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TV STUFF: George Clooney's 'Safe' Plan

By: ,
Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

Is George Clooney's "Fail Safe" fail safe? CBS officials hope so. But just in case, they've got a Plan B. Producers say the cast and crew of the Clooney-produced, two-hour teleplay -- to hit the airwaves live on Sunday -- will gather on Saturday to tape a performance. Just in case.

"Fail Safe" is a remake of the 1964 movie (the hyphenated "Fail-Safe") which itself was an adaptation of the Cold War-era novel about a nuclear bomb that's dispatched toward Moscow by mistake. On Sunday, Clooney & Co. (including Noah Wyle, Harvey Keitel and Don Cheadle) will do their stuff starting at 9 p.m. (EST) on sound stages at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, Calif. The show will be captured by 16 digital cameras and then transmitted to CBS by the same remote-broadcast company hired for the Oscars.

"Although this is the first live broadcast of a drama [movie], the Academy Awards are all done live too," a CBS rep told Hollywood.com. "It's the same as all those other kinds of things. Everything is set up and tested in advance. You just plan ahead so that nothing goes wrong, and hopefully it doesn't."

MORE "JAG"! CBS has issued renewal slips to eight shows -- from the top-rated no-brainers ("Everybody Loves Raymond," "Judging Amy," "Touched By an Angel," "JAG") to the middling, what-else-are-we-gonna-air stuff ("The King of Queens," "Becker") to the can't-kill-these-things-with-a-steak-knife programs ("Walker, Texas Ranger," "Nash Bridges"). No word yet on the fate of critically acclaimed freshman series "Now and Again."

FLUNKING OUT: "Felicity" moved to Wednesdays this week, but its lousy ratings followed. The floundering WB sophomore series lost nearly 1 million viewers from its "Dawson's Creek" lead-in, overnight numbers show.

SURF'S UP: FX has ordered seven more episodes of the superfluous Howard Stern-produced "Baywatch" parody "Son of the Beach." They'll begin airing this summer.

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