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Woody Allen drinks the water in land of TV movies


LOS ANGELES -- Woody Allen plugging a made-for-TV movie?

That was the scene here yesterday, as Woody Allen met with TV critics via satellite to promote his first made-for-TV movie, which will air this fall on ABC.

Allen directs and stars in the made-for-TV version of his first Broadway play, "Don't Drink The Water," which opened in 1966. It's a comedy about a New York caterer and his wife and daughter being forced to seek asylum in a U.S. Embassy in eastern Europe at the height of the Cold War.

A feature film version of the play was made in 1967 with Jackie Gleason, but Allen played no part in that production. In addition to himself, Allen's ABC version will star Michael J. Fox, Julie Kavner and Mayim Bialek. "It's the first long piece I wrote," Allen said yesterday of the screenplay, "so there are a million things wrong with it in terms of the writing. But, for all the flaws, it's funny."

Allen said the most difficult thing about making a film for TV was trying to shoot it in just three weeks.

Now that he's working in the world of TV movies, Allen was asked what he thought about plans by the Fox network to make a miniseries about Mia Farrow. When told that it was going to be about "the men in her life," he said sarcastically, "that's not a miniseries."

"To me, I find it silly," Allen said. "But there must be an audience that they can make a buck off of with it or they wouldn't do it. I just hope they cast me in an appropriately exciting way and I'm not animated or something."

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