CBS has given a title and airdate, not to mention a cataclysmic event, to a disaster miniseries it announced earlier this year.
“Category 6: Day of Destruction” is set to air Sunday, Nov. 14 and Wednesday, Nov. 17, right in the middle of the November sweeps. It concerns a sort of land-locked perfect storm bearing down on Chicago and the people about to be caught up in it.
Brian Dennehy (“Death of a Salesman,” “Presumed Innocent”) stars as an about-to-retire National Weather Service meteorologist who’s watching three big storm systems: powerful tornadoes that have laid waste to Las Vegas, an abnormally warm storm front moving up from the south and a blast of Arctic air coming from the north. He asks an old friend, adventure-tour guide “Tornado Tommy” (Randy Quaid, “Independence Day”) to help him track the twisters.
Meanwhile, a heat wave and drought is crippling Chicago, even as the secretary of energy (Dianne Wiest, “Bullets Over Broadway,” “Law & Order”) warns that the power grid could fail at any moment.
“Any moment” arrives in the form of a continent-wide blackout triggered by a massive thunderstorm, meaning Chicagoans may have no way of knowing about the devastating weather bearing down on them. A reporter (Nancy McKeon, “The Division”) teams with a power-company executive (Thomas Gibson, “Dharma & Greg”) to restore electricity and warn the public.
“Category 6” continues a mini-revival of the disaster movie. NBC’s earthquake miniseries “10.5” scored better than 20 million viewers in May (and may spawn a sequel, according to Variety), and the feature film “The Day After Tomorrow” has made more than $180 million at the box office this year.