Wednesday, March 19, 2008

TV: The Andromeda Strain

A&E isn't exactly known for its miniseries collection. Not like HBO ("John Adams," and "Angels in America"), which has won several Emmy's over the last decade, or TNT ("In to the West"). It's actually not even known for original scripted content period, but it managed to scoop up the adaptation of Michael Crichton's (Jurassic Park) scifi novel The Andromeda Strain.

The story follows a team of experts who must figure out a way to contain a deadly alien virus, codenamed Andromeda, found on a satellite that crashed in Utah. Their only clues for a cure lie in two survivors, a baby and an old man. The government is eager to expose of the contaminated region by nuking it, but it feeds on radiation, so it would mutate and/or spread. If you love apocalyptic films, you might want to check out this miniseries premiering this Spring. Watch the trailer!

What's even more noteworthy is that it was directed by Mikael Salomon, who is a pro at TV miniseries production, having done TNT's "The Company," "Nightmares & Dreamscapes," and "The Grid," ABC Family's "Fallen," and a segment of HBO's "Band of Brothers."

It's apparent that cable miniseries shows have become a sleeper trend. Last year, AMC, a channel that is barely watched by a large demographic, won an Emmy for its miniseries "Broken Trail." But normally, cable channels stick to shows that return sporadically throughout the year in makeshift seasons. For example, the Scifi channel, where scifi shows ("Roswell," "Dark Angel") once went to be put to rest, now has a steady crop ("Battlestar Galactica," "Eureka," "Stargate Atlantis") of buzzworthy content. But it's not exactly known for its miniseries output, despite the fact that in 2000, they had the respected "Dune" and in 2003 it won an Emmy for Stephen King's "Taken." But then in 2004, both "Earthsea" and "The Dark Kingdom" were given bad reviews, as well as 2005's "The Triangle" and 2007's "Tin Man." Its last respected hit was 2006's "The Lost Room." However, in spite of its missteps, the channel shows no signs of slowing down in production.

What is your favorite miniseries?

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