Today Show Movie Planned by Lifetime Based on Brian Stelter's Top of the Morning Book
Coming soon to a living room near you: Lifetime Presents Top of the Morning, an inside look at the "cutthroat world of morning TV." Brian Stelter's headline-making tome -- which earned buzz earlier this year for its coverage of the alleged feud between Matt Lauer and Ann Curry -- is in the early stages of development to be adapted as a made-for-TV movie, The Hollywood Reporter revealed on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
The telepic will be produced by Tony DiSanto and Liz Gateley's DiGa Vision, which has also produced MTV's Teen Wolf and Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life. They're currently in negotiations with writers to adapt Stelter's book for the screen.
"This movie is all about the morning show wars -- it's Game Change meets The Late Shift," Gateley tells Us Weekly, referring to the 2012 HBO movie about the 2008 presidential election, and the 1996 HBO movie about the Jay Leno-David Letterman rivalry. "But the crux of the story is a 'family' that buckled under the tremendous pressure to keep their No. 1 spot."
"The cast of Today was the beloved foursome, touted as 'America's First Family,' and just as things started to unravel on the show, Good Morning America began nipping at its ratings," Gateley continues. "This was the perfect storm, of sorts, which concluded with a family falling apart as the public watched."
Indeed, Stelter claimed in his book that former Today co-anchor Curry was bullied and pushed out of her role on the morning show in part because of her less-than-stellar chemistry with Lauer. "A lot of time in the control room was spent making fun of Ann's outfit choices or just generally messing with her," Stelter quoted one staffer as saying.
Gateley and DiSanto, for their part, told THR that they hope to tell a "fair and illuminating" story. "We're friends and colleagues with a lot of people involved in this world, and our intention [is not] to sensationalize or slam anyone or place blame anywhere," DiSanto said.
As for Stelter's thoughts on the film? "I'm thrilled Lifetime saw this story as an opportunity, and I'm confident the adaptation will accurately portray what I delivered in my book," he said in a statement to Us on Friday, Dec. 20. "Now the question is: Who will be cast as Matt and Ann?"
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