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‘Married’ weds cablers

Low-budget pic sold to Bravo

A low-budgeted, independently produced comedy called “We Married Margo” might never have seen the light of day if the three Shapiro sisters and their writer-director brother, who run Sibling Rivalry Entertainment, didn’t have a friend in David Spiegelman, senior exec VP of domestic TV distribution and marketing for New Line TV.

But in what amounts to a labor of love, New Line TV has sold the movie’s cable TV rights to Bravo and Comedy Central in a shared window for a license fee that will give J. David Shapiro, the writer-director, what he said is full return on his $215,000 production budget.

Bravo sister net the Independent Film Channel will get the U.S. premiere of “Margo” next month, and both networks will take a batch of runs for the rest of the year. Comedy Central will then get the movie for two years beginning in January.

Pic won the 2000 audience award for best feature at the HBO/Cinemax U.S. comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. But when the movie failed to find a satisfactory theatrical distributor, Shapiro said it could have vanished into oblivion like so many other indie films that can’t make it in the commercial marketplace.

But Shapiro continued to send the movie around to people in the industry. It landed in the VCR of a theatrical executive at New Line, who said it didn’t have the gravitas of a theatrical release and passed it on to New Line TV, where Spiegelman rescued it.

“Margo” is about two men, both divorced from the same woman, who make the mistake of moving in together to figure out what went wrong in their lives. The movie features cameo appearances by Kevin Bacon, Tom Arnold and Cindy Crawford.

Shapiro has a writer credit on two movies: Mel Brooks’ “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and “Battlefield Earth” with John Travolta.

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