Oprah takes ‘Precious’ to TV

Winfrey acquires TV rights to Lionsgate pic

Broadcast TV rights for Oscar-nominated “Precious” have been acquired by the gestating Oprah Winfrey Network from Lionsgate, for air after the pay television window expires in summer 2012.

“‘Precious’ is the perfect film for OWN,” said Christina Norman, CEO of the cabler, which is scheduled to launch in 2011. “It’s a powerful film of self-discovery and empowerment, and I know it will resonate deeply with our audience.”

Winfrey became an executive producer of “Precious” through her Harpo Films banner when Lionsgate acquired the title shortly after the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition.

“Precious” has six Academy Award noms and has grosssed nearly $50 million domestically.

“OWN’s licensing of ‘Precious’ epitomizes our strategy of supplying quality content to cable networks hungry for fresh programming to build their brands and serve their target audiences,” said Kevin Beggs, prexy of Lionsgate TV programming.

Lionsgate also sold OWN rights to several other films and TV titles.

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