Network draws on classics

Odyssey sets year's slate of originals

Odyssey Network’s first original drama series, debuting in the fall, will be based on the short stories of science fiction writer H.G. Wells, Odyssey prexy and CEO Margaret Loesch announced Tuesday at the Television Critics Assn. Press tour.

Odyssey has ordered 13 episodes of the yet-to-be-named one-hour series, which, along with Odyssey’s other original programming, will be based on classic literary works and produced by Hallmark Entertainment, with Robert Halmi Sr. exec producing.

The network is also planning a four-hour miniseries set to premiere in the fourth quarter based on the 1996 novel “The Voyage of the Bassett” by artist- author James C. Christensen. “The Voyage” recounts the mythological adventure of a recent widower and his two daughters who delve into their imaginations in 1850s England.

For summer, Odyssey will debut a two-hour original movie based on Mark Twain’s 1881 novel “The Prince and the Pauper.”

“These productions are based on timeless classics with wonderful storytelling that entertains and appeals to the entire family,” said Susan Frank, exec VP and G.M., Odyssey Entertainment Group, which oversees programming and marketing for the network.

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