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Salt Lake Tribune

21 July 2005

It's the end of the world! Well, at least on CBS movies

By Vince Horiuchi
Tribune Columnist

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - At CBS, ratings success begins when the world ends.
The No. 1 network has released a partial list of this year's slate of made-for-TV movies. None of them involves elderly people looking back at what went wrong with their lives or a devoted mother who risks everything to save her son/daughter who slipped into the seedy underworld of porn/the Mafia.
No, it's worse than any of us thought. According to CBS, the world is about to crumble. Take a look:

"Vampire Bats" (Oct. 30) - This is my all-time personal favorite on the schedule. Xena's Lucy Lawless stars in this cheese-filled action adventure about a college professor investigating the death of a student.
It appears the student's blood was completely drained by mutated vampire bats, which now threaten to take over the world one throat at a time.

"Category 7: The End of the World" (Nov. 6 and 13) - See, I told you the end is near. In this sequel to "Category 6: Day of Destruction," the "ultimate superstorm" is building and becoming even more disastrous as it begins to cover the rest of the world. Lord knows what will happen in "Category 22: Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Live on the Planet Again."

"Time Bomb" (Oct. 16) - In what sounds like a nod to the 1977 thriller "Black Sunday," this new TV movie shows what happens when Homeland Security receives a threat during a football game that terrorists are going to blow up the stadium in the fourth quarter.

"Mayday" (Oct. 2) - Looks like terrorists aren't the only ones we have to watch out for. In this "Airport"-style movie starring Aidan Quinn (''Empire Falls''), it's a U.S. Navy test missile that accidentally hits an airliner en route to Tokyo.

"The Hunt for the BTK Strangler" (Oct. 9) - Continuing on this path of fear (hey, it worked for the government) is this true story on the killing spree of the infamous BTK strangler, who was recently captured.
All this comes after a rash of disaster films already aired on CBS, including "Locusts," the aforementioned "Category 6," and "Spring Break Shark Attack."

Such a morbid lot, these CBS guys. Why don't they just tell everyone, "It's OK. You'll be fine as long as you watch our TV movies." (Hey, it worked for the government.)

Wanna see something really scary?

Fear is a big part of the fall lineup of new TV shows, too.
New series like "Threshold," about an alien invasion, a remake of the 1970s horror classic "The Night Stalker," and "The Ghost Whisperer," about a psychic who sees dead people, are just a few examples of this trend in science fiction/horror.
Why? "Threshold" executive producer David Goyer said Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour "it's a reaction to a lot of anxiety in the world right now."
"People are scared," he added. "Historically, when people are scared and people have been nervous, there has been an uptick in science fiction, fantasy and horror."
If that's the current sociological formula, wouldn't it be nice to go back to the days of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman?"
Er, maybe not.


Primetime Live: KTVX Channel 4, tonight, 9. Elizabeth Smart's younger sister, Mary Katherine, will be featured with other young heroes who helped solve crimes.

Twister: TNT, tonight, 8. Director Jan de Bont followed his debut "Speed" with this 1996 action/adventure flick about storm chasers (Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton) pursuing tornadoes in Oklahoma.

Article originally published here