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Does 'The Andromeda Strain' have the right formula for the Emmy Awards?

May 23, 2008 |  1:54 pm

A&E rolls out its four-hour adaptation of Michael Crichton's 1969 bestselling "The Andromeda Strain" next Monday and Tuesday. Oscar winner Robert Wise helmed the 1971 big screen adaptation of this thriller Andromeda_strain about an alien virus threatening Earth. The movie did decent business and earned Oscar nods for editing and art direction. Can this miniseries do well in the ratings and with the Emmy Awards?

Airing the show in the last days of Emmy eligibility will leave it fresh in the minds of voters. Add to that the cachet of Oscar nominated director Ridley and his brother Tony Scott producing — the pair won an Emmy for "The Gathering Storm" in 2002. Then stir in several previous Emmy winners — Eric McCormack ("Will & Grace") and Andre Braugher ("Thief," "Homicide") — as the bad guys as well as nominee Benjamin Bratt ("Law & Order") as the hero and the result could well be several nominations.

Unlikely, you think, considering the typical bias against sci-fi/ fantasy at showbiz awards? Well, let's recall that "Taken," a show all about alien abduction, won the Emmy Award for miniseries back in 2003. While that was exec-produced by Steven Spielberg for the Sci-Fi Channel, A&E has had seven entries in this race over the years, winning in 1999 for one of the "Hornblower" adventures.