NBC digs Cole to play herself in TV biopic

Middleton telefilm is on fast track

This article was corrected on May 4, 2000. Natalie Cole’s next album is a greatest hits collection that willl be released in November.

NEW YORK — NBC is hoping November will be “Unforgettable.”

A telefilm based on the life of Natalie Cole is on the fast track at the Peacock net and will likely make it to air by the end of the year. The singer will play herself in the telepic, which will be written by Vanessa Middleton (“Cosby”) and exec produced by Robert Greenwald Prods. (“The Audrey Hepburn Story”). Steve White and Jamilla Hunter are overseeing the project for NBC.

“My life has had so many different dynamics to it. I don’t know how they’re going to get it all in there,” Cole told Daily Variety. “They’ve certainly got a great story on their hands. I look back at my life and say, ‘I did that?’ ”

Life story

The as-yet-untitled telepic will track Cole’s life from her childhood to her Grammy sweep in 1991 for “Unforgettable, With Love,” in which she performed virtually with her father, the late Nat King Cole.

“It’s an amazing story of living in a father’s shadow, coming out from the father’s shadow, success, crashing and then, finally, resurrection,” said Greenwald.

Airdate will be timed to coincide with the release of Cole’s autobiography “Angel on My Shoulder,” due out Nov. 21 from Warner Books, and her latest album, “Snowfall on the Sahara” from Elektra Records, skedded to hit stores Nov. 14.

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