Emmy(R) Award Winner Rosie O'Donnell Stars in the Lifetime Original Movie America
THE POWERFUL STORY OF ONE BOY'S EMOTIONAL JOURNEY THROUGH THE NATION'S FOSTER CARE SYSTEM
Newcomer PHILIP JOHNSON Stars in Title Role With Academy Award(R) Nominee and Emmy(R) Award Winner RUBY DEE
Emmy(R) Award Winner YVES SIMONEAU Directs Movie from Sony Pictures Television
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 2 -- Emmy Award winner Rosie O'Donnell executive produces and stars in the powerful new Lifetime Original Movie America. Based on E.R. Frank's book of the same name, the film takes viewers on the emotional journey of seventeen-year-old America as he navigates the United States foster care system. O'Donnell leads the cast as a therapist who gives America the support to deal with his troubled past and find the courage to survive against all odds. Newcomer Philip Johnson makes his acting debut in the title role alongside Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award-winning actress Ruby Dee (American Gangster, Decoration Day). America premieres Saturday, February 28, 2009, at 9pm ET/PT.
America reunites O'Donnell with three-time Emmy nominated producer Larry Sanitsky (The Last Don, Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, Paris Trout) and writer Joyce Eliason (Gracie's Choice) with whom she worked on the 2005 CBS telefilm Riding the Bus with My Sister. Multiple Emmy Award winner Yves Simoneau (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Napoleon) directed the Sony Pictures Television film.
ABOUT THE MOVIE
Dr. Maureen Brennan (O'Donnell) has spent her career counseling teens as a therapist at Ridgeway, a residential treatment facility for foster kids who are on the cusp of "aging out" of the "system." Her newest patient is seventeen-year-old America (Johnson), a withdrawn and troubled boy who has been in foster care since infancy. As a youngster, America initially found stability in the arms of Mrs. Harper (Dee), an elderly nanny to one of his foster families. A few days before the start of kindergarten, though, America is reunited with his birth mother, only to be abandoned yet again and left at the mercy of an imperfect system. After years of sexual abuse, America is full of anger and confusion and attempts suicide, landing him at Ridgeway. There, Dr. Brennan slowly helps him open up about his painful past and provides him with the support and courage to reclaim his life before the system turns its back.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
America is produced by The Sanitsky Company in association with Sony Pictures Television for Lifetime Television. Sanitsky and O'Donnell serve as executive producers. Simoneau co-produces and directs from Eliason and O'Donnell's adaptation of the story from E.R. Frank's novel America. David Rosemont (Lifetime's Sex & Lies in Sin City: The Ted Binion Scandal, The Company) is producer.
ABOUT SONY PICTURES TELEVISION
Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry's leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, including series, telefilms, theatrical releases and family entertainment for network and cable television, as well as first-run and off-network series for syndication. With more than 25 programs on the air, SPT boasts a program slate that includes the top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. SPT also owns one-half of cable channel GSN and is a partner in FEARnet, the premier horror/thriller website and VOD service. Sony Pictures Television oversees all of Sony Pictures Entertainment's (SPE) domestic digital distribution efforts across all electronically delivered platforms, including the internet and mobile. Sony Pictures Television, advertiser sales, is one of the premiere national advertising sales companies, handling the commercial inventory in SPT syndicated series as well as in all of SPE's digital businesses in the United States, for Sony BMG and for the Tennis Channel, and is part owner of national media sales company ITN Networks, Inc. SPT (www.sonypicturestelevision.com) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.
ABOUT LIFETIME TELEVISION
Lifetime is a diverse, multi-media company, committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women and Lifetime Digital (including myLifetime.com) are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, a 50/50 joint venture of the Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company.