May 14, 2014 2:36pm PT by Philiana Ng
OWN Lands Michael Sam Docuseries
UPDATE: On May 16, OWN decided to postpone the Michael Sam docuseries.
Oprah Winfrey's OWN has ordered a docuseries centered on Michael Sam, the gay football player who was just drafted by the NFL's St. Louis Rams.
The series will follow the University of Missouri alum as he prepares to earn a spot on the Rams.
Craig Piligian and director Amy Rice, who were behind Lindsay Lohan's Lindsay, will produce the untitled project.
Sam came out in February in interviews with The New York Times and ESPN. "I just want to make sure I could tell my story the way I want to tell it," Sam told The Times at the time. "I just want to own my truth."
Sam was chosen by the Rams with the 249th overall pick of the NFL Draft on May 10, and ESPN televised an emotional Sam kissing his boyfriend after receiving the news.
“We are honored that Michael is trusting us with his private journey in this moment that has not only made history but will shape it forever,” said Winfrey. “I am proud of the focus on authentic storytelling in our new documentary series format. The next real-life story we follow in The Untitled Michael Sam Project promises to spark valuable, important discussion on life in America today. Acceptance and illumination start here.”
“Like every player out there working to make a team right now, my focus is on playing football to the very best of my ability,” said Sam. "I am determined. And if seeing my story helps somebody else accept who they are and to go for their dreams too, that’s great. I am thankful to Oprah for her support and excited to work together.”
Pilgrim Studios produces for OWN, with Piligian, Nicholas Caprio and Johnny Gould executive producing. Rice, Ralph Wikke and Mitch Rosa are co-executive producers. Cameron Weiss, Joe Barkett and Howard Bragman are producers.