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Holmes promises more of 'WENN'

Sunday, April 04, 1999

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

It's been six months since the show's cancellation, but some loyal viewers still "Remember WENN."

Series creator Rupert Holmes hasn't forgotten about his show either, and he thinks there's still a future for this 1940s-era comedy-drama set in a fictitious Pittsburgh radio station.

AMC canceled "Remember WENN" after the fourth season cliffhanger aired in September, leaving a small but loyal following of viewers to wonder about the romantic fates of several characters. In a phone interview from his Scarsdale, N.Y., office, Holmes promised that the series will come to proper closure - even if he has to write a conclusion and post it to the Internet.

"I would never leave everyone completely high and dry," Holmes said. "I should write it now and leave it with my lawyer in case I'm run over by a truck. But I do know how it all ends."

Holmes is optimistic it won't come to that. He said there's life left in "WENN," which continues to air in reruns most Fridays at 10 p.m. He's hopeful AMC will agree to resume production or at least film a concluding episode or TV movie.

The show's sets are in storage, and Holmes said the cast is eager to reprise their roles.

"You can usually feel when something has run its course," Holmes said, "but these characters still have an awful lot of life in them."

He attributed the show's cancellation to a new regime at the cable network that wanted to re-create AMC in their own image.

" 'WENN' ended extremely unceremoniously," Holmes said. "If anyone had given me a real strong inkling they would stop production of the series, I would not have been so thoughtless to the show's loyal following to end it with three cliff-hangers."

One of the reasons AMC gave for canceling "Remember WENN" was that they wanted to debut a new series, "The Lot," in December 1998. That show has yet to materialize. An AMC spokeswoman said four episodes will premiere in August, and another short-run original series, "Paramour," will air in May.

If AMC or another cable network doesn't revive "Remember WENN," there may be other options. Holmes said he's been approached by publishers to write "WENN" novels, and he's considering a Broadway musical featuring the "WENN" characters (Holmes said AMC owns the series, but the characters are his).

Holmes is at work on a musical version of Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray," which may premiere in London as early as the fall. He said the production may reach U.S. shores by spring 2000.

"It's the most ambitious and darkest thing I've ever created," Holmes said.

He's also got a novel in the works with Random House that he describes as "a romantic, mysterious adventure story, but it's not sci-fi.

"A form of time travel is a key component in the story," Holmes said. "Once again I'm traveling to the past."

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