Prod'n to begin late this year, pic to bow in 2004

HOLLYWOOD — A&E Network has greenlit production on the tentatively titled biopic “Hillary’s Choice,” based on Vanity Fair writer Gail Sheehy’s bestseller about the life and trials of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Original made-for picks up in 1992, at the beginning of former President Clinton’s White House tenure and traces the former first lady’s journey in launching her own political career amid the Lewinsky scandal and personal setbacks.

“It won’t be a history lesson. Senator Clinton continues to be a force today,” A&E senior VP of programming Robert DeBitetto said. “This is the quintessential pre-sold title. We don’t have to tell people why to watch.”

Production is slated to begin late this year, with the movie expected to bow in 2004. Additional details have not been set.

Clinton’s own memoir about her years in the White House, “Living History,” hits bookstores Monday.

Sheehy, best known for her work chronicling the Clintons for Vanity Fair, also wrote the bestseller “Passages.” Random House will publish her new novel, “Middletown, America,” later this year.

Pic is a co-production of A&E; Carlton America, the U.S.-based TV arm of Carlton Intl. Media Group; and U.K.-based JAM Pictures.

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