OWN Buys TV Rights to Oprah Winfrey Starrer 'Lee Daniels' The Butler'

10:29 AM PST 09/26/2013 by Michael O'Connell
"The Butler"

The film, which highlights the cable network's founder and titular CEO, will get its first broadcast run starting in 2017.

Oprah Winfrey has secured TV rights to her latest acting vehicle, Lee Daniels' The Butler.

The Weinstein Company drama, which has passed $100 million at the box office and has awards season buzz, will get its first broadcast airing on OWN in 2017 -- after its debut on pay cable.

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

Winfrey's first major film effort since 1998's Beloved, Lee Daniels' The Butler finds her playing the wife to Forest Whitaker's White House butler. Though its a natural fit for the network, given Winfrey's involvement and heavy promotion of the project, it is the first major film deal of its kind that OWN has secured since coming on the air nearly three years ago.

"OWN is the ideal broadcast home for this film, which has had such a tremendous response from theatrical audiences," said TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. "It's been an honor to work alongside Oprah Winfrey, whose performance and support on the picture have been second to none, and we're thrilled that her network has come on board."

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