What do Robert Redford (who played Bob Woodward in All the President's Men), the real Carl Bernstein, Al Franken, Madeline Albright and Harry Belafonte have in common?
They are all committed to cameo roles in Tanner on Tanner, Robert Altman and Garry Trudeau's update of their 1988 political mockumentary, Tanner '88 (think Spinal Tap for the political set), about a losing Democratic presidential candidate.
Production on the new, 90-minute limited series (three, half-hour episodes) began in June for an October 5 premiere on Redford's Sundance Channel.
Sundance re-aired the original Tanner 88 in February (the original original airing of the 11-part series--an hour plus 10 half-hours--was on HBO back in 1988).
The positive reaction to the re-airing prompted the decision to recruit Altman and Trudeau to create a sequel.
The channel is doing three episodes because that's how many executives thought they could complete and still be able to get it on air before the election. It is targeted for an October run (on Tuesday nights). Sundance is planning to re-air the original every Tuesday night in September as well.
The movies will feature original cast members Cynthia Nixon as Alex Tanner, Michael Murphy as Jack Tanner, Pamela Reed as TJ Cavanaugh, and Matt Malloy as Deke Connors.
In the sequel, the candidate's daughter, Cynthia, is making her own documentary about the toll a losing race for the White House has on a candidate and his family. As with the original, the characters will mix with real-life politicos.
Also look for a Mario Cuomo cameo (say that three times fast), plus "don't blink" appearances by director Martin Scorcese, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and Al Franken.