PBS skeds ‘Endgame,’ ‘Gin’ for fall

Interactive series, legit adaptation announced at TCA tour

HOLLYWOOD — PBS has added two programs to its slate: multimedia special “Endgame: Ethics and Values in America,” to air this fall, and a production of play “The Gin Game,” to air in fall 2003.

The pubcaster announced the additions Friday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena.

“Endgame,” skedded to preem Sept. 18, will feature fictional segments, interactivity via the Web and live debate with a studio audience in an effort to examine the central moral issues in America today. Created by Emmy-winning producer Scott Goldstein, show will be hosted by journo Carol Marin.

Meanwhile, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore are set to topline a “The Gin Game” for KCET’s drama series “PBS Hollywood Presents.” Arvin Brown (“Just Ask My Children”) will direct the drama, which begins production today.Produced by KCET, in association with exec producers Ted Hartley, chairman and CEO of RKO Pictures, and Ellen Krass, “Game” reunites “The Dick Van Dyke Show” stars.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by D.L. Coburn, who will adapt his work for television, the bittersweet comedy focuses on the relationship that develops between two nursing home residents during a series of gin rummy games.

The play originally aired on PBS in 1981 with Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, who starred in the Broadway run, as the leads.

“PBS Hollywood Presents” is part of the net’s ongoing American drama initiative. Series launched in April 2001 with a production of “The Old Settler” and has since offered a perf of “Collected Stories”; a third installment, “Copenhagen,” airs Sept. 29.

Mention was also made Friday of Martin Scorsese’s previously announced seven-part series “The Blues.” That series will premiere in fall 2003.

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