Eye boosts MGM , orders ‘Seven’

MGM has officially re-entered the network TV business after a three-year absence with CBS’ midseason order for the drama “The Magnificent Seven,” which is expected to be announced today.

CBS has also picked up “Unsolved Mysteries,” which NBC canceled after nine seasons on the network (see Army Archerd, page 4). The latest show to switch networks comes just days after ABC snagged NBC’s canceled sitcom ‘Something So Right.”

The Eye web has ordered six episodes of “The Magnificent Seven” plus a two-hour movie, which is based on the Western feature film, which in turn was based on Akira Kurosawa’s “The Seven Samurai.” The series leads include actors Michael Biehn and Ron Perlman.

MGM hasn’t been a network TV player since “In the Heat of the Night” was canceled in 1994. MGM’s only other marginally successful primetime network series this decade was another Western, “The Young Riders,” which lasted from 1989 to 1992. MGM hasn’t sold a new network show since 1989, but MGM Worldwide TV Group president John Symes has been slowly rebuilding the division.

“This is the next big step for MGM TV,” Symes told Daily Variety. “They’ve allowed us to get back into it, and we could not be more appreciative.”

“The Magnificent Seven” is being produced by Trilogy TV, which has an overall deal at MGM. Trilogy also produces three weekly syndicated hours for MGM: “Outer Limits” and “Poltergeist: The Legacy,” which also air on Showtime, and the upcoming “Fame L.A.”

Executive producers on the series are Trilogy’s Pen Densham, John Watson and Richard Lewis

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