The wheels have been set in motion to bring at least one half of the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan “Skategate” scandal to television, probably in time for the May sweeps.
Sources say Citadel Entertainment has made a deal with Fox Broadcasting Co. to develop a movie on Harding — and, more pointedly, the plot carried out by her associates to injure rival skater Nancy Kerrigan — using court documents and other public domain material.
In the meantime, Kerrigan’s representatives have narrowed the field to obtain her story to about 10 companies, with a decision on who gets the rights expected by the end of this week.
Some producers have estimated that a deal with Kerrigan, who is repped by sports marketing firm ProServ, could exceed $ 500,000, which would near record levels for TV movie rights.
Still, sources say the winning bid may turn on whoever can offer Kerrigan the best package in terms of ancillary considerations, with a separate skating special, an exercise homevideo and a commercial spokeswoman role among the unorthodox requests put on the table.
Rushing a deal
Kerrigan’s representatives are said to be intent on making a deal before the Winter Olympics, which begin Feb. 12.
It’s assumed a subpar performance by Kerrigan in Norway would make her story less attractive, creating pressure on ProServ to get the deal done.
Citadel chairman David Ginsburg declined comment about the rumored Harding movie, citing a policy against discussing projects in development. Fox officials couldn’t be reached.
Each network has sought Kerrigan’s rights, as has Disney, Time Warner and several smaller TV movie production outfits.
Frenzy of interest
It was reported previously that 50 companies expressed initial interest in the project, and sources anticipate at least two movies on the story, one from each side.
CBS and Fox are currently involved in a similar situation, with both producing longform entries based on the Menendez murders.
CBS, which will air the Winter Olympics, is televising a special “Nancy Kerrigan & Friends” in primetime Saturday.