On the heels of my report (HERE) that took a look at how the business relationship between Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network and Tyler Perry has evolved since the announcement of the agreement in 2012… OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network continues to expand its scripted slate, announcing today it has acquired the rights to adapt singer Darlene Love’s memoir My Name is Love: The Darlene Love Story into the network’s first original TV movie.
Love was recently featured in the Academy Award-nominated documentary film Twenty Feet From Stardom, directed by Morgan Neville. The documentary features the untold true story of the primarily African American backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century.
The scripted project will be executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and Neville, with Love to serve as executive producer.
In addition, OWN has licensed the first broadcast window on cable television to air Twenty Feet From Stardom beginning in 2015.
As one of popular music’s iconic voices of the 1960s, Darlene Love sang on such memorable hits as “He’s a Rebel” and “He’s Sure The Boy I Love” by The Crystals and other greatest hits such as “Today I Met The Boy I’m Gonna Marry” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” Right out of high school, Love began cutting records for legendary producer Phil Spector. As part of The Blossoms, she was a regular on the hit 1960s TV show “Shindig!,” and toured the country as part of Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans. As lead vocalist for The Blossoms, she rose to fame for theirsound and harmonies. Later, she sang backup for acts that included The Mamas and The Papas, Dionne Warwick, and Sonny and Cher, and along the way, collected scintillating backstage stories. Whether it was the wild parties Tom Jones used to throw, how Elvis came on to her backstage at his 1968 comeback special, or her love affair with Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers, Love holds nothing back as she recalls the exciting events that make up her life. This is the dishy and dramatic story of a woman who had it all, lost it all, but never, ever refused to give up.
“The fantastic life journey of music great Darlene Love is the perfect choice for our first original scripted movie,” said Sheri Salata, president, OWN. “There are a handful of stories brought to the screen of daring American women who walked through fire and back to make their dreams come true and Darlene is one of the heroes on that list. From her first hit song to her darkest days cleaning houses in Beverly Hills to make ends meet, to the triumphant comeback that made rock and roll history, Darlene is a true living legend who worked with many of the greatest talents in music from Elvis Presley and Tom Jones to Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin and Bruce Springsteen.”
This news also follows last month’s announcement that the Oscar-nominated documentary 20 Feet From Stardom just might become an hour-long scripted TV series, as well as a Broadway musical – that is if Mick Jagger has his way.
Jagger, along with Victoria Pearman (via their Jagged Films company), was said to be “in talks” to adapt the documentary into a TV series that would focus on back-up singers of present-day musicians, while the Broadway musical version would actually feature some of the singers in the documentary.
From the shadows, now into the spotlight…