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The Shadow Chasers Press Kit (1985)


Dennis Dugan, Trevor Eve and Nina Foch star in "Shadow Chasers," a new hour-long ABC adventure/comedy series from Warner Bros. Television. Laced with humor and suspense, the new series combines the talents of filmmakers Kenneth Johnson and Brian Grazer for the first time. "Shadow Chasers," which follows the bizarre and comedic adventures of two unlikely funny guys as they investigate the world of unexplained phenomena, premieres with a special two-hour episode Thursday, November 14 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT; 7-9 p.m. CT).

Johnson wrote the premiere script after developing the story with Grazer and both are executive producers of the new television series.

Johnson is best known as creator and executive producer of two successful television series, "The Bionic Woman" and "The Incredible Hulk." More recently, he wrote, directed and served as executive producer of the original "V" miniseries and the series "Hot Pursuit."

Grazer has produced two hit feature films in recent years, "Splash" and "Night Shift" and received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay for "Splash."

In "Shadow Chasers", Eve stars as Jonathan MacKensie, a professor of anthropology at the Georgetown Institute of Science. In the two-hour premiere episode, MacKensie's superior, Dr. Moorhouse, played by Foch, dispatches him to a small town to investigate a series of apparently supernatural happenings. He reluctantly agrees and unwittingly ends up being paired with his diametric opposite, freelance writer Edgar Benedek, portrayed by Dugan.

Jonathan is an academic and approaches his profession in a bookish manner. Conversely, "Benny" is flamboyant and unconventional and sometimes uses questionable means. But in the course of the investigation, they realize the attributes each has to offer and become willing partners in future cases.

Eve is a British stage and television star who is making his American television debut. His U.S. production credits include the recent Hallmark Hall of Fame show "The Corsican Brothers" in which he played the dual roles of Lucien and Louis da Franchi. Prior to that, he played magazine owner Tom Schwartz in the miniseries "Lace." In England, he reached star status with the success of the TV series "Shoestring" in which he played a private detective. In 1981 he received the Actor of the Year Award from the Society of the West End Theatres for his role in the play "Children of a Lesser God."

Dugan has starred in two television series "Richie Brockelman, Private Eye" and "Empire." He also played the memorable role of Captain Freedom during a featured stint on "Hill Street Blues."

Foch, besides a working actress, is one of Hollywood's better-known drama coaches. In her varied career, she has starred in several Broadway plays, hundreds of television programs and more than 40 feature films, which include the memorable "An American in Paris" and "The Ten Commandments." In 1980, Miss Foch received an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of a fragile Hollywood recluse in an episode of the "Lou Grant" series. In 1975, she founded the Nina Foch Studio where she conducts private and advanced acting classes and also coaches and holds consultation for trial lawyers, corporate executives and government officials.

Craig Schiller is producer of the series and Renee and Harry Longstreet serve as supervising producers. Schiller was producer of "The Bionic Woman" and "Salvage I" and was producer/director of the television series "You Asked For It." The Longstreets most recently were supervising producers of "Hot Pursuit." Their other credits include producers of "Voyagers" and "Trauma Center." Among their writing credits are the television movies "The Sky's No Limit," "The Promise of Love" and "The Gathering, Part II."

"Shadow Chasers" is a Kenneth Johnson-Brian Grazer Production in association with Warner Bros. Television.


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Brian Grazer, who brought "Splash" and "Night Shift" to the American motion picture public, and the soon-to-be-released "Spies Like Us," is now turning his talents to television as executive producer with Kenneth Johnson of "Shadow Chasers," as new hour-long adventure comedy series from Warner Bros. Television for ABC.

Editors Note: "Shadow Chasers" premieres with a special two-hour episode, Thursday, November 14, 8 p.m. ET/PT; 7 p.m. CT and will follow with weekly hour-long episodes each Thursday night thereafter.

Grazer says the new series starring Trevor Eve, Dennis Dugan and Nina Foch will not be about the supernatural, but will be a comedic adventure into the strange and unexplained.

"We promise the viewers a lot of fun," says Grazer.

"We know we're up against some strong competition and that the "Bill Cosby Show" is a phenomenon in itself and there are still loyal viewers to "Magnum, P.I.," but we think we're offering the viewers something entirely different and are hoping enough of them will like our change of pace.

"We hope to excite, even sometimes scare in our pursuit of giving viewers some humorous and thoughtful moments."


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As Albert Einstein once said, "the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."

According to Kenneth Johnson, executive producer of "Shadow Chasers," a new hour-long ABC-TV series from Warner Bros. Television which delves into the mysterious "shadowy" subject matter which has plagued and beguiled humanity throughout history "people enjoy the half-step beyond what they know to be real."

Johnson says, "most everyone has had one baffling paranormal experience happen to him or her, but is afraid to touch upon it. 'Shadow Chasers' gives the public a forum in which to view the universal experiences we have all had."

