CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest telefilm news, culled from recent wire reports:
HITLER: THE RISE OF EVIL (CBS) - Ed Gernon, the longtime head of Alliance Atlantis' longform division, reportedly has been fired from the company because of remarks he made in a TV Guide interview regarding the company's upcoming mini-series chronicling the early years of Adolf Hitler. Neither Gernon nor Alliance Atlantis have commented on the news which was broke by The New York Post.
HOMELESS TO HARVARD: THE LIZ MURRAY STORY (Lifetime) - The Thora Birch led telefilm became the network's highest rated movie in more than a year, posting a 5.0 household rating (4,281,000 homes) with 5.7 million viewers during its premiere on April 7. It was also the highest rated original movie in 2003 among adults 18-49 (2.4) and adults 18-34 (2.0) and the second highest rated among households. And being on Lifetime, it was also not surprisingly the highest rated telefilm among all major women demographics including women 18-34, women 18-49, women 25-54 for the year. Its encore airing that night at 11:00/10:00c also fared exceptionally well, garnering a 1.9 household rating (1,657,000 Homes) and was seen by 2.1 million viewers.
MARTHA INC. (NBC) - The Peacock's biopic of Martha Stewart, featuring Cybill Shephard as the mogul, will air Monday, May 19 at 9:00/8:00c, the last Monday of sweeps.
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: THE JOAN BROCK STORY (Lifetime, New!) - Carey Lowell ("Law & Order") is set to star in the biopic of Brock, "a woman who uses humor to cope with the onset of blindness and becomes a successful motivational speaker" according to the channel's press release. Mike Robe ("Scared Silent," "The Junction Boys") will direct from a teleplay by Susan Nanus ("A Will of Their Own," "A Child's Wish"). Frank von Zerneck and Robert M. Sertner ("We Were the Mulvaneys," "Scared Silent") are the executive producers along with Michael Bremer and Paul Goff.
THE JESSICA LYNCH STORY (NBC, New!) - The Peacock is trying to secure the official rights to the Army supply clerk's daring rescue from an Iraqi hospital. Even if they aren't successful NBC is prepared to go forward with a movie using news articles and other public information as the basis for a script. A production team is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
WILDER DAYS (TNT, New!) - Peter Falk will topline the third "Johnson & Johnson Spotlight Presentation" for the channel. Craig Anderson will executive produce the project, about a cantankerous and ailing grandfather (Falk) set on straightening out some tall tales for his grandson about his past work on a circus boat. Jeff Stockwell ("The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys") wrote the script however no director has been set. TNT previously teamed with J&J for the telefilms "Door to Door" and "Miss Lettie and Me."
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters