NBC brings 'Homicide' back to life; TV: Producer Tom Fontana confirms a made-for-TV movie that will pull all the familiar faces into the project is in the works. And, of course, it will be shot in Baltimore.


It might sound like an Internet fantasy cooked up by fans of "Homicide: Life on the Street," but executive producer Tom Fontana says the wheels are already in motion to make it come true by the end of the year.

Fontana and his partner, Barry Levinson, are working with NBC to produce a made-for-TV movie that will include all the detectives who ever graced the Baltimore squad room from Ned Beatty, Jon Polito, Daniel Baldwin and Melissa Leo, to Andre Braugher and Kyle Secor.

"Everybody says they want to come back, and NBC is now working on trying to make that happen," Fontana said yesterday in a telephone interview.

"It's not easy, because a lot of people are working on other jobs, but we're hoping that we can work around conflicts to have everybody back in a 'Homicide' movie-of-the-week," he said.

While some sort of a "Homicide" movie has been rumored since word of cancellation for the series came down last spring from NBC, it now appears to be a near certainty.

"Look, something can always happen to derail a project, but NBC is spending a lot of money and we are already starting to write the script," said Fontana, who will co-author the screenplay with former "Homicide" producers Eric Overmyer and Jim Yoshimura.

Pre-production planning has reached the point where Fontana says he's fairly certain filming will start in late November or early December in Baltimore.

If a film is made, it will be in Baltimore?

"No, I thought we'd do it on a back lot in Burbank to get a more authentic feel," said Fontana,laughing. "I'm kidding. You have to do it Baltimore."

The project is in part an effort by Fontana and Levinson to keep the promise they made when "Homicide" was canceled that they would to try to bring other television projects to the city.

Many former "Homicide" crew members now working on HBO's "The Corner" should be able to move right over to the "Homicide" movie when it starts filming.

"Actually, we would be starting our movie-of-the-week earlier, but so many of the 'Homicide' people are working on 'The Corner' that we wanted to wait until they finish before starting our film," Fontana said.

With the script yet to be written, it is not certain what the story line of the film will be.

But, for the first time since last May, it looks like there is really going to be one and it's going to made in Baltimore.

Pub Date: 9/21/99

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