A&E Releases Programming Slate, But Where's Patrick Swayze's The Beast?
A&E's new slate of original programming doesn't include The Beast, the Patrick Swayze FBI drama imperiled by the health of its star.
That doesn't necessarily mean the end of the show — a rep for the cable network says no decision has been made about the its future — but it comes as a disappointment to Swayze fans who hoped The Beast might appear on A&E's schedule, which was released Tuesday. Swayze was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early 2008, and shot most of the first season of The Beast while battling the disease.
A&E's sole returning scripted series, the Benjamin Bratt-starrer The Cleaner, returns June 23. Guests this season will include Whoopi Goldberg, Shirley Jones, Gary Cole, Rebecca Gayheart, Lori Petty, Tyler James Williams.
Several reality shows were also given return dates in Tuesday's announcement, including Intervention (May 25), The First 48 (June 16), Gene Simmons Family Jewels (June 7), Dog the Bounty Hunter (May 27), and Crime 360 (May 21).
No premiere dates were provided for returning shows Criss Angel Mindfreak, Paranormal State, Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force, or Parking Wars.
New shows in development for A&E are a four-hour, two-part epic Western mini-series to be produced by Kevin Costner, and the tentatively titled The Lead Sheet, a series about the investigation of the Los Angeles killer the Hillside Strangler. It's scripted and executive produced by novelist James Ellroy, who covered similar material with the novel and film The Black Dahlia, and The Shield creator Shawn Ryan.
The network has previously green-lit a Jerry Bruckheimer executive-produced series with the working title Cooler Kings, about a former Honolulu cop trying to avenge his girlfriend's death.