Once again, fact-based tales dominate upcoming fall TV movies, with family troubles and illnesses being the most popular topics.
But there’ll also be a few series favorites returning in movie form--"The Odd Couple” with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall and “I Spy” with Bill Cosby and Robert Culp, both featuring antics of their now-adult kids. And rumply detective “Columbo” comes back for three more movies.
For good measure, there will be plenty of Westerns, suspense dramas and romances laced in.
“Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald”: Helena Bonham Carter stars as the widow trying to understand the tragic events of November 1963. Nov. 15. NBC.
“Zelda”: Natasha Richardson stars as the ill-fated Zelda Fitzgerald, whose marriage to F. Scott Fitzgerald (Timothy Hutton) made her the darling of ‘20s society. Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. TNT.
“Based on an Untrue Story”: Morgan Fairchild and Robert Goulet star in a spoof of reality-based TV movies. Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. Fox.
“Bury Me in Niagara”: Jean Stapleton stars in this sly thriller directed by “SCTV’s” Dave Thomas. TBA. Fox.
“Just One of the Girls”: Corey Haim stars in a teen yarn. Monday at 8 p.m. Fox.
“The Man From Left Field”: A drifter is adopted by a gang of young boys who want to form a baseball team. Stars Burt Reynolds and Reba McEntire. Oct. 15 at 9 p.m. CBS.
“The Odd Couple”: Tony Randall and Jack Klugman reunite as Felix Unger and Oscar Madison. Sept. 24. at 9 p.m. CBS.
“River Rage: The Texas Flood Tragedy”: Teens are swept away in a flash flood, based on a true story. Joe Spano stars. Oct. 19 at 9 p.m. NBC.
“Mercy Mission: Rescue of Flight 771": Robert Loggia and Scott Bakula star in true story of a Cessna lost in the Pacific. December. NBC.
“Troubleshooters: Trapped Beneath the Earth”: Catastrophic earthquake swallows a multilevel building. Stars Kris Kristofferson. Oct. 3. at 9 p.m. NBC.
“Breathing Lessons”: “Hallmark Hall of Fame” presentation stars James Garner and Joanne Woodward, based on the novel by Anne Tyler. TBA. CBS.
“Death in Small Doses”: A wife and mother dies of arsenic poisoning; her husband is the main suspect. Starring Richard Thomas and Tess Harper. October. ABC.
“Desperate Journey: The Allison Wilcox Story”: Mel Harris is a woman who takes up sailing as part of her therapy for recovering from leukemia. TBA. ABC.
“The Fight for Jesse”: Patty Duke, Tracy Nelson and Susan Blakely star in story of a loving woman whose dedication to her grandchild with Down’s syndrome splits her family. Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. CBS.
“Final Appeal”: An alcoholic attorney defends a sister accused of murder. Brian Dennehy and JoBeth Williams star. Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. NBC.
“For the Love of Aaron”: Meredith Baxter stars as a writer dealing with mental illness. TBA. CBS.
“Jane’s House”: Anne Archer and James Woods star as a couple who get a second chance at happiness. TBA. CBS.
“A Life in the Theatre”: Jack Lemmon and Matthew Broderick star in this adaptation of David Mamet’s play. Oct. 9 at 5 p.m. TNT.
“Love Matters”: Two couples face the confusing truths in long-term marriage. Stars Griffin Dunne, Tony Goldwyn and Kate Burton. Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. Showtime.
“Moment of Truth: A Child Too Many”: Michele Green and Nancy Stafford in drama of a Michigan mother of three who agrees to carry a child for another couple. Oct. 11 at 9 p.m. NBC.
“Moment of Truth: Stalking Back”: A mother tries to protect her 14-year-old daughter from an increasingly violent stalker. Shanna Reed stars. Oct. 18 at 9 p.m. NBC.
“A Mother’s Justice”: Lesley Ann Warren stars as the mother of a molested child. October. ABC.
