Miramax, Lee cook up deal

Talk Miramax Books to publish first cookbook

HOLLYWOOD — Sandra Lee, a fixture of magazines and TV shows devoted to domestic lifestyles, homemaking and cooking, has signed a multimedia deal with Miramax Films.

Talk Miramax Books will publish Lee’s first cookbook, “Semi-Homemade Cooking,” in October, the first in a series of joint ventures to expand Lee’s lifestyle brand, Semi-Homemade, to a variety of new books, TV and merchandising projects. The cookbook features an introduction by Wolfgang Puck.

It’s Talk Miramax’s first cookbook and the first deal Miramax has made with a lifestyle author like Lee, signaling an interest in building a multimedia brand — its own version of Martha Stewart — from the ground up.

The Semi-Homemade concept resembles a down-to-earth and practical version of the domestic philosophy espoused by Stewart. Lee’s recipes combine ready-made and fresh products; her lifestyles ideas, which target busy, budget-minded consumers, place the emphasis on ingenuity, affordability and personal style.

Lee has appeared numerous times on the home shopping channels and other network and cable TV programs, and she has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Better Homes and Gardens, Victoria, Women’s World and People.

Future Lee ventures at Miramax will include cooking, homemaking, gardening, entertaining, beauty, food and fashion products.

On Weinstein’s menu

“We’re really excited about working with Sandra Lee on building a successful brand that incorporates her sensible lifestyle approach into books, television, and other merchandise,” Miramax co-chair Harvey Weinstein said.

Lee said the brothers Weinstein and Talk Miramax Books prexy Jonathan Burnham, along with “their incredibly talented, dedicated and supportive team, made it clear that Miramax was the right partner for this venture. Their commitment to top quality books, television and films makes this a perfect fit.”

Tina Brown, who is now the CEO and editor in chief of Talk Miramax Books, brought the deal to Miramax. Lee was repped by attorney Bert Fields.

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