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Benchley Mini in Works at USA

Feb 21, 2005  •  Post A Comment

USA Network is developing a two-part miniseries based on an original story written by Peter Benchley, the author of “Jaws.”

Dan Wigatow is the executive producer of “Devil’s Cargo,” which is planned for a total of four hours. Mr. Wigatow also produced “The Beast,” another story by Mr. Benchley that was made into a movie by USA in 1996.

The story is about a cargo ship that crashes carrying an illegal load of exotic and deadly animals. The animals move into a small seaside town, threatening the homes and lives of the people who live there.

The project has not been cast, and a director has not been selected. It is unclear when the show might air.

USA has been among the networks producing limited series in hopes of growing them into continuing series. Last year USA hit ratings gold with the limited series “The 4400,” which will be on the schedule as a weekly series this year.

But the network also plans to continue to create original movies and miniseries.

In January 2004 the network aired the acclaimed “Traffic,” which drew a 2.3 rating in USA Network homes over three nights, according to Nielsen Media Research.

In 2003 USA aired “Spartacus,” which drew a 3.0 rating over two nights. The miniseries “Helen of Troy” drew a 3.2 rating when it appeared in 2002.