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Katrina Blows Off "Invasion" Spots

(Posted September 2, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

ABC has called off its Invasion.

In the wake of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, the network pulled promo spots off the air for its highly anticipated new series, feeling that they hit too close too home.

The series follows the creepy misadventures of a park ranger and his family whose lives take turns for the otherworldly following a hurricane that flattens their Florida hometown.

The promos showed the cast investigating the damage to their homes and gradually discovering that something had gone very wrong in the town as a result of the storm.

Park ranger Russell Varon (Eddie Cibrian, Third Watch) begins to suspect something is amiss after the town's sheriff orders the town evacuated.

He begins to investigate some strange post-hurricane events, including the behavior of his ex-wife, Dr. Mariel Underlay (Kari Matchett, Angel Eyes), who was discovered naked in the water the morning after the storm with no memory of what had happened to her.

Though he initially discredits his young daughter's claim that she saw hundreds of lights floating towards the water during the storm, the child's words eventually begin to gain credence as happenings in the town grow increasingly bizarre.

Through his investigation, Russell unknowingly begins a battle to save his family, community and perhaps the entire human civilization from an alien invasion.

ABC has also launched a guerrilla marketing campaign built around the slogan "Have you seen the lights?" but with no reference to the show. Billboards and posters have been popping up in major cities and won't be affected by the withdrawal of the TV ads since they don't reference the show's hurricane.

ABC is expected to eventually put the Invasion spots back on the air, but will likely remove or lighten references to the fictional hurricane.

However, as of now, the network plans to move forward with the series' Sept. 21 premiere.

"As with anything as serious as this, we are taking great efforts to assess sensitivities with regard to our series," the network said in a statement.

Invasion was created by Warner Bros. Television and writer/producer/former teen idol Shaun Cassidy (Cold Case, American Gothic, Cover Me). The series stars Cibrian, Matchett, Lisa Sheridan and William Fichtner (The Longest Yard, Black Hawk Down, Armageddon, Go, Contact).

By Sarah Hall

Source: Yahoo! News

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