or


[07/11/11 - 09:49 AM]
"There's Something Wrong With Aunt Diane" Examines the Mysterious 2009 Taconic State Parkway Tragedy when It Debuts July 25 on HBO
The project comes from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus, director of "The Farm: Angola, USA."

[via press release from HBO]

"THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH AUNT DIANE" EXAMINES THE MYSTERIOUS 2009 TACONIC STATE PARKWAY TRAGEDY WHEN IT DEBUTS JULY 25 ON HBO

On Sunday, July 26, 2009, Diane Schuler left the campgrounds in upstate New York where she was vacationing with her family and set off towards home on Long Island, a drive she had made numerous times before. With her were five young children: her son, her daughter and three nieces. Four hours later, she drove the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway for nearly two miles - eventually crashing into an oncoming SUV, killing herself and seven others. One of the worst motor-vehicle accidents in New York State history, the tragedy quickly became national news and her actions on that day, and in the past, were thrust under a microscope in a desperate search for answers.

In the aftermath, Diane Schuler was portrayed as a reckless drunk and a mother who cracked. But was she the monster the public made her out to be? Or the perfect wife and mother described by so many who knew her?

Filmmaker Liz Garbus (the Oscar(R)-nominated "The Farm: Angola, USA"; HBO's "Bobby Fischer Against the World") explores this puzzling tragedy through interviews with never-before-heard witnesses and with Diane's friends, as well as chronicling what transpired minute-by-minute, when THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH AUNT DIANE debuts MONDAY, JULY 25 (9:00-10:45 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

Other HBO playdates: July 28 (9:30 a.m.) and 30 (3:45 p.m.), and Aug. 2 (4:00 p.m., 12:30 a.m.), 5 (12:45 p.m.) and 7 (2:00 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: July 27 (8:00 p.m.) and Aug. 10 (4:15 a.m.) and 17 (1:00 p.m.)

HBO Documentary Films presents another weekly series this summer, debuting a provocative new special every Monday through Aug. 15. Other upcoming July films include: "Love Crimes of Kabul" (July 11) and "Mann V. Ford" (July 18).

Nine days after her deadly crash, Diane's toxicology report revealed she had a blood-alcohol content of .19% - the equivalent of ten drinks and more than twice the legal limit - as well as a high blood level of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. In sharp contrast to the toxicology report, Schuler had no known history of substance abuse or psychological problems and was generally known as a loving and stable wife and mother.

Nearly two years after the accident, THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH AUNT DIANE reveals previously unknown information about that day and sheds light on the unknown side of Diane. This wife and mother, who was also a cable TV executive, emerges in the film as a woman who strove to be perfect, often referred to as "supermom" by friends and family. As friend Sue Troccoli points out, "She seemed to be good at whatever she attempted... she was very good at her job, and she was a take-charge person, too."

Beneath the "perfect" veneer, however, Diane had a tendency to hide whatever pain she experienced, both physical and psychological. Diane's mother abandoned the family when she was just nine years old, leaving her with her father and three brothers. According to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Harold Bursztajn, such an event could be very traumatic for a young girl. It was obviously a wound that didn't heal - since Diane had no contact with her mother, even as an adult - but one she never spoke about. As one friend explains, "She never complained about it [her mother leaving the family]. She never talked about it... almost like she wasn't even there."

In addition to exclusive interviews with family and friends - including Diane's childhood friends, a co-worker and husband Daniel's parents, who have never spoken out before - eyewitnesses, first responders, investigators and medical and psychiatric experts, the documentary draws on surveillance footage, family photos, news clips and expert testimony to explore events surrounding the crash. Piecing together that fateful day with a minute-by-minute retelling, the film seeks to understand how things could have gone so terribly wrong.

Just before the accident, Diane and her husband, Daniel, had been camping in upstate New York at Hunter Lake Campground with their two children and three nieces, ages two through eight. When the family left that morning, camp owner Ann Scott recalls thinking that nothing was amiss, saying, "[Diane] seemed sober to me." Daniel left with their dog in his pickup truck, as previously planned, and Diane took the kids in her brother's minivan, which she had borrowed for that purpose.

The film follows Diane's husband, Daniel, and sister-in-law, Jay Schuler, who have been trying to clear Diane's name ever since her death. Although they say she would occasionally have a social drink, and sometimes smoked marijuana in the evenings to relax, they simply cannot reconcile the toxicology results with the loving mother and aunt who would never knowingly endanger the children.

Assuming that Diane may have been impaired by a medical emergency that precipitated the crash, they hire a lawyer and a private investigator to pursue the possibility of an alternate explanation, however unlikely. As part of the investigation, the filmmakers were able to obtain Diane's dental records, which Jay says they had been trying to get for over a year. As they look over dates of Diane's dental appointments, Daniel says Diane had been rubbing her cheek often, but never complained of pain - an observation that others echo.

Guy Bastardi, 43, his father Michael Bastardi, 81, and family friend Daniel Longo, 72, were in the car that crashed head-on into Diane's vehicle. Bastardi's daughters, Roseanne Guzzo and Margaret Nicotina, say they have forgiven Diane but find it harder to forgive Daniel and Jay, who seem to them to be in denial about Diane's culpability.

