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TNN loads Winkler’s ‘Gun’ in action block

Cabler buys rights to 44 episodes, will produce new ones

NEW YORK — CBS Cable’s TNN is getting “Dead Man’s Gun,” the Henry Winkler-produced anthology series that ran on Showtime from 1997 -99.

In addition to acquiring exclusive basic cable rights to 44 episodes of the series from MGM Worldwide TV Group, TNN has nabbed the rights to produce new episodes of the series — and plans to do so. TNN declined to comment on financial details of the deal.

Set in the 1870s Wild West, “Dead Man’s Gun” chronicles the events that unfold in people’s lives when they come in contact with a mysterious dead man’s gun. Kris Kristofferson serves as narrator.

“Whomever picked up the dead man’s gun had their lives forever changed,” said Winkler, who exec produced the original series and will continue in that role for TNN when it begins to produce new episodes sometime after 2000.

Winkler also appeared in one episode of the series, which has featured such thesps as Kate Jackson, John Ritter, Michael Moriarty, Rick Schroder, JoBeth Williams, Edward Asner, Meat Loaf and Brian Austin Green.

The cabler plans to premiere the one-hour adventure drama in January on Wednesday nights at 9. Along with TNN’s new original action series “18 Wheels of Justice,” starring Lucky Vanous, Billy Dee Williams and G. Gordon Liddy, the show will form “Action Wednesday.”

Recently, TNN has begun to target young male viewers with a Friday-night action block featuring WSL’s “Rollerjam,” PBR’s “Championship Rodeo” and “Motor Madness.” In August, the web added a weekly wrestling series from the Extreme Championship Wrestling league to the block.

“Dead Man’s Gun” is produced by Sugar Entertainment in association with Fair Dinkum Prods. The series was created and written by Ed Spielman and Howard Spielman.

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