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HBO climbing another ‘Walls’

Team Todd to produce third movie for cabler

NEW YORK — Encouraged by the healthy ratings for “If These Walls Could Talk 2,” HBO is ramping up for a third installment of the femme-oriented series of original movies.

The cabler has not yet determined what the main topic of the “Walls” sequel will be, but it will definitely focus on women’s issues — possibly domestic abuse. Team Todd will return to exec produce the follow-up film.

HBO is hoping to continue the franchise even beyond a third “Walls,” said an HBO spokesman. “Walls 3” would air in 2002 at the earliest.

In its Sunday night premiere, “Walls” nabbed the highest rating for an original HBO movie in three years with an 11.5 rating/16 share in HBO homes, according to Nielsen Media Research. Sunday’s total viewer count (5.3 million) was 77% higher than the time period’s norm, HBO reported.

While the “Walls” turnout was impressive, the movie — which featured Sharon Stone, Vanessa Redgrave and Ellen DeGeneres — dropped off about 1 million viewers from its “Sopranos” lead-in.

“Walls 2” was the fourth most watched program on cable for the week ending Feb. 28. USA Net’s Monday night “WWF” franchise filled the top two spots, with more than 7.5 million viewers tuning in, while HBO’s “The Sopranos” ranked third with an average audience of 6.3 million.

The first “Walls,” which premiered on HBO in October 1996, bagged the highest rating ever for an original HBO movie with an 18.7 rating/25 share in HBO homes.

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