FOX has stealthily scheduled the two-hour sci-fi telefilm “Virtuality” for an end-of-June Friday night airing.
Previously tentatively scheduled for a July 4 premiere, “Virtuality” will now air at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, June 26.
Directed by Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights”) and written by Ronald D. Moore (“Battlestar Galactica”) and Michael Taylor, “Virtuality” was produced as a two-hour backdoor pilot for the network. Amidst rumors of creative tinkering, the telefilm initially filtered out of FOX’s plans and then landed in its current midsummer, Friday night slot. It’s still unclear if positive reviews or a unexpectedly huge audience — Yes, “unexpectedly huge” is redundant when it comes to FOX Fridays — could lead to a late series pick-up for “Virtuality” or if the network is merely getting some practical use out of a high-cost venture.
For now, FOX is just referring to “Virtuality” as a “Fox Movie of the Week Special,” lumping it in with the network’s increasingly rare feature film showcases.
The telefilm features “New Amsterdam” survivor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Commander Frank Pike of the Phaeton, a space vessel approaching a pivotal time in its 10-year journey. Tensions are already high, since the Phaeton has been entrusted with the fate of the Earth, but things get more complicated when the ship’s virtual reality system somehow unleashes a virus of some sort. Soon, the lines between fiction and reality become increasingly blurred and sanity is lost.
The strong ensemble cast also includes Sienna Guillory, James D’Arcy, Joy Bryant, Jimmi Simpson, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Omar Wetwally and Clea Duvall.
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