Category Archives: TV / Film

LIFE WITH JUDY GARLAND: ME AND MY SHADOWS

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The ABC mini-series Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows was a top-rated movie of the 2000-2001 television season, and was the winner of five Emmys, the Television Critics Association Award, the Broadcast Critics Award, was nominated for the Golden Globe, and appeared on several Top 10 Lists, including the New York Times.

Robert was nominated for an Emmy and a Writers Guild Award for his script, which he adapted from the memoir Me and My Shadows by Lorna Luft, and a mountain of research about the life and career of legendary entertainer Judy Garland. Director Robert Allan Ackerman and actor Victor Garber were also Emmy-nominated, and Emmys were won by stars Judy Davis and Tammy Blanchard, among others. Read the reviews.


R & H’S CINDERELLA

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The Emmy-winning ABC television event Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, was produced by Whitney Houston and Storyline Entertainment for the Wonderful World of Disney, and reached an estimated audience of 60 million before going on to be a success on video and DVD.

Robert was nominated for the Writers Guild Award for Cinderella. His script was adapted from the 1957 version, which starred Julie Andrews as Cinderella and was the highest rated television special of its time.


Murder in the Hamptons

Robert L. Freedman wrote the teleplay for the Lifetime Television Original Movie Murder in The Hamptons, which premiered July 11, 2005, and was the highest rated basic cable movie of the year.

The true tale of the murder of multi-millionaire investment banker Ted Ammon (played by David Sutcliffe) which took place in East Hampton, New York, in October, 2001, the story follows the bitter divorce between Ammon and his wife Generosa (Poppy Montgomery) and her relationship with contractor Danny Pelosi (Shawn Christian) who was convicted of Ammon’s murder in December, 2004.


WHAT LOVE SEES

Robert’s script for What Love Sees is based on the book by Susan Vreeland and interviews with the real life Holly family, who are depicted in the film. A ratings winner, What Love Sees, produced by David Rosemont, and directed by Michael Switzer, opened the 1996 CBS television season and went on to win a Silver Plaque at the Chicago International Television Festival.

Set in the 1940’s and 1950’s, What Love Sees tells the story of Jean Treadway (Annabeth Gish) and Gordon Holly (Richard Thomas), a bling couple with little else in common who meet and fall in love and raise a family of sighted children, living a hard-scrabble life on a ranch in Ramona, California. Edward Herrmann co-stars as Jean’s formidable father.


UNLIKELY ANGEL

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Unlikely Angel was a huge ratings success at Christmas in 1996, and continues to be shown on television every year, most recently on Lifetime. A funny and heartwarming story about a recently-deceased honky-tonk singer (Dolly Parton) who is sent back to earth to earn her wings, the movie also stars Roddy McDowall and Brian Kerwin, and features a few original songs by Dolly Parton.


WHAT MAKES A FAMILY

Robert was a finalist for the Humanitas Prize for What Makes a Family, which was based on a true story about a lesbian fighting to adopt a child in the state of Florida. Robert spent time in Florida doing research, mostly interviewing the story’s protagonist, Janine Ratcliffe, in Pensacola. He also interviewed her attorney in Ft. Lauderdale, and one of her closest friends, in St. Petersburg.

Produced by Barbra Streisand, Cis Corman, Whoopi Goldberg, and Storyline Entertainment, and directed by Maggie Greenwald, What Makes a Family tells the story of a devoted couple, played by Brooke Shields and Cherry Jones, who decide to have a baby.


THE PASTOR’S WIFE

Robert L. Freedman wrote the teleplay for the Lifetime Television original movie The Pastor’s Wife, which premiered November 5, 2011. Based on the book by bestselling author Ann Rule, the film tells the true story of Mary Winkler (played by Rose McGowan), a Tennessee housewife and mother of three who shot her husband, Matthew (Michael Shankman), a small-town pastor for the Church of Christ. The reaction of the close-knit community informs the complex story of secrets, shame and abuse.

The film was shot in Vancouver, was directed by Norma Bailey, and was developed and produced by Gerald W. Abrams and Michael Moran.


BROADWAY SINGS THE MUSIC OF JULE STYNE

Broadway Sings the Music of Jule Styne was a musical-variety special for Great Performances on PBS. Robert was chosen personally by Jule Styne to write the script, and enjoyed a collaboration with producers Fritz Holt and Barry Brown until Fritz, who was to direct, became too ill to continue. Legendary theatre director Joe Layton was brought in at the eleventh hour, and the special went on to win a couple of Emmys (for Musical Direction and Arrangements).

Jule Styne himself appeared in the special, along with his frequent collaborators Sammy Cahn, Arthur Laurents, and Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Robert spent many unforgettable hours interviewing these musical theatre legends who had inspired his own aspirations in the field.


Bitter Blood (aka in the best of families)

CBS Mini Series (1994), starring Kelly McGillis, Keith Carradine, Harry Hamlin, Holland Taylor, Marian Seldes, Tom Aldredge, and Elizabeth Wilson.