“My Name Is Kate”: Donna Mills stars as a woman who refuses to confront her serious drinking problem. Also stars Daniel J. Travanti, Eileen Brennan and Nia Peeples. TBA. ABC.
“Other Women’s Children”: Melanie Mayron stars as a pediatrician who becomes attached to a 4-year-old dying of AIDS. Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. Lifetime.
“Ride the Wind”: Craig T. Nelson stars as a broken-down motorcycle racer whose life changes after he is hospitalized and meets a boy fighting leukemia. TBA. ABC.
“Scattered Dreams: The Kathryn Messenger Story”: Tyne Daly and Gerald McRaney in the story of a simple woman fighting the system to regain custody of her children. TBA. CBS.
“Shameful Secrets”: Joanna Kerns stars as a battered wife. October. ABC.
“They”: Vanessa Redgrave, Patrick Bergin and Valerie Mahaffey star in drama about a family whose lives change dramatically when their 10-year-old daughter is killed in a car accident. November. Showtime.
“The Yarn Princess”: Jean Smart stars as a developmentally slow woman who must take on more responsibilities when her husband, Robert Pastorelli, is incapacitated by illness. TBA. ABC.
“To Dance With White Dog”: This “Hallmark Hall of Fame” presentation stars Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy about a widower who befriends a mysterious white dog. TBA. CBS.
“Under the Influence”: Judith Light stars in this fact-based drama about a woman who accused her psychiatrist of rape after he sedated her. November. NBC.
“Borrowers”: The children’s classic about a family of very little people who live beneath the floorboards of an old mansion. Ian Holm and Sian Phillips. Nov. 27 at 4 p.m. TNT.
“Silent Night”: Alyssa Milano is a California happy-go-lucky teen who spends a summer with her aunt in Estonia. Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. Family Channel.
“Double Double Toil and Trouble”: The Olsen twins of “Full House” find the girls in a haunted house on Halloween night. October. ABC.
“A Walton Thanksgiving”: Michael Learned, Richard Thomas and Ralph Waite reunite for a holiday drama. November. CBS.
“The Broken Chain”: Mohawk leader fights to keep the Confederacy of Six Nations together during the American Revolution. Stars Pierce Brosnan, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Graham Greene. Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. TNT.
“Columbo”: Peter Falk begins his third decade as the detective, whom he will play again in three new films. Faye Dunaway is guest star in the first and William Shatner in the second. October. ABC.
“Fugitive Nights”: Teri Garr and Sam Elliott star in this mystery based on Joseph Wambaugh’s best-selling novel about a Palm Springs detective who stumbles upon a covert manhunt. December. NBC.
“In the Shadows”: Strange “accidents” are starting to happen to the children of Tyler’s Grove. Daniel J. Travanti and Joan Van Ark star. Oct. 4 at 9 p.m. NBC.
“A Kiss to Die For”: A psychology professor becomes entangled in a murder investigation after getting involved with a strange, sensual woman. Tim Matheson and Mimi Rogers star. December. NBC.
“Mothershed or Berndt?”: Two young men both confess to the holiday slaying of a California cop. TBA. ABC.
“Sherlock Holmes Returns!”: A medical experiment plops the master sleuth in modern-day San Francisco. Anthony Higgins stars. Sunday at 9 p.m. CBS.
“Sudden Fury”: When a couple are brutally murdered, their teen-age sons are the prime suspects. Neil Patrick Harris and Gregory Harrison star. Nov. 4 at 9 p.m. NBC.
“Gypsy”: Bette Midler, Peter Reigert and Cynthia Gibb star in the Stephen Sondheim-Jule Styne classic musical of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and her legendary stage mother. December. CBS.
“Donato and Daughter”: Charles Bronson and Dana Delany star as a veteran police officer and his daughter, a police lieutenant who is her father’s superior. Sept. 21 at 9 p.m. CBS.
