NBC hatches Y2K disaster picture

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It's a wake up call.


Monday August 16 1:03 AM ET

NBC hatches Y2K disaster picture

By Josef Adalian

NEW YORK (Variety) - Looking to take advantage of millennium madness, NBC is working on ``Y2K,'' a disaster picture that imagines near-apocalyptic results brought about by the much-hyped computer bug.

The thriller stars Ken Olin (``L.A. Doctors'') as a techie trying to save the United States from disasters caused by computer failures as 1999 turns into 2000.

The picture is the only announced broadcast project to date capitalizing on concerns over the Y2K computer bug, in which machines interpret the date 1/1/00 as Jan. 1, 1900. Analysts have predicted all sorts of catastrophes as a result of the problem, though forecasts regarding the actual impact of the bug vary widely.

In ``Y2K,'' the bug causes an East Coast power outage, ATM failures, airliners whose instruments don't work and other assorted calamities. Olin's character battles one of the biggest imagined consequences of the bug when a nuclear power plant threatens to go into meltdown.

``Y2K'' also stars Joe Morton (``Terminator 2,'' ``The Astronaut's Wife''), Ronny Cox (``Total Recall,'' ``Murder at 1600'') and Lauren Tom (``Friends,'' ``Futurama''). Dick Lowry (``Atomic Train'') directs.


-- c (being@well.now), August 16, 1999


Good luck...I'll believe it when I see it!

I really like the nuclear power plant meltdown storyline idea...



-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), August 16, 1999.

Yeah--- too many previous rumors.-- i'll believe it when i'm watching it come on......

All this time,we can't even get networks to cover y2k information releases and discussions, and legitimate concerns, because so many people think america "can't handle the truth" but now NBC is going to release a Y2K Movie???

i'll believe it when I see it.

nothing like this since "The Day After".... am I the only one that remembers THAT movie?

-- Super (Slfsl@yahoo.com), August 16, 1999.

nothing like this since "The Day After".... am I the only one that remembers THAT movie?


That was the Nuke strike on a town I believe, very realistic.

I noticed all the "big" names in the picture. Harrison Ford must have been busy.

-- Brian (imager@home.com), August 16, 1999.

Yeah, it's a mini series, part one is on new years' eve... part two, uh, well...

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), August 16, 1999.

I'm not one to make predictions, but I'll be *very* surprised if this show *doesn't* end with a few dedicated haircutboys Saving The Day in the nick of time.

The upshot will be millions of TV-hypnotized slackjaws heaving a sigh of relief, confident that real life will echo da toob.

-- Ron Schwarz (rs@clubvb.com.delete.this), August 16, 1999.

The CBS broadcasting network is owned by the Westinghouse company, which manufactures nuclear material; NBC and MSNBC are both owned by General Electric.

It'll be interesting to see if this programme deals with power outages or nuclear disasters...

-- Y2KGardener (gardens@bigisland.net), August 16, 1999.

what a joke. i love it. the bankers make sure all the adds that show anything on y2k are pulled to prevent panic (yah). the governments lie to the general public to prevent panic. then they let producers make several sensationalist movies about y2k. makes sense to me?

-- tt (cuddluppy@yahoo.com), August 16, 1999.


If it's a made for tv movie, it's guaranteed to be bad. They're STILL in production? Can you say CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP?


-- film (watcher@predicting.aflop), August 16, 1999.

Laugh all you want. If and when this movie actually airs, it may be Game Over for personal preparation. You have to realize that the percentage of people significantly preparing now is miniscule; it would only take a relatively few more percent to completely dry up supplies, cause cash withdrawal limits at banks, etc.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), August 16, 1999.

I will beleive it when I see it. Don't hold your breath.

-- Linda A. (adahi@muhlon.com), August 16, 1999.

I don't think they dare show anything like this. If it's before the panic starts, it will set off panic and they dare not be responsible. If after the panic is set off, well, they dare not show it... I don't think so. Who will sponser something like this? KIA???? No. This potato is way too hot.

-- Mara Wayne (MaraWAyne@aol.com), August 16, 1999.

Here's something definitely coming to your video store on August 31. For educational and information purposes only

The Pacific Northwest Inlander August 11-17 issue

The Inland Way
Can a Spokane-made, millenium-themed, straight-to-video movie become an underground classic?

by Mike Corrigan

While the impending New Year's Eve has many people running around stockpiling canned food, batteries and transistor radios, a small band of Spokane filmmakers are hoping they'll make one last stop before the year's out - the local video store. The straight-to-video action flick Y2K: Year to Kill was filmed almost entirely in Spokane, and draws its plot from the chaotic circumstances some predict will besiege the country come Jan. 1, 2000. Y2K, was financed by local software developers Ken Nesbitt and Eric Arnold. It is scheduled to be released in video stores everywhere on Aug. 31.


Resting on its somewhat outlandish premise, the film is set in the very near future and uses the hypothetical Y2K crisis as the backdrop for a character-driven story of friendship, greed and betrayal. It portrays a society partially derailed by the catastrophic effects of the Y2K computer bug. A society in which government services, including law enforcement, have weakened substantially and where food and medical supplies are increasingly hard to come by. Amid this chaos, gangs of thieves run rampant, robbing and killing with near-impunity.


Not surprisingly, the film took longer than expected to shoot-"It went from a two-week shoot to a six-month shoot", sighs Moore - and much longer to edit than any of the novice filmmakers guessed. The team got a break, however, when it came time to market the film. Y2K was never destined for the big screen. Early on, the producers and Ristau made the decision to aim for a straight-to-video release. Nesbitt and Ristau took a trailer of the movie to the American Film Market trade show in Los Angeles in an effort to hook up with a distributor.

At first, the two got the cold shoulder due to the film's lack of starpower. No "names," no deal. "Then we walked into the office of Spectrum films and within about probably one minute they said, "Stay right here; We want your movie." The president took us back and showed us a script for a Y2K movie she wanted made. She said: I was about to make this film, but now I'll buy yours. Sit down; let's talk."

The final pricetag on the movie came in at about $95,000. Now the money-making part is mostly in the hands of Spectrum, while the filmmakers sit back with fingers crossed.

Sorry, no link.

-- RUOK (RUOK@yesiam.com), August 16, 1999.

Spectrum Films are a production house Down Under (NSW, to be precise), specializing in film and video post-production work. It looks like they've also produced a fair number of industrial and military videos (training and such) as well, and are just starting to try to produce for the commercial market.

Somehow I doubt that a Y2K film financed by a couple of code jockeys and produced and marketed by this Oz-based "studio" direct-to-video will cause much of a ripple in overall awareness...

I must say that I did find this part ironic: Not surprisingly, the film took longer than expected to shoot-"It went from a two-week shoot to a six-month shoot", sighs Moore - and much longer to edit than any of the novice filmmakers guessed.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), August 16, 1999.

Brian -

Yeah, what a cast, eh? Let's see if we can match them with their characters:

Ken Olin is of course the stalwart and lantern-jawed code jockey or network geek Joe Morton is Ken's African-American best friend and/or partner who may or may not buy the farm before we reach the thrilling climax

Ronny Cox is the evil "middle-aged-white-guy-in-a-suit" who's the director of the nuclear plant or perhaps a gov't official who tries to thwart and/or kill Ken and/or Joe

and Lauren Tom is the beautiful and bright Asian-American woman who falls in love with Ken at some point

Meanwhile, Dick Lowry directs by having the actors run around and shout nonsense about failing computer systems...

Sounds like a winner to me. Let's do lunch!

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), August 16, 1999.

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