A handful of ABC stars will be pulling double duty on the network this season, having signed on to an impressive roster of actors for the anthology series "Masters of Science Fiction."
The six-episode series, which is likely to air at midseason, will feature the likes of "Lost" star Terry O'Quinn, Anne Heche (the upcoming "Men in Trees") and James Denton ("Desperate Housewives"), along with Emmy winner Judy Davis ("Life with Judy Garland," "The Reagans"), Malcolm McDowell ("Entourage"), "Law & Order" star Sam Waterston and others.
Additionally, renowned physicist and author Stephen Hawking will introduce each episode.
"Masters of Science Fiction" comes from IDT Entertainment and Industry Entertainment, which also produce Showtime's "Masters of Horror." The ABC show will feature adaptations of six stories from acclaimed sci-fi writers including Harlan Ellison, Robert Heinlein and Robert Sheckley. Here's a rundown of the six episodes:"A Clean Escape," set in a post-apocalyptic near future, stars Davis as a psychiatrist trying to help a patient (Waterston) recover from a lapse memory. Based on a short story by John Kessel; written by Sam Egan ("Jeremiah," "Northern Exposure") and directed by Mark Rydell ("On Golden Pond").
"Jerry Was a Man" stars Heche and McDowell as a wealthy couple who come into possession of an anthropoid named Jerry. Based on a story by Robert Heinlein; written and directed by Michael Tolkin ("The Player," "Deep Impact").
"The General Zapped an Angel" will star O'Quinn and Elisabeth Rohm ("Angel," "Law & Order"). Based on a story by Howard Fast ("Spartacus"), it's about a group of soldiers who discover a body that isn't quite human.
"Little Brother" was written by Walter Mosley, based on his story and is directed by Darnell Martin ("Their Eyes Were Watching God"). It stars Clifton Collins Jr. ("Capote," "Thief") and Kimberly Elise ("Close to Home") as members of a future society where justice is meted out without the aid of judges or juries.
"Watchbird" stars Sean Astin ("24," "The Lord of the Rings") and James Cromwell ("Six Feet Under," "L.A. Confidential") and it set in a world where droids prevent killings before they happen. Based on a story by Robert Sheckley; written by Egan and directed by Harold Becker ("Vision Quest").
"The Discarded," based on Harlan Ellison's story and written by Ellison and Josh Olson ("A History of Violence"), stars Brian Dennehy ("Our Fathers," "Death of a Salesman"), John Hurt ("V for Vendetta," "Alien") and Denton. It follows a group of people, sentenced to drift in space for eternity, who take one final shot at returning to Earth.