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Resurrected 'Magnificent Seven' hopes to be big hit

Robert Vaughn
Vaughn, right, plays a judge in the TV version of "The Magnificent Seven"  
February 27, 1998
Web posted at: 7:59 p.m. EST (0059 GMT)

NEWHALL, California (CNN) -- CBS is hoping to find a mid-season hit in a resurrected western from the big screen, "The Magnificent Seven."

Like the movie classic, the television drama features a group of seven men who are committed to justice at all costs.

Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, and Robert Vaughn were among the seven heroes who rode onto the screen in the 1960 MGM film, produced by Walter Mirisch.

The new version even retains some of its roots.

Mirisch and Vaughn are both involved in the new television series. Mirisch, an Academy Award-winner with a distinguished film career, is executive producer of the project. Vaughn appears on the TV show, but this time he plays a judge, not one of the seven heroes.

vxtreme CNN's Paul Vercammen reports.

"This is a good yarn. A bunch of guys who are basically outside the law, hired to help people within the general framework of the law," Vaughn told CNN about the series.

'A little bit' of everything

Michael Biehn, of "The Terminator" and "The Rock," plays cowboy Chris, one of the seven heroes in this version of the western. Biehn says the show will have wide appeal.

Man with a pistol
"The Magnificent Seven"  

"We have a little bit of comedy, a little bit of drama, a little bit of action," Biehn told CNN.

Ron Perlman, perhaps best known for playing Vincent in the long-running "Beauty and the Beast," plays Josiah, also a regular cast member.

"I'm a Jewish cowboy," Perlman says.

Dale Midkiff, whose movie credits include "Pet Cemetery," plays Buck, a romantic cowboy.

"He loves women. He loves to have a good time. He plays hard, he plays rough and he plays by his own rules," Midkiff told CNN about his character.

Midkiff also told CNN he took Buck's accent from his youth.

"The Eastern Shore of Maryland is pick-up trucks, Budweiser, gun racks and dogs," he said. "I kind of took the accent from my uncle Al, my uncle Roland, and went from there."

So far, since its January 5 debut, the show appears to be holding its own in its 9 p.m. ET/PT Saturday night time slot. "The Magnificent Seven" team hopes to earn a permanent place on CBS's schedule.

Correspondent Paul Vercammen contributed to this report


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