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Oprah Winfrey Network Takes TV Rights to 'Lee Daniels' The Butler'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood September 26, 2013 at 2:57PM

The Oprah Winfrey Network has secured TV rights to "Lee Daniels' The Butler," which had a boffo theatrical release in August via the Weinstein Company, and recently passed the $100 million mark. The film stars Forest Whitaker as longtime White House butler Cecil Gaines, and Winfrey as his wife. Both have generated Oscar buzz for their performances.
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Oprah Winfrey in "Lee Daniels' The Butler"
Oprah Winfrey in "Lee Daniels' The Butler"

The Oprah Winfrey Network has secured TV rights to "Lee Daniels' The Butler," which had a boffo theatrical release in August via the Weinstein Company, and recently passed the $100 million mark. The film stars Forest Whitaker as longtime White House butler Cecil Gaines, and Winfrey as his wife. Both have generated Oscar buzz for their performances.

Harvey Weinstein stated of the acquisition:"OWN is the ideal broadcast home for this film, which has had such a tremendous response from theatrical audiences. It's been an honor to work alongside Oprah Winfrey, whose performance and support on the picture have been second to none, and we're thrilled that her network has come on board."

TOH! loved the film, calling it a "four-hankie tearjerker of the first order" in our review.

This article is related to: Television, TV News, TV, Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels' The Butler


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.