O'Donnell To Appear In Lifetime Telefilm

Lifetime has signed Emmy Award winner Rosie O'Donnell to star in the network's original movie, America.
Based on E.R. Frank's book of the same name, the movie - which debuts on the network Feb. 28 -- follows the journey of a 17-year old as he navigates the United States foster care system. O'Donnell, who also serves as executive producer, plays a therapist who gives America the support to deal with his troubled past and find the courage to survive against all odds.
The movie also stars Philip Johnson (America) and Emmy Award-winning actress Ruby Dee (American Gangster, Decoration Day).
O'Donnell will be joined by producer Larry Sanitsky (The Last Don, Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All)and writer Joyce Eliason (Gracie's Choice) on the creative end of the Sony Pictures Television film.

The three worked together on a 2005 CBS telefilm Riding the Bus with My Sister, according to Lifetime.

R. Thomas Umstead

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.