Graham bios race to cable

Ziskin nears deal with HBO; Landscape already in development

The recent death of Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham has sparked a race to create a Graham biopic for the small screen.

Producer Laura Ziskin is nearing a deal with HBO to develop a film based on Carol Felsenthal’s 1993 unauthorized biography, “Power, Privilege and the Post,” a book now out of print. And Bob Cooper’s Landscape Entertainment is developing its own biopic for the Lifetime Network.

Immediately after Graham’s death, the publisher’s memoir, “Personal History,” became a bestseller for a second time, rising to the No. 2 slot on Amazon.com. But dramatic rights to the book, held by Graham’s family and repped by Bill Clinton’s attorney, Robert Barnett, were not made available to producers, so both parties have had to turn to other sources.

Jason Anthony, who runs Ziskin’s Gotham office, brought Felsenthal’s book to the shingle, and has been negotiating the deal with Sterling Lord agent Jodie Hotchkiss. HBO would not confirm Thursday that the deal had closed.

Ziskin, who has a deal with HBO, recently produced “Dinner With Friends” and is now developing “How I Learned to Drive,” based on the Paula Vogel play, for the cabler.

It’s not clear whether the Landscape biopic will be based on another literary property or on public documents. Chuck Weinstock is producing for the shingle.

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