Krystle (Linda Evans) and Alexis (Joan Collins) resurface in the four-hour “Dynasty: The Miniseries,” Oct. 20 and 22 at 9 p.m. ....

Neil Patrick Harris of “Doogie Howser, M.D.” suffers complete memory loss as the result of an auto accident in “A Stranger in the Family,” Oct. 27 at 9 p.m. .... Charles Bronson portrays journalist Frank P. Church, who wrote the famous front-page editorial in response to a youngster’s query in the holiday drama “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus,” December.



“Us,” Michael Landon’s final project, centers on a wrongfully convicted man reunited with his family after 18 years in prison, Sept. 20 at 9 p.m. .... A New Orleans doctor (Gerald McRaney) and his wife (Delta Burke) are pulled into a murder-mystery involving voodoo in “Love and Curses,” Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. ....

Donna Mills and Jack Scalia star in “Runaway Father,” based on the true story of a woman, her three daughters and their 17-year search for the man who deserted them, Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. .... “Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Smart Story” tells the scandalous story of the 23-year-old teacher (Helen Hunt) accused of murdering her husband with the help of a 16-year-old student (Chad Allen), Sept. 24 at 9 p.m. .... Stacy Keach, Richard Thomas, Steve Landesberg and Carrie Snodgress play the key roles in “Mission of the Shark,” a fact-based drama about the World War II Navy cruiser U.S.S. Indianapolis, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. ....

A daughter (Lindsay Wagner) comes to terms with her aging parent (Olympia Dukakis) in “Fire in the Dark,” Oct. 6 at 9 p.m. .... James Arness straps on his six-shooter again to play Matt Dillon in “Gunsmoke III: To the Last Man,” which focuses on Arizona’s Pleasant Valley War of the 1880s, tentatively set for Oct. 27 at 9 p.m.


One film yet to be scheduled: Jessica Lange makes her TV movie debut in “O Pioneers!,” a “Hallmark Hall of Fame” presentation drawn from Willa Cather’s novel about settlers in turn-of-the-century America.


A small-town woman (Jill Eikenberry) suspects her husband (Peter Coyote) was involved in a serious crime in “Living a Lie,” Sept. 16 at 9 p.m. .... A father’s (Martin Sheen) teen-age son is wrongly convicted of murder in “Guilty Until Proven Innocent,” Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. ....

A country-Western singer (Dolly Parton) is the prime murder suspect in her abusive lover’s murder in “Wild Texas Wind,” Sept. 23 at 9 p.m. .... Raymond Burr goes back to court in “Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Fashion,” Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. .... Robert Urich becomes involved in a mother’s search for her missing child in “Lost and Found,” Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. ....


Louis Gossett Jr. and Bruce Dern star in “Carolina Skeltons,” about a returning Vietnam War hero attempting to clear his brother’s name of a murder that occurred 30 years earlier, Sept. 30 at 9 p.m. .... Stephen Lang plays the title role in “Babe Ruth,” which casts Pete Rose as legendary Ty Cobb, Oct. 6 at 9 p.m. ....

Scott Bakula plays former New York policeman Randy Jurgensen in “Eye for an Eye,” Oct. 7 at 9 p.m. The drama examines the personal and professional life of Jurgensen, who was ostracized by his peers after he opposed the death sentence for an accused cop killer.

Going up against major league baseball’s playoffs and World Series are the three-part miniseries “A Woman Named Jackie” (Oct. 13-15), about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, “I Still Dream of Jeannie” (Oct. 20) with Barbara Eden, and “Danielle Steel’s Daddy” (Oct. 23), about a father (Patrick Duffy) of three children whose wife deserts him. Lynda Carter and Kate Mulgrew co-star. ....

“Danielle Steel’s Palomino,” with Lee Horsley, Eva Marie Saint and Rod Taylor, tracks the love life of an ad agency executive (Lindsay Frost), Oct. 21 at 9 p.m. .... Sarah Jessica Parker portrays a manic-depressive who becomes too ill to care for her five youngsters in the fact-based drama “In the Best Interest of the Children,” Oct. 28 at 9 p.m.



Five rebellious kids with “Bad Attitudes” take on bumbling hijackers, Sept. 16. .... Two students (William Ragsdale, Larry Miller) create the ultimate BMOC (Big Monster on Campus) in “Frankenstein: The College Years,” Oct. 28.




“Memories of Midnight,” a two-part melodrama based on Sidney Sheldon’s novel, pairs Omar Sharif and Jane Seymour. November.



A 13-year-old from the future becomes stranded in 1990 when a time-travel experiment goes awry in “The Girl From Tomorrow,” Oct. 23.



“Bordertown: The Movie,” based on the Western series that was canceled last spring, tells how the show’s three principal characters met.


Set in turn-of-the-century France, “Prisoner of Honor” stars Richard Dreyfuss as an anti-Semitic aristocrat and key figure in a political scandal that involves espionage and a government cover-up, October. .... Jack Lemmon plays a bored millionaire who deliberately goes bankrupt in the riches-to-rags comedy “Getting There,” December.



“Silent Motive” casts Patricia Wettig as a screenwriter stalked by a killer, October. .... Diane Keaton directs “Wildflower,” the story of a brother and sister who try to free a young epileptic girl from her abusive stepfather, December.


A fanatical church leader sets her sights on a boy she believes to be the anti-Christ in “Dean R. Koontz’s Servants of Twilight,” with Bruce Greenwood and Grace Zabriskie, Oct. 4. .... Jodie Foster, Joe Pesci and Dennis Hopper (who also directs) star in “Catchfire,” about an artist pursued by a Mafia hit man after witnessing a murder, November. .... A rock star (Deborah Harry) and a cop (James Russo) track a killer in “Intimate Stranger,” December.



“Iran: Days of Crisis,” a two-part docudrama, explores the political negotiations that led to the resolution of the late 1970s ordeal, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. .... Charlton Heston repeats his stage role as Sherlock Holmes for “Crucifer of Blood,” a tale of greed and murder, Nov. 4. .... A frontiersman (Kris Kristofferson) and his wife (Kim Cattrall) build a home for their family in an adaptation of the Paul Gallico novella “Miracle in the Wilderness,” Dec. 9.


In “White Lie,” Gregory Hines plays a New York press secretary who tries to bring his father’s Southern murderers to justice with the help of a doctor (Annette O’Toole), Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. .... “Writer’s Block” tells of an author (Morgan Fairchild) whose fictional character--a serial killer--seemingly comes to life, Oct. 9 at 9 p.m. .... A housewife (Susan Blakely) is seduced by a grifter (Dale Midkiff) in “Blackmail,” Oct. 23 at 9 p.m.