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CBS rushes mini on Cuban boy

Anderson to develop series

NEW ORLEANS — With the real-life drama still dominating headlines, CBS has tapped “Sally Hemmings” producer Craig Anderson to develop a four-hour miniseries based on the story of 6-year-old Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez.

There’s no script just yet — after all, the boy’s fate hasn’t been determined — but Anderson said CBS hopes to put the project on the fast track.

Elian was found in late November off the coast of Florida after the boat he was in capsized, killing his mother and others. Since then, the boy has been at the center of a custody battle between his father, who lives in Cuba, and Miami-based relatives.

“I have a feeling that it could be resolved in the next three or four weeks,” predicted Anderson, who said he’s narrowing down the list of possible writers to pen the mini’s script. “We’ve developed this quite a ways already.”

Anderson plans to film part of the mini in Cuba and hopes to meet with and get cooperation from Elian’s families both in Cuba and the U.S.

Besides “Sally Hemmings: An American Scandal,” which will run on CBS in February, other Anderson productions for the Eye include the upcoming TV movies “Songs in Ordinary Time” and “The Ballad of Lucy Whipple.”

The Peabody Award-winning producer was also behind CBS telepics “The Piano Lesson” and “Bump in the Night.” Anderson’s first feature film, the Woody Harrelson vehicle “Almost Perfect Game,” will be produced with Paramount.

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