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OWN Acquires Rights To ‘The Butler’

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has acquired first television rights to theatrical film Lee Daniels’ The Butler, the network announced Thursday.

The movie, which stars OWN CEO Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker, will initially air on OWN after its pay TV window beginning in 2017, said network officials. The Weinstein Company film, which follows the life of a White House butler who served seven American presidents over three decades, recently surpassed the $100 million mark at the box office.

“On the heels of the film’s fantastic debut, we couldn’t be more excited to showcase this incredible movie for our viewers,” said Erik Logan, OWN president in a statement.  “This is a film that every American should see and we look forward to its debut on OWN,” added OWN co-president Sheri Salata.

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.