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Hey, remember that original movie on ABC? Yeah, neither do they. The network took a season-long break from original films, airing their controversial ‘The Path to 9/11’ in September of last year, a week before the season began. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this is the first season in history the network hadn’t produced an original film or miniseries.

Well, next season ABC will make up for it in style, rolling out two high-profile films this winter. The first, ‘Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom’s For One More Day,’ combines two of the biggest names in sap and emotional uplift just in the title. It stars Michael Imperioli as a worn-out, washed-up baseball player who, on the verge of suicide, is allowed to spend one more day with his dead mother (Ellen Burstyn). Albom wrote the best-selling book of the same title, in addition to Tuesdays With Morrie and The Five People You Meet In Heaven, both of which will earn derision from your super-literary friends but will make them cry anyway.

The second, and the one I’m most excited about at least, is a TV production of ‘A Raisin in the Sun,’ starring most of the cast of the Broadway revival done in 2004. The biggest name on the list is Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, who made his Broadway debut in the 2004 revival a nd executive producing the TV version; the rest of the cast includes luminaries like Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, Sanaa Lathan and erstwhile-TV star John Stamos. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, currently singing thanks to their hit Hairspray in theaters, will executive produce with Combs and the show’s Broadway producers Carl Rumbaugh, Susan Batson and David Binder.

‘For One More Day’ will air December 9, during that prime tear-jerking holiday season. ‘Raisin in the Sun,’ on the other hand, premieres February 25, the night after ABC airs the Oscars awards ceremony. While it may be too much to hope that Zadan and Meron will pick up an Oscar for Hairspray, how do you like that for synergy?!
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