Diane FarrSupporting

Diane Farr to join cast of ABC mini “The Hamptons”

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LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) — ABC is mixing drama and reality in “The Hamptons,” a four-hour reality miniseries that Oscar-winning director Barbara Kopple is set to direct. Another project ABC longform executives are fired up about is “Superfire,” a three-hour movie created by novelists Richard Preston (“The Hot Zone”) and Douglas Preston (“The Relic”) and starring D.B. Sweeney (“Harsh Realm”), Diane Farr (MTV’s “Loveline”) and Wes Studi (“Mystery Men”). “The concept of ‘The Hamptons,’ which blends reality television with the miniseries form, is innovative and exciting,” said Helen Verno, executive vp movies and minseries at Columbia TriStar Television, which produces the miniseries. Added ABC executive vp movies and miniseries Susan Lyne: “We’re playing with a new form here: This is a hybrid; it’s dramatic storytelling but with real characters and real events.” Because of its unique nature, the project was co-developed with ABC Entertainment’s alternative series and specials division, headed by Andrea Wong. “Hamptons” will have multiple crews follow a group of people from different walks of life who go to the fashionable New Yorker retreat and track their stories from Memorial Day-Labor Day. Because there are a lot of culture clashes between the old native Hamptonites and the newcomers, between old money and new money and between young singles and families, the subject offers an opportunity for a lot of great drama, Lyne said. Kopple, who won Oscars for the feature documentaries “American Dream” and “Harlan County, U.S.A,” will direct the mini, scheduled to air next year. She will executive produce with Diane Sokolow. The two worked together on the documentary “Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson,” also for Columbia TriStar. Because the project is reality-based, it won’t be affected by a potential writers strike. Kopple’s list of honors includes three Directors Guild of America Awards, including one for her documentary “Homicide: Life on the Street.” She is repped by Endeavor and Rigberg-Roberts-Rugolo. In their first collaboration, brothers Richard and Douglas Preston created the story for “Superfire” after an enormous amount of research and reporting into the world of “smoke jumpers,” who parachute into wildfires to help put them out, and into the phenomenon of superfires. A superfire, which has happened only a couple of times in history, is the worst kind of fire and is caused when two or three fires of huge proportion come together. In recent years, the threat has been increasing as urbanization is going deeper and deeper into the forest, so the fires now are significantly hotter, faster and more deadly. “Superfire” will star Sweeney and Farr as pilots and Studi as the head of the smoke jumpers. “ABC’s TV movies division strives to make event television, and the approach all along in this piece has been that this would be an event on television — a little feature,” the film’s executive producer Stephanie Germain said. Her company Stephanie Germain Prods. produces the movie in association with Mandalay Television and Lions Gate Television. To help achieve feature flavor for the telefilm, which will involve extensive special effects, the producers have brought in as director Steven Quale, who is making his directorial and television debut with “Superfire.” He has worked in features, most notably as James Cameron’s second unit director on “Titanic,” “True Lies” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” “He just nailed what this movie should look like,” Lyne said. Production of “Superfire” is set to begin April 15 in New Zealand. Sweeney’s TV series experience includes Fox’s “Harsh Realm” and “Strange Luck.” He recently completed a guest-starring arc on ABC’s “Once and Again.” On the big screen, he will next be seen in “Hardball.” He is repped by ICM. Farr stars in the ABC midseason comedy series “The Job” with Denis Leary. Her TV credits also include ABC’s “The Drew Carey Show,” the WB Network’s “Roswell” and the NBC telefilm “The David Cassidy Story.” She is repped by Don Buchwald & Associates, Career Management Corp. and attorney Todd Rubenstein. Studi’s credits include the features “Heat” and “Dances With Wolves.” He is repped by Michael Mann. Quale is repped by United Talent Agency