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'A Raisin in the Sun' on ABC Attracts 12.7 Million Viewers

According to Nielsen, the premiere of "A Raisin in the Sun" which aired 8-11PM on ABC-TV on Monday, February 25 succeeded in drawing-in viewers and adults 18-49, beating NBC in their 6-week winning streak, with 12.7 million viewers.

Additionally, ABC turned-in its strongest Monday night in viewers and Young Adults in 3 months. "A Raisin in the Sun" qualifies as TV's highest-rated original movie since November 2005 among Women 25-54 and since April 2006 among Women 18-49.

"Based on the play that inspired a generation, A Raisin in the Sun tells the story of a family living and struggling on Chicago's South Side in the 1950s. A fiercely moving portrait of people whose hopes and dreams are constantly deferred, A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway. It premiered in 1959 with a cast that included Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Ruby Dee and Louis Gossett, Jr. A Columbia Pictures feature with the same cast followed in 1961. The classic, still-relevant story now will be showcased in this totally new television movie adaptation," explain press notes.

Sean Combs, reprised the role of Walter Lee, Jr. which brought him acclaim, in the television movie adaptation from Sony Pictures Television, along with the cast of the award-winning Broadway revival who recreated their roles for the new film, including Emmy and Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad, four-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, Tony Award nominee Sanaa Lathan, plus "ER" star John Stamos.

The movie is executive-produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron's Storyline Entertainment, Sean Combs' Bad Boy World Wide Entertainment Group and Sony Pictures Television. The show's Broadway producers, Carl Rumbaugh, Susan Batson and David Binder, also serve as executive producers. Kenny Leon, who received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Director for his staging of the play on Broadway, makes his film debut with this movie; and Paris Qualles, writer of the critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated "Tuskeegee Airmen" and "The Rosa Parks Story," adapted Hansberry's play for the new movie event.

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron produced Hairspray, executive-produced the Oscar-winning Best Picture Chicago and the Emmy-winning Gypsy, Cinderella, Annie, Serving in Silence and Life with Judy Garland. Their films have won six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, eleven Emmy Awards and two Peabodys. For their work in television, their movies have amassed 66 Emmy nominations.


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