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Entertainment Studios to Make Sammy Davis Jr. Film

Entertainment Studios will look to develop a movie based on the life of legendary entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. as part of its acquisition of media rights to Davis' biography Deconstructing Sammy, the company said Wednesday.

The Byron Allen-owned company also plans to create a television series and a documentary based on the Matt Birkbeck-penned biography, published in 2008, according to company officials.

“I personally knew and worked with Sammy Davis, Jr.,” said Byron Allen, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios. “Sammy hired me to open for him at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas when I was a 19-year-old standup comedian, and that’s where my fascination with his incredible story began. Deconstructing Sammy is an amazing work of literature ... it is the perfect foundation for a movie, a scripted television series, and a documentary about this legendary global icon.”

Global distribution of Deconstructing Sammy will be handled by Freestyle Releasing, the studio recently acquired by Entertainment Studios.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.