The official word: OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today that it has secured the network television rights to “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. OWN has licensed the first broadcast window behind pay television beginning in 2017. The critically acclaimed Weinstein Company film, which opened nationwide on Friday, August 16, spent three straight weekends at #1 and recently surpassed $100 million at the box office.
“On the heels of the film’s fantastic debut, we couldn’t be more excited to showcase this incredible movie for our viewers,” said Erik Logan, president, OWN. “This is a film that every American should see and we look forward to its debut on OWN,” said Sheri Salata, president, OWN.
"OWN is the ideal broadcast home for this film, which has had such a tremendous response from theatrical audiences," commented TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein. "It's been an honor to work alongside Oprah Winfrey, whose performance and support on the picture have been second to none, and we're thrilled that her network has come on board."
"Lee Daniels’ The Butler” tells the story of a White House butler who served seven American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family.
Forest Whitaker stars as the butler and Oprah Winfrey stars as his wife, with Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, and many more. Academy Award®-nominated Lee Daniels (“Precious”) directs and Emmy® Award-winning Danny Strong (“Game Change”) wrote the script.