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TV producer pitching Kelley's Oprah bio to networks -- we help

TV producer Larry Thompson has optioned Kitty Kelley's unauthorized biography about Oprah Winfrey, and is trying to sell it to a network.


Oprah Winfrey's "fascinating journey" could get TV movie treatment. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

The easiest way to do that these days is to "leak" it to the press, in the form of a press release, and let them jump all over it like white on rice -- which he did, and they did Monday afternoon:

"E! News has learned exclusively that Kelley has optioned the movie rights of her exposé 'Oprah' for a TV movie or miniseries" ranted E! News, which always sounds oxymoronic to us.

"Kitty Kelley's scandalous, very unauthorized Oprah Winfrey biography will be getting the movie treatment, EW foamed.

"Oprah Winfrey's quarter-century run on daytime TV may be accompanied by a TV film dramatizing her life," the Associated Press ventured, more cautiously.

"Oprah Winfrey's fascinating journey from rural Mississippi to the World Stage is packed with simple truths and complicated personalities," Thompson said in his press release in case anyone reporting the story needed a quote for their coverage.


Kitty Kelley's book started it all.(Courtesy of Crown)

"Kitty Kelley's extensively-researched book offers us the factual foundation to frame our cinematic portrait of this powerful and beloved Icon. Casting someone to play Oprah will be the real challenge. We are planning to audition both known and unknown actresses," he gushed.

Thompson's maybe best known for those biopics he did on Lucy Ball and Desi Arnaz, Sonny and Cher, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

"Few Hollywood filmmakers are as experienced as Larry Thompson at understanding and dramatically exploring the emotional complexities of famous people," said Kitty Kelley, continuing the love-fest.

Thompson told some press outlets the movie will air in September of 2011, which would coincide with Oprah's sign-off from her syndicated talk show. This the press reported without question or qualification, even though the project hasn't yet been sold to -- you know -- a network.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  July 12, 2010; 7:47 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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