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Cabler mints ‘Mikes’ movie

Showtime preps trial pic

Showtime is getting in the middle of “Two Blind Mikes.”

Pay cabler has teamed with feature scribe Frederic Raphael, who co-wrote “Eyes Wide Shut” with Stanley Kubrick, on a two-hour movie about the doomed relationship between Michael Eisner and Mike Ovitz.

Network is fast-tracking development of “Two Blind Mikes,” which will examine the friendship that went sour from the time Ovitz was at Disney to the current courtroom battle.

Disney shareholders filed suit against the Mouse House board of directors in 1997, alleging that they hired and fired Ovitz without sufficient consideration of the financial impact. Trial proceedings are expected to wrap in the next couple of weeks although it could take months before the judge announces his decision.

Richard Waltzer (Showtime’s “Coast to Coast”) and Jerry Leider (“Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen”) are on board to exec produce.

Showtime entertainment topper Robert Greenblatt bought the concept immediately after meeting with exec producers. Move to development was quick in light of the fact that Showtime is cutting back on the number of original telepics it will produce.

“Mikes” isn’t the first time the real-life rivalries between industry moguls have been revisited for the small screen. TNT turned the story of Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs and Microsoft chief Bill Gates into the two-hour pic “Pirates of Silicon Valley,” which nabbed 4 million households in 1999.

Three years earlier, HBO turned Bill Carter’s book, “The Late Shift,” into a satirical made-for on the battle between Jay Leno and David Letterman to replace Johnny Carson. More than 2 million viewers tuned in.

Up next on the paybox is the musical update of “Reefer Madness” and “Our Fathers,” about pedophilia in the Catholic Church.

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