ROSEMARY'S BABY MINISERIES
ABC has made a deal to turn Ira Levin's horror classic 'Rosemary's Baby' into a four-hour miniseries that will put Satan's spawn on track for a 2005 airdate.
The mini will be exec produced by Barbara Lieberman.
The potential seven-figure pact gives the network rights to use the famed book along with a lesser-known sequel novel, 'Son of Rosemary.'
Lieberman, who expects the network to secure a writer shortly, said most of the mini will be a fairly faithful retelling of 'Rosemary's Baby' but will likely pick up the story years later, when Rosemary's son becomes a teenager.
'Rosemary's Baby' was originally bought by Paramount, which first put horrormeister William Castle on the film but then made a gutsy move in replacing him with Roman Polanski.
End result was the 1968 pic that starred Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes and kicked off a slew of paranoia-fueled thrillers in the 1970s.
The surprise is that the new miniseries didn't land at Par's sister company, CBS.
The devil is in the details.
Lieberman checked on the rights and approached Don Laventhall, a former film exec who recently moved to Gotham-based lit agency Harold Ober to exploit the agency's extensive backlist for film deals.
When Laventhall -- who just made a significant underlying rights deal with 20th Century Fox for F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'Tender Is the Night' -- checked on the availability of 'Son of Rosemary,' he made a stunning discovery: Paramount held claim only to feature rights on 'Rosemary's Baby.' Its hold on television rights had expired.
Though Lieberman exec produced 'Gleason' and upcoming Anne Heche starrer 'The Dead Will Tell' at CBS, she brought the package to ABC, where she was once senior veep of movies and miniseries. Quinn Taylor, who currently holds that post, quickly made the acquisition and will oversee production with Greg Shephard. As she usually does, Lieberman will produce in association with Robert Greenwald Prods.
'This is the seminal psychological horror film of all time, and I think it will make a huge television event,' Lieberman said. 'The title is familiar to younger audiences, but they haven't necessarily seen (it).'
Courtesy of Variety