[12/03/08 - 07:05 AM]
Brittany Murphy and Jason Lewis to Star in Nora Roberts' Tribute, Premiering in 2009 as a Lifetime Original Movie
Tippi Hedren and Diana Scarwid will also star in the film, about a former child star (Murphy) who has found more satisfying work restoring old houses.

[via press release from Lifetime]

Brittany Murphy and Jason Lewis to Star in Nora Roberts' Tribute, Premiering in 2009 as a Lifetime Original Movie

TIPPI HEDREN and DIANA SCARWID Co-Star in Thriller Based on THE NEW YORK TIMES #1 Best-Selling Novel

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3 -- Deadly family secrets unfold against the backdrop of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley in Nora Roberts' Tribute, a Lifetime Original Movie starring Brittany Murphy(8 Mile, Clueless),Jason Lewis(Sex and the City, Brothers & Sisters),Tippi Hedren(The Birds, Marnie) and Diana Scarwid (Truman, Mommie Dearest). The last of four 2009 Nora Roberts' movies scheduled to begin production, Nora Roberts' Tribute joins an impressive slate that includes Nora Roberts' Midnight Bayou, Nora Roberts' Northern Lights and Nora Roberts' High Noon. Mandalay Television and Stephanie Germain Productions will produce the film with Peter Guber and Stephanie Germain serving as executive producers.

Cumulatively, more than 34 million viewers watched the four Nora Roberts' movies that aired on Lifetime in 2007. Nora Roberts' Angels Fall, starring Heather Locklear, earned its place as the highest rated Lifetime Original Movie of the year.

Since publishing her first novel in 1981, Roberts has gone on to become a #1 New York Times best-selling sensation. With more than 300 million books in print, Roberts' novels have spent a combined 138 weeks at the #1 spot on the coveted New YorkTimes list. Since 1999, every book published under her name has hit the New York Timesbest-seller list. Amazon.com recently reported that Roberts is their third most popular author -- following only to Tom Clancy and J.K. Rowling.

Roberts is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Nora Roberts is represented by literary agent Amy Berkower at Writers House, LLC and by Creative Artists Agency. Nora Roberts' books are published by Penguin Group (US).


Cilla McGowen (Murphy) is a former child star who has found more satisfying work restoring old houses. In search of a normal life, Cilla buys her grandmother's farmhouse in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley to rescue it from ruin. Her hope for serenity is soon eclipsed by haunting dreams of her famous grandmother, who died of a supposed overdose in the house more than thirty years ago. Cilla soon forges a romantic relationship with Ford Sawyer (Lewis), her handsome new neighbor, who ultimately comforts and protects her when her dark dreams and family secrets spiral into a real-life nightmare.


Brittany Murphy recently completed production on The Ramen Girl in which she not only stars but produces with Media8Entertainment. She has also wrapped the thrillers Across the Hall and Deadline. She was last seen in the romantic comedy Love and Other Disasters and the critically-acclaimed The Dead Girl. In 2007, she voiced the role of "Gloria" in the Warner Bros. film Happy Feet. Other film credits include The Groomsmen, SinCity, Little Black Book, Uptown Girls, Just Married, 8 Mile, Sidewalks of New York, Riding in Cars with Boys, Don't Say A Word, Girl, Interrupted and Trixie. She gained national attention from her breakthrough role as "Tai" in the box office hit Clueless. On television, Murphy starred in Harpo Productions' David and Lisa, in Showtime's Devil's Arithmetic and Common Ground. She also voices "LuAnn" and "Joseph" on FOX TV's animated comedy King of the Hill.

Jason Lewis is best known for his portrayal of "Smith Jerrod" on the HBO series Sex and the City. Lewis was recently seen guest-starring on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and House. He had recurring guest roles on the ABC drama Brothers & Sisters and the WB's Charmed. In 2006, Lewis starred in the Lifetime Original Movie For One Night. His feature film credits include The Jacket, The Attic, The Death and Life of Bobby Z, My Bollywood Bride, Havoc and Mr. Brooks. He will next be seen in the independent film The Pardon.