Diane's five-year-old son Bryan was the sole survivor of the accident, sustaining a serious head injury that has left him with oculomotor nerve palsy, which affects movement in his right eye, for which he is receiving treatment. Jay has been helping Daniel take care of Bryan, and says the boy doesn't remember the accident. When asked about it, he is said to reply, "Mommy's head hurt. She couldn't see."

The need to make sense of a mysterious and shattering tragedy such as this is a natural impulse, which in many cases can never be fully fulfilled. THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH AUNT DIANE reveals a complex and complicated case - as opposed to one solved by simple or reductive analysis - that has left all those involved still wondering what really happened to Aunt Diane.

Liz Garbus' HBO credits include the Emmy(R)-winning "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib," plus "Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech," "The Execution of Wanda Jean," "Xiara's Song," "Coma," segments of the "Addiction" series and, most recently, "Bobby Fischer Against the World," which kicked off this year's summer documentary films series in June.

THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH AUNT DIANE is produced and directed by Liz Garbus; produced by Julie Gaither; edited by M. Watanabe Milmore; cinematography by Michael Tucker; original music by Jonathan Zalben. For HBO: senior producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.





  [july 2011]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
     


· SHOWATCH
(series past and present)
· DEVWATCH
(series in development)
· MOVIEWATCH
(tv movies and mini-series)











[10/02/14 - 08:32 AM]
Wednesday's Broadcast Ratings: "Criminal Minds," "Stalker" Push CBS to Top Spot
Plus: FOX's "Red Band Society" grows by 10% while ABC's "Black-ish" falls 24% from last week's episodes.

[10/02/14 - 08:16 AM]
USA Network's Sexy Original Drama "Satisfaction," Scores a Season Two Renewal
The cable channel has ordered 10 new episodes of the drama, from Universal Cable Productions.

[10/01/14 - 04:44 PM]
TV Land Orders Two New Comedies, "Impastor" and "Teachers," To Series
Both series will premiere on the cable channel in 2015.

[10/01/14 - 04:36 PM]
A Roloff Wedding Wraps Up the Most Watched Season Ever of "Little People, Big World" with 1.9M P2+ Viewers
TLC spins the numbers for Tuesday, September 30.

[10/01/14 - 03:15 PM]
"MasterChef Junior" Moves to Tuesdays
Newcomer "Utopia" will now only air once a week: Fridays at 8:00/7:00c.

[10/01/14 - 02:41 PM]
E! Reunites the Most Outrageous Patients When "Botched Reunion: Show & Tell" Airs Sunday, October 26 and Monday, October 27 at 10:00PM ET/PT
Maria Menounos hosts the two-part special, in which Paul Nassif and Terry Dubrow reunite to look back at the nationwide success of the first season and welcome some of their most outrageous patients.

[10/01/14 - 01:53 PM]
NFL and DIRECTV Extend NFL SUNDAY TICKET in New Multi-Year Deal
The new agreement also expands DIRECTV's rights to stream NFL SUNDAY TICKET live on mobile devices and via broadband, known as NFL SUNDAY TICKET.TV, as previously announced.

[10/01/14 - 01:01 PM]
AMC Revolutionary War Drama "Turn: Washington's Spies" Begins Production on Second Season
The show will film in and around Richmond, Virginia, including at two historic locations in Williamsburg; Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area and on the campus of the College of William & Mary.

[10/01/14 - 12:12 PM]
ESPN Extends Dick Vitale's Contract Through 2016-17
Vitale will call some of the season's top games across ESPN networks, including regular-season action primarily on ESPN and ESPN2 and the Men's Final Four for ESPN International.

[10/01/14 - 11:05 AM]
Celebrate the Holidays with "CMA Country Christmas" Hosted by Jennifer Nettles
The special, which features Jennifer Nettles hosting for the fifth year, airs this holiday season on the ABC Television Network.

[10/01/14 - 11:04 AM]
ABC to Encore "Once Upon a Time" Premiere This Sunday, Push "AFHV" Return by One Week
Look for season 25 of "America's Funniest Home Videos" to now launch on Sunday, October 12 at 7:00/6:00c.

[10/01/14 - 11:00 AM]
FX Networks Orders Comedy Pilot "Pariah"
Comedian Bill Burr stars in the project, about a volatile TV personality who is exiled from show business and forced to navigate society as a man with no apparent skills.

[10/01/14 - 10:49 AM]
Holidays at Food Network Get Even Sweeter with New Series "Holiday Baking Championship"
Hosted by Bobby Deen, the series premieres Sunday, November 9 at 9:00/8:00c on the cable channel.

[10/01/14 - 10:14 AM]
National League Division Series Presented by Budweiser Coverage Begins Friday, Oct. 3 on FOX Sports 1 & FOX Deportes
This week, MLB postseason coverage comes to FOX Sports 1 for the first time as America's new sports network is scheduled to televise up to eight games of the National League Division Series.

[10/01/14 - 10:14 AM]
ESPN's Audience up for Fiscal Year; U.S. Networks also Rise as a Group
ESPN spins the numbers for the fiscal year to date.