ABC and ABC News have announced their summer lineup of specials and limited series. The press release contains all the details, but some of the stand-outs include the return of Primetime: What Would You Do? as well as three new additions to the ABC News line: ‘Family Secrets’, ‘The Outsiders’, and ‘Crime’. ABC News has also slated specials Earth 2100, J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life as well as a one-hour special on oil, Oil with Charles Gibson and Un-Broke: Everything You Need to Know about Money.
On the network side, ABC has slated the returns of CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock and 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee, and will air limited series Diamonds and Impact.
Full details follow below the fold in the official press release.
ABC AND ABC NEWS ANNOUNCE SUMMER SPECIALS AND LIMITED SERIES
ABC and ABC News announce summer specials and limited series, including the return of “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” and “2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee,” and the new ABC News specials “Earth 2100,” “J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life,” along with a one-hour special on oil, “Oil with Charles Gibson,” and “Un-Broke: Everything You Need to Know about Money.” In addition, ABC will air limited series “Diamonds” and “Impact,” and ABC News will air the “Primetime” limited series “Primetime: Family Secrets,” “Primetime: The Outsiders,” “Primetime: Crime” and “Primetime: What Would You Do?” “20/20″ will continue to air in its regular time period, Friday’s at 10:00 p.m.
Following is a description of the upcoming programming in chronological order (all times ET):
DIAMONDS – SUNDAY, MAY 24 (9:00-11:00 p.m.) – It’s the most romantic stone known to man. But when the daughter of U.S. Senator Joan Cameron (Judy Davis) is killed in a massacre at an African diamond mine, a chain of events begin that uncovers the darkest secrets of the international diamond trade. Shot on location in South Africa and Canada, this four-hour limited series provides a look inside one of the world’s most glamorous yet mysterious industries. “Diamonds” dramatically weaves together five storylines to portray the personal and political effects of the blood diamond trade on a global scale. From prospectors scouring the northern barrens to the dazzling estates of the diamond lords of Cape Town, from the diamond fashion shows in London to the war ravaged villages of Sierra Leone, this epic thriller follows the trail of greed and obsession that brings to the world its most dazzling gems.
Part One of “Diamonds” airs Sunday, May 24 (9:00-11:00 p.m.), and Part Two on Tuesday, May 26 (9:00-11:00 p.m.)
Starring Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award winner Judy Davis (“Husbands and Wives,” “Marie Antoinette”) as Senator Joan Cameron, James Purefoy (“Rome,” “A Knight’s Tale”) as Lucas Denmont, Emmy Award winner Sir Derek Jacobi (“Frasier,” “Gosford Park”) as Piers Denmont, Louise Rose (“Eastenders”) as Luna and Joanne Kelly (“Vanished”) as Stephanie. “Diamonds” is produced by Alchemy Television and Sienna Films, directed by Andy Wilson and written by David Vainola.
THE 2009 SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE – THURSDAY, MAY 28 (8:00-10:00 p.m.) – Emmy Award-winning Tom Bergeron (“Dancing with the Stars,” “America’s Funniest Home Videos”) hosts live television coverage of the final championship rounds of “The 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee” live from Washington, DC, as 293 spellers from around the world compete.
Chris McKendry (“SportsCenter”) will host semifinal rounds live earlier in the day on ESPN, which has televised the Bee since 1994. ESPN’s live telecast (simulcast on ESPN360.com) is scheduled for 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., ET. ESPN360.com will provide coverage of Round Three of the preliminaries from 1:15-6:15 p.m., ET on Wednesday, May 27. ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews returns to be a correspondent for both the ABC and ESPN broadcasts.
UN-BROKE: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MONEY — FRIDAY, MAY 29 (9:00-10:00 p.m.) – Schools teach us everything, but rarely are we taught how to deal with “Money 101″ — the basic smarts surrounding the financial issues we will encounter in our lives. So take some basic money sense, add a sense of humor and some celebrity spin, and become “un-broke” with this unique ABC special. In a way that television has never approached money for the everyday people, “Good Morning
America” Financial Contributor Mellody Hobson teams up with stars Will Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Seth Green, the Jonas Brothers, the E*Trade babies and others to tell you the truth about credit cards, mortgages, the stock market indexes, investing, 401(k) plans, and how you can get out of your personal credit crisis.
EARTH 2100 – TUESDAY, JUNE 2 (9:00-11:00 p.m.) — Could this be the final century of our civilization? A world where cities are abandoned and our population is decimated may seem the stuff of science fiction, but according to some of the world’s top scientists, it could be a reality unless we act now. Experts say over the next hundred years the “perfect storm” of population growth, resource depletion and climate change could converge with catastrophic results. ABC News’ “Earth 2100,” hosted by Bob Woodruff, takes viewers on a journey through what the next century could have in store and shows viewers what can be done to avoid disaster.
IMPACT – SUNDAY, JUNE 21 (9:00-11:00 p.m.) – We seem to have survived a catastrophic meteor storm….but something has changed and the moon is looming larger in the sky. What once was the most familiar object in the night now threatens to destroy all life on earth. A small group of international astronauts, scientists and soldiers band together as our last best hope.
