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Masters of Science Fiction Debuts on ABC in August

Aug. 4, 2007, will be the launch date for Starz Media's MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION on ABC, announced Starz's John W. Hyde and Industry Ent.'s Keith Addis. Featuring stories from some of the most creative minds in science fiction literature and hosted by world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION is produced by Starz Media in association with Industry Ent. Exec producers are Hyde, Addis, Andrew Deane and Brad Mendelsohn.

First up, at 10:00 pm, Aug. 4, is "A Clean Escape," based on a short story by Nebula Award-winner John Kessel (ANOTHER ORPHAN, BUFFALO), written for TV by Emmy nominee Sam Egan (THE OUTER LIMITS, JEREMIAH) and helmed by Oscar-nominated director Mark Rydell (ON GOLDEN POND, FOR THE BOYS). A dying Dr. Deanna Evans (two-time Oscar nominee and double Emmy-winner Judy Davis; LIFE WITH JUDY: ME AND MY SHADOWS, MARIE ANTOINETTE) refuses to believe that her patient, Robert Havelmann (Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Sam Waterston; LAW & ORDER, THE KILLING FIELDS), cannot remember the last 25 years of his life. It remains unclear why she has been so obsessed with this particular patient until the final, shocking conclusion that may just have resonance with the current global crisis.

It's followed at 10:00 pm on Aug. 11, by "The Awakening," based on a short story by Howard Fast (SPARTACUS) and written and directed by Michael Petroni (THE DANGEROUS LIFE OF ALTAR BOYS). It stars Emmy nominee Terry O'Quinn (LOST, STEPFATHER) and Elisabeth Rohm (LAW & ORDER) in a story set in the middle of a ferocious firefight outside of Baghdad, where U.S. soldiers discover a mysterious body one that they can't even identify as human. Swiftly, all over the Earth, more such creatures appear and begin to communicate. With this contact, the world is forced to choose between peace and destruction.

Next, at 10:00 pm on Aug. 18, is "Jerry Was a Man," from a short story by seven-time Hugo Award winner Robert A. Heinlein (STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, STARSHIP TROOPERS), written and directed by Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Michael Tolkin (THE PLAYER, THE RAPTURE). It tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Van Vogel (Golden Globe nominee Malcolm McDowell; A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, HEROES; and Emmy nominee Anne Heche; MEN IN TREES, JOHN Q), a wealthy couple for whom pleasure is their only work; mundane or dangerous chores are done by anthropoids. Somehow, Mrs. Van Vogel's dormant compassion is awakened by an anthropoid named Jerry. What traits would prove that Jerry is, indeed, a man?

Rounding out the limited series at 10:00 pm on Aug. 25, is "The Discarded," which is based on a short story by seven-time Hugo Award winner, three-time Nebula Award winner and Science Fiction Grand Master Laureate Harlan Ellison (A BOY AND HIS DOG, STAR TREK), written for the screen by Ellison and Oscar nominee Josh Olson (A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE) and directed by Jonathan Frakes (STAR TREK: INSURRECTION, STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT). It stars James Denton (DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES), two-time Oscar nominee John Hurt (V FOR VENDETTA) and Emmy and Tony Award-winner Brian Dennehy (ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, COCOON) in a story of despised minorities forever adrift in the darkness of outer space. As a last resort born out of their loneliness and despair they are forced to make an ominous pact with those responsible for their plight, in the hope that they will finally be offered refuge at home on Earth.

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Rick DeMott
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