Oxygen books greats

Cabler slots strong femme classics for 'Girl' show

NEW YORK — Oxygen Media has booked the late leading ladies Marlene Dietrich, Claudette Colbert, Lucille Ball, Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck for “The Girl in the Picture,” the new primetime show that will premiere Wednesday, when the femme cabler launches.

The new network from Geraldine Laybourne has acquired the rights to 30 classic films from the libraries of MGM, Warner Bros., Universal and Paramount, according to Polly Platt, co-exec producer of “Girl,” along with Wendy Miller. Among the selection are “Blonde Venus,” “The Devil Is a Woman,” “Double Indemnity,” “Love Affair,” “I’m No Angel,” “A Star Is Born” and “Two for the Road.”

“I picked the films with the great actresses of the ’30s and the ’40s in mind, trying to cull the greatest performances and tie them to the greatest leading men,” Platt said. Given Oxygen’s pro-women message, Platt said she was careful not to choose films that present women as victims. “I wanted to show films where women are successful and victorious or there was a positive message.”

While “Girl” won’t be hosted by young female stars as previously announced, the show will feature a graphic presentation that feeds the audience trivia, analysis and playful film notes. Viewers will also be able to log onto Oxygen’s Web site (Oxygen.com) for more info about the pics and their stars.

Platt is confident that the vintage films will appeal to the young demos Oxygen is trying to court. “I really believe that great movies will always attract a new audience,” said Platt, whose credits include “Broadcast News,” “Say Anything” and “The Witches of Eastwick.”

“Girl” will air Saturday nights at 8.

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