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Friday, April 11, 2003


Movie of the Week Dept.

Today, NBC announced that they are going to make a TV movie about the rescue of American POW Jessica Lynch, with or without her family selling them the rights to the story.

Yes, they wanted me to write it.

Not five minutes had passed after the story hit the news wire before my phone rang with a roomful of NBC suits on the line.

You have to do it, they said. You've spent time in the 'Dad. You know what's up. You will keep it real and raw. It will be heartwarming-yet-edgy in your capable hands.

Calibrate me, I said to the Head Suit in Charge. I don't change my underwear for less than Angelina Jolie.

She'll never do TV, they said. How about that girl from "Felicity?"

I assured them that If they mentioned someone that had even heard of the WB, I was going to march up to Burbank and give each of them a dancing frog colonoscopy. I was not feeling particularly poetic. Bring me Swank, I said.

She's poison right now, they said. Has anyone seen "The Core?"

Point taken. I didn't even bring up Winona. I had no intention of being accused of falling into that rut again. Besides, I have it on good authority that she's back to playing groupie, and it probably won't be long until she stars in another grainy Exhibit A retail movie. Which is hot, but this was business.

Get me Katie Holmes and I'll forget you ever mentioned Tori Spelling, I said. Yes, the WB thing, but the only way to deal with these network weasels is to constantly contradict yourself --they'll start to lose track and agree to anything you say. To whit:

Done, they said.

Good, I said.

One more thing, I said. I want Gere to do the voice of her talking tiger.

We wouldn't have it any other way, they said.

And also, I play myself in the scene where I rescue PFC Lynch from her sultry, cat-suit wearing female prison guard, where the three-way breaks out like penny candy from a shattered piñata. No body doubles, real Redi-Whip, not the off-brand shit.

Did it yesterday, they said.

I should probably tell you that I don't write TV movies, I told them.

A slight pause. Of course you don't, they said. For less than US$XXX,XXX.

A gentleman never talks numbers in public.

I hung up. They already know that the dial tone is my signing on the dotted line.

This went a lot smoother than the deal I'd made with CBS the day before, with Tony Shaloub as disappeared Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf.

Rest assured, there is no Redi-Whip in that one.

But strangely, there is a rescue scene involving yours truly, a cat-suited Iraqi vixen prison guard, and Katie Holmes.

Some ruts I don't mind so much.

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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