“The Family Secret: Incident in a Small Town”: Walter Matthau and Harry Morgan star in the third film in the series of dramas. TBA. CBS.
“Full Eclipse”: Mario Van Peebles is a decorated police officer seduced by a daring policewoman into joining an elite urban crime-fighting team. November. HBO.
“The Good Policeman”: Two-hour pilot for Fox’s fall season is the basis for two additional movies. Stars Ron Silver. TBA. Fox.
“Danielle Steel’s ‘Star’ ”: A young woman and her great love are separated when she tries to become a singer. Stars Jennie Garth Sept. 20. NBC.
“Attack of the 50 Foot Woman”: Daryl Hannah stars in this updated version of the 1950s cult classic. Also stars Daniel Baldwin. December. HBO, Fox.
“Betrayed by Love”: When a key FBI informant disappears, her sister is convinced that an FBI agent killed her. Mare Winningham, Steven Weber and Patricia Arquette star. TBA. ABC.
“Beyond Obesssion”: Victoria Principal stars as a businesswoman who tyrannizes her daughter, who becomes a suspect in her murder. TBA. ABC.
“Beyond Suspicion”: Markie Post, Kelsey Grammer and Corbin Bernsen star in fact-based story of a small-town dentist leading a double life. December. NBC.
“Distant Cousins”: Mel Harris and Marg Helgeberger star in a chiller about a long-lost relative who threatens to disrupt their lives. Tuesday at 9 p.m. CBS.
“The Disappearance of Christina”: Husband tries to defend himself against murder charges after his wife mysteriously disappears off their vacation boat. Stars John Stamos. November. USA.
“Dying to Remember”: Under hypnosis, a designer learns that she was once murdered and her murderers want to kill her again. Melissa Gilbert and Ted Shackelford star. Dec. 2 at 9 p.m. USA.
“Empty Cradle”: Kate Jackson stars as an obsessive nurse who steals a baby to keep her lover. October. ABC.
“Framed”: A young London police detective crosses paths with a presumed-dead informant. Stars Timothy Dalton. Sept. 19 and 20. A&E.;
“House of Secrets”: Voodoo rituals in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Bruce Boxleitner and Melissa Gilbert star. Oct. 31 at 9 p.m. NBC.
“I Spy”: Bill Cosby and Robert Culp return. This time around, their kids have their first secret-agent operation overseas. TBA. CBS.
“Jericho Fever”: Terrorists become infected with a deadly virus. Stars Stephanie Zimbalist and Perry King. Dec. 6 at 9 p.m. USA.
“Linda”: A simple-minded husband is framed for the murder of a friend’s wife while on vacation. Stars Richard Thomas. Oct. 8 at 9 p.m. USA.
“Love, Cheat and Steal”: Eric Roberts stars as an escaped convict. Also stars John Lithgow. December. Showtime.
“Model by Day”: Femke Johnson and Shannon Tweed star in a thriller about a model seeking revenge for the slashing of her model-friend. Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. Fox.
“Murder of Innocence”: Valerie Bertinelli stars as a young woman exhibiting strange behavior under stress. TBA. CBS.
“Murder on the Rio Grande”: A divorced mother escapes from a drug dealer who stalks her. Victoria Principal and Peter Onorati star. TBA. CBS.
“The Substitute”: A high school teacher seduces a senior, leading to murder. Amanda Donahoe, Marky Mark and Natasha Gregson Wagner star. Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. USA.
“Bonanza: The Return”: Michael Landon Jr., Dirk Blocker and Ben Johnson star as the new generation of Ponderosans. November. NBC.
“The Cisco Kid”: Jimmy Smits is O. Henry’s dashing adventurer, Cheech Marin is Pancho. Dec. 5 at 5 p.m. TNT.
“The Last Outlaw”: Mickey Rourke is an ex-Confederate officer who leads a gang of outlaws; Dermot Mulronoy is his former right-hand man. October. HBO.