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McMurtry to create series

One-hour western drama skedded for 1999-2000 season

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry (“Lonesome Dove”) and his partner Diana Ossana have signed a deal with Imagine TV to create and write their first primetime TV series, a one-hour drama about the West for the 1999-2000 season.

No network is yet attached, but Imagine TV partners Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Tony Krantz believe there will be a lot of interest based on McMurtry’s reputation. Among his achievements are such novels such as “Terms of Endearment,” such screenplays as “The Last Picture Show” and such miniseries as “Lonesome Dove” and “Return to Lonesome Dove.”

CBS seems like a potential candidate, given that it aired the “Lonesome Dove” minis and now airs Westerns on Saturday night, including “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” and the midseason drama “Magnificent Seven.”

McMurtry, who grew up on a cattle ranch in Texas, is widely regarded as an expert on the West, and he will create, write and executive produce the new drama with Ossana, who has collaborated with him on novels such as “Pretty Boy Floyd” and the “Lonesome Dove” miniseries.

“Imagine is proud to be working with Larry McMurtry, an acknowledged master of the American West, and Diana Ossana, with whom he has created powerful TV,” Krantz said. “Their gift for authentic storytelling, peopled with rich characters and relationships, will deliver a weekly hour of remarkable TV.”

The six-figure deal was brokered by Michael Siegel of Brillstein-Grey and attorneys Robert Thorne and Gregory Redlitz of Thorne and Co.

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