Oprah Winfrey Network acquires Precious from Lionsgate

MUMBAI: OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network has acquired television rights to the box office hit Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire from Lionsgate.

OWN CEO Christina Norman and Lionsgate Television president of programming & production Kevin Beggs made the announcement. OWN has licensed the first broadcast window behind pay television beginning summer 2012.

Precious has garnered more than $45 million at the North American box office, expanded to more than 650 theatres nationwide, and earned six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Actress (newcomer Gabourey Sidibe), Best Supporting Actress (Mo’Nique), Best Director (Lee Daniels), Best Adapted Screenplay (Geoffrey Fletcher) and Best Editing (Joe Klotz).

The film has already won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress (Mo’Nique) along with the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award for the film (Lee Daniels, Gary Magness and Sarah Siegel-Magness), a Directors Guild nomination for Lee Daniels as Best Director and a Writers Guild nomination for Geoffrey Fletcher (Best Adapted Screenplay). Additionally, the film has been named to AFI’s list of 10 best films of the year and dozens of year-end critics’ 10 Best lists.

Set in 1987, Precious is a dramatic, vividly realized story of a Harlem teenager who overcomes tremendous obstacles to discover her own worth, beauty and potential. Precious is a Lee Daniels Entertainment/Smokewood Entertainment Group production presented by Lionsgate in association with Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. The film is directed by Lee Daniels from a screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher based on the book Push, a novel by Sapphire. The film stars Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz and introduces Gabourey Sidibe. Precious was produced by Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness. Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Lisa Cortes and Tom Heller are executive producers.

"Precious is the perfect film for OWN. It’s a powerful film of self-discovery and empowerment, and I know it will resonate deeply with our audience," said Norman.

"OWN’s licensing of Precious epitomizes our strategy of supplying quality content to cable networks hungry for fresh programming to build their brands and serve their target audiences. We are pleased to be in business with OWN, and we are very proud of Precious and confident that, as its commercial success and critical recognition continue to grow, it will become an icon of our culture," said Beggs.

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