Olympics fuel Kerrigan biopic plans

GOOD MORNING: From Lillehammer, an excited Steve Tisch said, “It was electric.” Tisch, who will produce the Nancy Kerrigan biopic with Disney for ABC , as well as an ice skating special for ABC, was a guest of CBS at Wednesday’s start of women’s figure skating. “They treated me beautifully,” Tisch admitted. Howcum the telepix package of Kerrigan wasn’t bought by CBS? “They said they didn’t want to get in a bidding war,” said Tisch, “since they already have the Olympics.” How will Tisch (ABC) get the rights to use CBS’ Kerrigan Olympic footage? “I will discuss it with Howard Stringer,” Tisch admitted. “I felt awkward asking 10 days ago. And I didn’t think it was the right time to ask today.” Meanwhile Tisch is in Norway with screenwriter Rebecca Soladay and they will meet with Kerrigan this weekend to talk the script. Tisch spoke with Kerrigan Monday and she’s looking forward to the MOW. “She does not want to play herself,” Tisch said, “but maybe at the appropriate time — well, at least a cameo. She will do all of her own skating, however.” He guessed Wednesday night’s ratings would top 60. As he watched her Wednesday (1 p.m. PST), he recounted, “I was never more excited — it was thrilling. At first, the crowd gave her a standing ovation, then the place exploded and finally when she was declared to have the first place, people were in tears — of joy. She had poise, confidence and worldwide support — and she delivered. It was breathtaking.” Tisch said they have a handle on the biopic — Kerrigan has a compelling story pre-Olympics; her mother is blind and the working family made great sacrifices. The familiar pre-Olympics battering incident is, of course a dramatic act of the play and now — the Friday finale. (But, they have not thought of the plans for the ABC special as yet.) Of course, they are rushing the Kerrigan story for May sweeps as are NBC and Fox with their versions of the Tonya and Nancy story. “But,” reminds Tisch, “we have Nancy.”

BARNEY ROSENZWEIG has “put up everything I have — the house, etc.” to get the rights to 127 original “Cagney and Lacey” Sharon Gless-Tyne Daly segs plus the rights to make “several” new, two-hour “reunion” shows in a joint venture with Orion. Barney has “complete control” and he’ll “beat the drums” for the old and new “C&L’s,” infomercials, cassettes and — ? No network deal is yet set for any of the above, he admits. He plans to start production April 5 on two, back-to-back, two-hour shows which Steve Brown and Terry Louise Fisher are writing. Meanwhile Gless is winding a two-hour CBS MOW, “Separated by Murder,” in which she plays twins. And Daly completes “Christy” with Kellie Martin April 3 — and now that CBS has picked it up, she’ll have to start the series in June. Barney loves working under pressure … Daryl Hannah and John Kennedy Jr. are up at the Caribou’s in Canada — helicopter-skiing. And she’s due to start “The Little Rascals” for Amblin on Monday …”Blossom’s” Mayim Bialik met with Woody Allen to play his and Julie Kavner’s daughter in “Don’t Drink the Water” which Woody also writes/directs, Jean Doumanian produces. Woody, Soon Yi and Diane Keaton trio’d at the Knicks-Sonics game Tuesday p.m. … On the Oscar show, Tony Bennett sings the nominated “A Wink and a Smile,” by Marc Shaiman and Ramsey McLean, which was sung by Harry Connick Jr. in “Sleepless in Seattle.” Connick has a conflict … After singing her “Again” tune at the Oscars, Janet Jackson heads out on a world tour, returning early if she likes the movie scripts being offered … Sunday Larry Parker hosts “Shake the Quake” benefit, part of the Justiceville/Homeless USA program.

SALLY KIRKLAND WAS RUSHED to Cedars-Sinai Wednesday afternoon after a truck totaled her car … Ted Turner and Jane Fonda join the salute to African-American achievement on Turner B’casting’s Trumpet Awards Monday in Atlanta. Honorees include Maya Angelou, Muhammad Ali, Lena Horne, Nancy Wilson, Carole Simpson, Terry McMillan, Gordon Parks and Tom Bradley … Publicists Guild Awards presenters March 18 at the BevHilton include: Oscar nominees Anthony Hopkins, Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, plus Acad president Arthur Hiller, TV Acad president Rich Frank, Guild president Henry Ehrlich, Mace Neufeld and Bob Rehme and Clive Davis … Friday’s the final day of Jim Turner’s “Girly Magazine Party” at the Theatre/Theatre in Hollywood. Lost Studios of Beacon Communications is prepping the feature version. Turner says, “It’s not just an expansion of the play.” Mike Armstrong’s scripting with him … Before departing for Paris Sunday for Robert Altman’s “Pret-A-Porter,” Sally Kellerman sings for the Al Gores at the Cancer Research gala at Baltimore’s Latham Hotel Friday and a turn at the Smithsonian Saturday.

Popular on Variety

More Voices

  • Killing Eve Schitts Creek

    For Awards, the Divide Between U.S., Global TV Shows Is Blurred Thanks to Streaming

    Back in May, “Killing Eve” killed it at the BAFTA TV awards, winning the drama series prize as well as best actress for Jodie Comer and supporting actress for Fiona Shaw. “Killing Eve” is a phenomenal show, and deserves the accolades it has received, including a Golden Globe earlier this year for star Sandra Oh. [...]

  • "The Stockholm Syndrome" - Pictured: Rajesh

    Emmys: Is It Time to Give Multicams Their Own Category? (Column)

    The question of whether multi-camera sitcoms are a dying breed isn’t a new one. The few remaining purveyors of the format, including “The Big Bang Theory” executive producer Chuck Lorre, have been asked that question for years. But even as Lorre ventures into the single-camera world with such shows as the Golden Globe-winning “The Kominsky [...]

  • Veep HBO

    Celebrating Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Emmy's Comedy Queen (Column)

    Let’s take a moment to give Julia Louis-Dreyfus some much-deserved praise. As HBO’s “Veep” ends its run — and aims to add a coda to its already amazing haul over the years at the Emmys — the actress is poised to make history one more time this September. All signs point to another win in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content