Tippi Hedren is best known for her roles in two Alfred Hitchcock films: The Birds and the psychological thriller Marnie. Her performance in The Birds earned her a Golden Globe Award. Hedren has starred in numerous films including the last motion picture directed by Charlie Chaplin, A Countess from Hong Kong. Other film credits include The Harrad Experiment, PacificHeights, Citizen Ruth, Twelve Monkeys, The Break-Up and I Heart Huckabees. Her recent television appearances include Fashion House and The 4400.

Diana Scarwid is an accomplished actress who received an Emmy Award nomination for her performance as Bess Truman opposite Gary Sinise in the HBO movie Truman. She also received an Academy Award nomination for her work in Richard Donner's Inside Moves. With numerous credits to her name, Scarwid starred in What Lies Beneath, Mommie Dearest, Silkwood, Extremities and The Cure. Scarwid has appeared in dozens of television projects including J.F.K.: Reckless Youth, From the Earth to the Moon, If These Walls Could Talk and Dirty Pictures. More recently, she has appeared on Pushing Daisies, Cold Case, Prison Break and Lost.

The Nora Roberts adaptations join an impressive list of novels developed into Lifetime Original Movies, including the top-rated basic cable movie for 2008: Kim Edwards' The Memory Keeper's Daughter, starring Dermot Mulroney, Emily Watson and Gretchen Mol, and Jodi Picoult's The Tenth Circle, starring Kelly Preston, Ron Eldard and Brittany Robertson.

Nora Roberts' Tribute will be produced by Mandalay Television and Stephanie Germain Productions for Lifetime Television. Peter Strauss(The Jacket),Peter Guber(Rainman, Batman, The Color Purple, The Jacket) and Stephanie Germain(Lifetime's Gracie's Choice, The Day After Tomorrow) are the executive producers. David Zelon(Never Back Down, Into the Blue) will serve as producer. Gary Tieche(Supreme Courtships, Speaking of Sex) wrote the teleplay and Emmy nominated Martha Coolidge(Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, Valley Girl) will direct.


In addition to the first four Nora Roberts Lifetime Original Movies, through her production company, Stephanie Germain produced TNT's Johnson & Johnson presentation of Richard Paul Evan's bestseller, A Perfect Day, starring Rob Lowe; and Lifetime's Gracie's Choice, starring Kristin Bell, Diane Ladd and Anne Heche, who received an Emmy Award nomination for her performance.

Gracie's Choice premiered in January 2004 and became one of cable's highest rated films. Some additional credits include: the highest rated television movie of its season, CBS' The Pilot's Wife, based on Anita Shreve's bestseller and starring Emmy and Academy Award winner Christine Lahti; the ABC special effects extravaganza Superfire, created by best-selling authors Richard Preston and Doug Preston; ABC's King of the World: The Muhammad Ali Story, based upon the book by Pulitzer Prize winner David Remnick and starring Terrence Howard; ABC's Holiday In Your Heart, starring LeAnn Rimes and Bernadette Peters; CBS' miniseries The Doris Duke Story, starring Lauren Bacall and Richard Chamberlain; and the TBS premiere movie Fatal Error, starring Janine Turner. Germain co-produced Showtime's one hour series, Jeremiah, starring Luke Perry, for two seasons. She was also an executive producer on the blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow, starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal, and directed by Roland Emmerich(Independence Day).


Mandalay Television has achieved great success in series, long form television movies and miniseries. Mandalay's critically acclaimed, Peabody Award-winning series Brotherhood is entering its third season on Showtime. Mandalay movies and miniseries have produced some of the strongest ratings of all-time, including Dean Koontz's Intensity, a four-hour miniseries based on the best seller by Dean Koontz - the highest rated miniseries ever on FOX Broadcasting; First Daughter, a two-hour original movie starring Mariel Hemingway for TBS, which was the highest rated basic cable movie in history and spawned two sequels, First Target and First Shot; Blood Crime, which launched USA's Crime Friday and was the highest rated original program for the network in 2002; and The Linda McCartney Story for CBS. Mandalay Television has recently completed production on RPM, a ground breaking microseries for TNT starring Johnathon Schaech.


Lifetime is the leader in women's television and one of the top-rated basic cable television networks. A diverse, multi-media company, Lifetime is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women and Lifetime Digital (including myLifetime.com) are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, a 50/50 joint venture of Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company.

  [december 2008]  


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