Harding joins Fisher club

And then there were three.

Skater Tonya Harding has entered TV movie territory previously occupied only by Amy Fisher as NBC confirmed that it’s developing its own telefilm detailing her story, joining projects at ABC and Fox Broadcasting Co.

The NBC version will be an unauthorized account based on public domain material and produced through the network’s in-house division, NBC Prods., which bid unsuccessfully for rights from Nancy Kerrigan, the victim of an attack by Harding’s associates. Brian Pike, a formerNBC exec who has a deal with NBC Prods. and produced the fact-based telefilm “Triumph Over Disaster: The Hurricane Andrew Story,” will exec produce.

Sources say Kerrigan’s rights have been snagged by producer Steve Tisch and the Walt Disney Co. in a multifaceted deal that will include a telefilm for ABC (Daily Variety, Feb. 4). Fox is developing its own public-domain version, through Citadel Entertainment, and will try and get that movie on in time for the May sweeps, as reported.

NBC insiders say the network has no intention of getting into a race with its Harding telefilm, as was the case when ABC, CBS and NBC each aired a Fisher movie between Dec. 28, 1992, and Jan. 3, 1993.

In addition to the trio of movies already on the drawing board, the Harding camp is said to be still shopping an authorized version of the skater’s story. A limiting factor remains the threat that Harding could be indicted in the Kerrigan attack, and at least some of the networks have stated a policy against dealing with convicted felons after the bad publicity resulting from the deal with Fisher and, in hindsight, Joey Buttafuoco.

Rights to the Kerrigan package — which include a skating special, homevideo and affiliation with the Disney theme parks — are said to be worth well over $ 500,000.

It’s worth noting that CBS, which will reap the immediate benefits of the Harding-Kerrigan affair by airing the Winter Olympics, is thus far the only network that hasn’t been connected to a TV movie version. Another footnote to the Kerrigan-Harding rights chase is that Pike was a college roommate of Jerry Solomon, Kerrigan’s agent, who helped negotiate the skater’s TV package.

NBC exec who has a deal with NBC Prods. and produced the fact-based telefilm “Triumph Over Disaster: The Hurricane Andrew Story,” will exec produce.

Sources say Kerrigan’s rights have been snagged by producer Steve Tisch and the Walt Disney Co. in a multifaceted deal that will include a telefilm for ABC (Daily Variety, Feb. 4). Fox is developing its own public-domain version, through Citadel Entertainment, and will try and get that movie on in time for the May sweeps, as reported.

NBC insiders say the network has no intention of getting into a race with its Harding telefilm, as was the case when ABC, CBS and NBC each aired a Fisher movie between Dec. 28, 1992, and Jan. 3, 1993.

In addition to the trio of movies already on the drawing board, the Harding camp is said to be still shopping an authorized version of the skater’s story. A limiting factor remains the threat that Harding could be indicted in the Kerrigan attack, and at least some of the networks have stated a policy against dealing with convicted felons after the bad publicity resulting from the deal with Fisher and, in hindsight, Joey Buttafuoco.

Rights to the Kerrigan package — which include a skating special, homevideo and affiliation with the Disney theme parks — are said to be worth well over $ 500,000.

It’s worth noting that CBS, which will reap the immediate benefits of the Harding-Kerrigan affair by airing the Winter Olympics, is thus far the only network that hasn’t been connected to a TV movie version. Another footnote to the Kerrigan-Harding rights chase is that Pike was a college roommate of Jerry Solomon, Kerrigan’s agent, who helped negotiate the skater’s TV package.

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