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News Briefs

Jun 9, 2003  •  Post A Comment

“Hillary’s Choice,” a two-hour telefilm based on the book by Gail Sheehy, is in development at A&E Network, and a two-part miniseries about the family life of former President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy Reagan is in the works at CBS. The Clinton film is being developed jointly by A&E Television Networks, Carlton America, the U.S.-based television arm of Carlton International Media Group, and United Kingdom-based JAM Pictures.It is expected to air in 2004. CBS’s Reagan film will chronicle the former president’s relationship with his second wife and his rise in politics as governor of California and later as president. The story is based on Carl Sferrazza Anthony’s 1991 book “First Ladies: The Saga of the Presidents’ Wives and Their Power, 1961-1990.” “The Reagans” miniseries is being produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Judy Davis is reportedly negotiating to co-star as Nancy Reagan. The project could air as early as November.
NBC Renews `Days of Our Lives’
NBC renewed “Days of Our Lives” through May 2009, and former head writer James Reilly has agreed to return as head writer of the soap. Mr. Reilly left “Days” to create another daytime soap for NBC, “Passions,” which he will continue to oversee. NBC will pay about $1.7 million to $1.8 million a week to license the show from producers Sony Pictures Television and Corday Productions. Meanwhile, Sheraton Kalouria has signed to head NBC’s daytime department for three more years. Mr. Kalouria has been senior VP of daytime at NBC since May 2000.
Family Friendly Finds Four
The Family Friendly Programming Forum Script Development Initiative is backing four new TV series on the broadcast networks’ fall schedules. Shows getting the Initiative’s seal of approval are The WB’s “Steve Harvey’s Big Time,” “Like Family” and “All About the Andersons” and NBC’s “The Tracy Morgan Show.” The Forum, which is made up of 40 major national advertisers who are members of the Association of National Advertisers, encourages networks to develop more family-friendly programming by giving them seed money to buy family-oriented scripts. If a script is ordered to pilot, the network gives the money back to the forum to use for development next year.
Oxygen to Air `Ellen DeGeneres’
Oxygen will repeat the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” one week after the daily episodes are originally telecast. The series will premiere on Oxygen Sept. 15. “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is produced by Crazy Monkey, in association with Telepictures Products and is distributed to cable by Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution and to broadcast by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.
`Girls’ are `Golden’ on Lifetime
Lifetime Television’s “The Golden Girls: Their Greatest Memories,” became the highest-rated special in the network’s 19-year history. The 90-minute program posted a 3.7 household rating, averaging 3.2 million households during its premiere June 2. Previously, the highest-rated Lifetime special was “Weddings of a Lifetime: Million Dollar Weddings,” in June 2001.