Murder and sex dominate NBC's spring schedule


LOS ANGELES -- NBC is going with lots of sex and violence for its spring season.

Six of 10 made-for-TV movies screened for critics here and scheduled to air the next few months deal with murder.

And the one genuinely new series NBC will debut this spring, "Sisters," has already become so controversial that Warren Littlefield, the president of NBC Entertainment, said yesterday that the version shown to critics may be toned down before it's aired nationally.

"Sisters," an hourlong drama about four adult sisters and their relationships, opens with two of the women sitting in a sauna discussing multiple orgasms at considerable length. The series stars Swoosie Kurtz, Julianne Phillips, Sela Ward and Patricia Kalember.

When first asked about the scene, Littlefield replied, "Corporately, we believe in orgasms at NBC."

But as the questions about the scene mounted, Littlefield said, "I will take a look at it again before we put it on the air. Maybe that's not the best way to open the series. It probably makes sense to review it."

The upcoming movies that feature murders include "Love, Lies and Murder," starring Sheryl Lee of "Twin Peaks"; "In Broad Daylight" starring Brian Dennehy; and "Best Intentions: The Education and Killing of Edmund Perry" with Anna Maria Horsford. All are based on real-life events and are scheduled to air in February.

"Our research shows a very strong appetite for fact-based drama," Littlefield said of the violent-fare glut.

Littlefield also announced new series starring Jessica Tandy and Debbie Allen, planned for next fall.

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