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‘MAYDAY’ SIGNAL SET

Neufeld/Rehme preps 'Mayday' thriller for ABC

Neufeld/Rehme Prods. is developing the thriller “Mayday” as a telefilm for the Alphabet web for next season.

“Mayday” is from bestselling author Nelson DeMille (“The Gold Coast,” “The General’s Daughter,” “By the Rivers of Babylon”).

Interestingly, DeMille actually penned the book in 1979, but Thomas Block was credited as DeMille opted to remain anonymous. Block is DeMille’s researcher and has since become an author in his own right. He also was an aviator who consulted for DeMille on “Mayday.”

Novel reissued

When it was initially released in 1979, the book sold over 500,000 copies for Berkeley/Jove. The book, about a commercial airliner hit by an errant missile and the crew’s efforts to land the plane safely, is being reissued by Time Warner’s Warner Books. It has been purchased as a Book-of-the- Month Club selection for its January 1998 publication date. DeMille and Block have updated the novel.

“It is a major coup for us,” said Nick Grillo, executive vice president of television for Neufeld/Rehme.

Philip Rosenberg, who wrote the NBC miniseries “Final Judgment,” is writing the script for “Mayday.”

Upping TV presence

During the past two years, Neufeld/Rehme has been increasing its presence in TV production. It developed and produced NBC’s “Gridlock” and is currently working on a sequel to the telefilm. The company is also in pre-production on “Flight From Dhahran” for Viacom’s Showtime.

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