Dr. Thelma Moss, clinical psychologist and parapsychologist who serves as consultant to the series, says that "some of the paranormal phenomena reside solely in the realm of superstition and offer little opportunity for serious inquiry. However, certain phenomena, which 'Shadow Chasers' deals with, are the subject of legitimate scientific investigation. The science of 'parapsychology' has been recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest professional body of American scientists.

In each of the "Shadow Chasers" episodes, Moss says, the themes deal with what people accept in parapsychology as "normal" psychic phenomena, such as precognition (the perception of future events) and telepathy (the transfer of thought from one person to another via unknown channels).

In the premiere episode, poltergeist or "ghostly" activities occurs in a house that is said to be haunted. The house suddenly shakes, objects fly frantically about the place and walls burst into blistering flames, leaving scorch marks on nearby neighbors' homes. An eerie feeling filters through the body of the lone child standing in the middle of the living room as wild winds whirl about him and statues of dead souls topple to the ground.

Professor Jonathan MacKensie and freelance writer Edgar Benedek (Benny), played by series stars Trevor Eve and Dennis Dugan, are dispatched to investigate the series of apparently supernatural happenings.

Many paranormal themes are explored in this episode, according to Dr. Moss. One is mediumship, whereby spirits of the dead are called upon by the living. Another is telekinesis, the large-scale movement of objects. Poltergeist activities are also put into play since the supposed "ghost" is manifesting itself through noises and rappings. Often times children are the mediums through whom spirits are called when poltergeists are involved, and still other answers may be found which aren't paranormal at all.

A "near-death" experience is looked at in another episode, entitled "Amazing Grace." Benny is dead and he is suddenly brought back to life. During his "death," Benny's conscience is located apart from his body. He, like many others who have experienced near-death, recalls coming up out of his body and viewing activity in other rooms by walking through walls and observing some secret, strange and deadly goings-on in the hospital.

According to Dr. Moss: "We as humans are composed of several bodies. One is the physical body which is very dense and can only traverse the ground. When a person is 'out of body,' a term which has literary references going back to the Bible, he is no longer in his physical body, it is inert, catatonic.

In the '60s, during the psychedelic explosion when many people were taking LSD," Moss adds, "they would often be strewn across a bed, but able to describe looking down on a person  in another room from a position on the ceiling. They would describe in detail what the other person was doing. The person being visited would see no one."

Speculation of what life after death would be like is dealt with in the "Middle of Somewhere" episode. After Benny and Jonathan are in a plane crash, they find themselves awakened in a room with stark white walls lying naked under white sheets on a cold hospital table. The two are met with historical figures a singing Elvis Presley and the Three Musketeers among others and are convinced they have died and gone to heaven. "Shadow Chasers" has its basis in fact, but doesn't pretend to have an scientific credence," says Johnson and co-creator Brian Grazer. "We use interesting phenomena to create entertaining, suspenseful drama, and, at the same time, provide relevant information."


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As writer, director and co-executive producer of the pilot episode of "Shadow Chasers," Warner Bros. Television's new hour-long comedy/adventure series for ABC, Kenneth Johnson is a vital contributor to the show. He shares the executive producer title for the series with Brian Grazer, with whom he developed the story for "Shadow Chasers."

His triple duties come as no surprise to those familiar with his work. Johnson filled the identical roles for the original "V" miniseries and for the pilot episode of "Hot Pursuit." Prior to that, he created and was executive producer of "The Incredible Hulk" and "The Bionic Woman."

Ken entered the industry at 21, when WPIX, and independent New York TV station, hired him as a producer/director after viewing a 25-minute film which he had written, produced, directed, edited and scored while attending Carnegie Tech in Pennsylvania. He later became associate producer/director of "The Mike Douglas Show."

He moved on to episodic television in the 1970s when he wrote several episodes of "Adam-12." Following that series, he was asked to write a script for "The Six Million Dollar Man" and, in the process, created the character of the bionic woman. He later became producer of "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Woman" and held that position when both shows were in the top five in the ratings.

In addition to series work, Johnson produced and directed two specials for ABC-TV "Alan King in Las Vegas" and was creator, writer and production executive for "Salem." He also wrote and produced two TV movies: "Death in the Family" and "Senior Trip."


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Brian Grazer, one of Hollywood's leading young producers, is co-executive producer of "Shadow Chasers," a new hour-long comedy/adventure series from Warner Bros. Television for ABC. He helped develop the "Shadow Chasers" story and shares the executive producer title with Kenneth Johnson.

With the success of his first two films "Splash" and "Night Shift" he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for "Splash" he wasted no time embarking on new creative ventures. He currently has more than a dozen films in active development, including "Real Genius" with Martha Coolidge directing, "Armed and Dangerous" with Howard Zieff directing, and "Spies Like Us" starring Chevy Chase and Dan Ackroyd.

