Lange near ‘Midwives’ for ABC

Writers being considered

ABC, Columbia and Craig Anderson Prods. are putting the finishing touches on a deal with Jessica Lange and director Glenn Jordan to produce a telepic adaptation of Chris Bohjalian’s novel “Midwives.”

A writer is not yet attached, but Bohjalian’s agent Ken Neisser says a “prestigious list of writers is currently being considered.” Jordan’s credits include HBO’s “Barbarians at the Gate” and CBS’ adaptation of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” starring Lange.

“Midwives,” originally published by Harmony Books, is due out in July from Vintage Books. It’s the story of a midwife from a small Vermont village who faces the nightmare of having to choose a baby’s survival over that of a mother’s — and is then charged with murder.

“This deal has taken well over a year to come together, but it’s the kind of story — and Chris is the kind of author — that makes people want to work hard to make it happen,” Neisser told Daily Variety.

The telepic is expected to be part of ABC exec VP of movies and miniseries Susan Lyne’s new programming slate for the web. Lyne is currently working with both Columbia TriStar senior veepee Helen Verno and veepee of movies and miniseries Winifred White Neisser to complete the deal.

A previous Bohjalian work, “Past the Bleachers,” became a Hallmark production, and another work, “The Law of Similars” will be published by Harmony in February 1999.

Terms of the deal could not be confirmed.

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