Turner Network Television executives on Tuesday announced a slate of movies and specials featuring major film personalities and playwrights, saying the list characterized "quality-driven entertainment" that would be an alternative to what they termed less ambitious network fare.
Proclaiming that upcoming TNT projects were more literary in nature than most network movies and specials, Allen Sabinson, TNT's senior vice president of regional programming, said his network was deliberately staying away from fact-based contemporary dramas favored by ABC, CBS and NBC.
"Those films have nothing compelling, nothing enduring," said Sabinson, referring to projects such as three recent television movies on Amy Fisher and planned network films on the World Trade Center bombing and the current standoff between federal agents and a religious cult in Waco, Tex.
Among the planned TNT projects is a film adaptation of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" starring John Malkovich. The film, to be directed by Nicolas Roeg, will air next year.
Upcoming later this year is a production of David Mamet's "A Life in the Theatre," starring Jack Lemmon and Matthew Broderick; Natasha Richardson as jazz-age icon Zelda Fitzgerald in "Zelda"; and Mary McDonnell in Arthur Miller's "The American Clock."
Films based on the children's books "The Borrowers" and "The Borrowers Afield" will air during the Christmas holidays.