Part One of “Impact” airs Sunday, June 21 (9:00-11:00 p.m.), and Part Two on Sunday, June 28 (9:00-11:00 p.m.).
Starring David James Elliott (“Close to Home,” “Jag”), Natasha Henstridge (“Eli Stone,” “Species”), Steven Culp (“Desperate Housewives,” “ER”) and Oscar and Emmy-nominated James Cromwell (“W.,” “L.A. Confidential,” “Babe”).
“Impact” is from Tandem Communications, Jaffe/Braunstein Entertainment and Muse Entertainment.
PRIMETIME: FAMILY SECRETS — TUESDAY, JUNE 23 (10:00-11:00 p.m.) — “Primetime: Family Secrets” goes behind closed doors and reveals firsthand the secrets most families never talk about. Each episode looks at the poignant and sometimes shocking secrets of families — why they keep them, how they keep them, and what happens when the truth finally surfaces. The topics explored this summer include teen pregnancy, as told by the young adults themselves, and breaking the cycle of child abuse. This series is scheduled to air through Tuesday, July 21.
PRIMETIME: CRIME – WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24 (10:00-11:00 p.m.) — “Primetime: Crime” goes deep inside real cases, with unusual access to the criminal process, new investigations and exclusive interviews. This season’s compelling cases include what federal investigators call possibly the worst serial date rapist of all time, who seduced dozens of women while posing as a doctor, astronaut and CIA agent; and the high society trial of Manhattan philanthropist and socialite Brooke Astor, whose son is charged with abusing his mother and defrauding her estate of millions of dollars. The series also retraces the twists and turns of some cold cases, providing new clues and forensic evidence. This series is scheduled to air through Wednesday, September 9.
OIL WITH CHARLES GIBSON – WEDNESDAY, JULY 15 (10:00-11:00 p.m.) — Oil affects nearly every aspect of people’s lives, yet most have no idea why prices keep going up and down and who’s pulling the strings. In an hour special, ABC News Anchor Charles Gibson investigates how the oil business works, who’s making money and how average Americans are at the mercy of the biggest industry in the world. Gibson travels around the globe, visiting oil fields in the Middle East and challenging Saudi sheikhs who rule the oil cartel. He also meets with Wall Street traders who are being investigated by Congress for causing gas to cost more than $4 a gallon last summer. As millions of Americans get ready for their summer vacations driving and flying across the country, this ABC hour will help people get a handle of what the price of gas is going to be… and why. This special will air instead of the regularly scheduled “Primetime: Crime” on Wednesday, July 15.
J.K. ROWLING: A YEAR IN THE LIFE – THURSDAY, JULY 16 (8:00-9:00 p.m.) — The woman who created an imaginary world for millions, J.K. Rowling, allowed cameras extraordinary access during the year before the 7th Harry Potter book was published. From the one bedroom apartment in Scotland where it all began to a hotel room where viewers watch her type the last words of the Potter saga, Rowling lets millions of fans into her world. The documentary exposes her childhood sorrows, visits the church where she and her sister worked after-school as janitors, and allows people to see her now as both the queen of a magical, alternate universe and an everyday mom. Cameras also travel back to her hometown and discover where many of the characters of Harry Potter originated. Upon the release of the latest Harry Potter movie, Elizabeth Vargas takes viewers on a journey into the life of the woman who came from “nothing” and created all of her own success.
PRIMETIME: THE OUTSIDERS – TUESDAY, JULY 28 (10:00-11:00 p.m.) — The limited series takes viewers into the lives of people who live in worlds unfamiliar to the rest of society. One episode follows two men living with lions and their jaw-dropping attempts to help save the species. Another takes a rare look at people born with the condition of albinism, where in some parts of the world their appearance has them literally fighting for their lives. This series is scheduled to air through Tuesday, September 8.
CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL: COUNTRY’S NIGHT TO ROCK – MONDAY, AUGUST 31 (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
— You’re invited to summer’s hottest music event when ABC heads to Nashville for “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock.” Filming June 11-14, today’s most exciting Country Music sensations will hit the stage in a four-day party and music celebration for the special, which, for the first time ever, will be expanded from two hours to three to include even more high wattage performances.
Some of the artists already announced to appear at the nightly concerts include Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Julianne Hough, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, John Rich, Darius Rucker, Taylor Swift and Wynonna (with a special appearance by The Judds), plus many more to be announced and surprise appearances by Country superstars – a hallmark of CMA Music Festival.
The annual music festival is unlike any other, with four days, 30 hours of autograph signings by Country Music’s biggest names and up and comers, 100 hours of live music, and a party list of thousands of avid, singing and dancing-till-dawn fans. This is the sixth time ABC will broadcast this special — which invites the whole country to America’s biggest Country Music bash — since the original Fan Fair(r) was launched in 1972. Last year more than 191,000 fans attended CMA Music Festival over its four days, its biggest turnout yet.
PRIMETIME: WHAT WOULD YOU DO? – RETURNING THIS SUMMER (AIRDATE TBD) — The highly rated news magazine returns this August using hidden cameras to capture people’s reactions to provocative situations. Whether people are compelled to act or mind their own business, John Quiñones reports on their split-second and often surprising decision-making process. The series reveals what people actually do in the face of everyday dilemmas that test their character and values.