A native of Los Angeles, Grazer is a graduate of USC, graduating with a bachelor's degree in psychology. He attended USC Law School for one year, but decided to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

He worked as a clerk in the business affairs department at Warner Bros. during the day and as a script reader for Brut/Faberge Productions in the evening. He also phoned top studio executives and filmmakers and asked for 10 minutes of their time to introduce himself and succeeded in meeting many important executives that way.

He went on to a development and production job with Edgar J. Sherick and Daniel Blatt and produced two TV movies "Zuma Beach" with Suzanne Somers and Timothy Hutton, and "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery" with Wayne Rogers and Louise Fletcher.

In 1980, he moved on to Paramount Pictures, producing and developing projects. He created several TV pilots at Paramount but more importantly, met Ron Howard who was then completing a seven-year tenure on the series "Happy Days." They discussed making films together and the discussion eventually led to their collaboration in "Night Shift" and "Splash." Howard served as director and Grazer produced both pictures.


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British stage and television star Trevor Eve, makes his American TV series debut starring as Jonathan MacKensie in "Shadow Chasers," a new hour-long series from Warner Bros. Television for ABC.

Jonathan is a professor of anthropology at the Georgetown Institute of Science who is sent out to investigate mysterious phenomena affecting a small town in Northern California. He unwittingly hooks up with his diametric opposite, freelance writer Edgar Benedek (Benny). Together they solve the mystery.

American audiences are just now becoming aware of Eve, an actor of Welsh origin. He received much acclaim earlier this year for his dual role of Lucien and Louis da Franchi in the Hallmark Hall of Fame TV production of "The Corsican Brothers." Prior to that, in 1985, he played magazine owner Tom Schwartz in the miniseries "Lace."

Eve began his professional career in the mid-1970s with various leading roles at the Liverpool Playhouse. He made his London debut in 1974 playing Paul McCartney in the play "John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert" and his performance was singled out for its accuracy. It marked the beginning of his rise to fame.

He next landed a major role in "Hindle Wakes," when Sir Laurence Olivier selected him for Granada TV's "Best Plays" series and starred opposite Joan Plowright in Franco Zeffirelli's theatrical production of "Fillumena." Eve made his feature film debut in 1978, starring with Olivier and Frank Langella in "Dracula."

Coinciding with the film's release was the start of the British TV hit series "Shoestring," in which Eve portrayed private eye Eddie Shoestring and won the Best Actor Award in 1979 for that role, which propelled him to star status. Upon completion of the series he starred as James Leeds in the play "Children of a Lesser God," for which he was picked Actor of the Year by the Society of West End Theatre.

His other credits include the Metromedia productions of "Jamaica Inn," where he starred with Jane Seymour, and "A Brother's Tale," a film trilogy set in Northern England. He also starred in "The Genius" by Howard Brenton at the Royal Court Theatre.


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Nina Foch returns to television as university professor Dr. Julianna Moorhouse in "Shadow Chasers," Warner Bros. new hour-long series for ABC-TV.

Moorhouse, a strict academician, is intrigued by a series of mysterious happenings in a small Northern California town and dispatches Professor Jonathan MacKensie (Trevor Eve) to investigate. She is less than enthusiastic when MacKensie hooks up with freelance writer Edgar "Benny" Benedek (Dennis Dugan) and does not hide or temper her disdain.

As an actor, acting coach, and creative consultant, Nina Foch enjoys a special eminence in Hollywood. She has coached some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, as well as producers, directors, screenwriters, pop singers, corporate executives, politicians and trial lawyers.

"Half of my career is behind the camera," she says. "I get sent scripts all the time. But I enjoy teaching and helping others as much as I do performing."

It was as a performer, however, that Foch first gained notoriety. Born of a notable Dutch family, she entered films in America while still a teenager. Her over 40 motion picture credits include "An American in Paris," "The Ten Commandments," "A Song to Remember," "My Name is Julia Ross," "The Dark Past," "Undercover Man" and "Spartacus." For her widely praised performance in "Executive Suite," she received an Academy Award nomination.

Over the years she has worked with a variety of well-known directors including Vincente Minnelli, Cecil B. De Mille, Stanley Kubrick, Otto Preminger, Robert Wise and John Houseman. For George Stevens she was associate director of "The Diary of Anne Frank."

Her film career has matched an equally successful stage career. Her Broadway appearances include the longest American engagement of "King Lear," "Twelfth Night," "John Loves Mary" and "A Phoenix Too Frequent." In addition to her other regional theater credits, her performances in "Three Sisters," "USA" and "Brecht on Brecht" were a vital part of the founding of the Los Angeles Theatre Group.

Miss Foch's starring roles on television are far too numerous to list. A frequent guest star on major series, she was accorded an Emmy nomination in 1980 for her portrayal of a fragile recluse on an episode of "Lou Grant."

In addition to her private coaching and acting classes at the Nina Foch Studio, she has served on the faculties of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, the University of Southern California and the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Studies.

About "Shadow Chasers" she says, "This part isn't that far from me, but Dr. Moorhouse is a bit more forbidding than I am. I get a chance to be a holy terror which I am not in my classroom. What fun!"


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