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Zadan and Meron return to CBS for <i>Madness</I> (10952)

10952Entertainment News2004-01-13

Zadan and Meron return to CBS for Madness

CBS is back in business with the executive producers of its controversial miniseries The Reagans, giving the go-ahead to a fact-based TV movie about a Texas woman who murdered her husband by running him over with her Mercedes-Benz. Tentatively titled Suburban Madness, the movie tells the story of Clara Harris, a Texas dentist sentenced to 20 years last year for striking her philandering orthodontist husband with her Mercedes three times in a hotel parking lot. It is out producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron's first TV movie picked up by CBS since the network yanked The Reagans days before its November sweeps premiere date because of concerns about content and then shipped it to sister cable network Showtime.

"After a year that included Chicago and The Reagans, we are happy to be back working with [CBS president and CEO] Les Moonves and CBS on a new film in the New Year," Zadan and Meron, executive producers of the Oscar-winning Chicago, said in a statement Friday. Suburban Madness was actually put in development last February, when Zadan and Meron's Storyline Entertainment and producer Sony Pictures TV optioned "Suburban Madness," an article about the Harris case in Texas Monthly by Skip Hollandsworth, and set up the project at CBS. After reading the script, penned by Kimberly Reid, CBS gave the movie the go-ahead late last week, tying the production commitment to the casting of the role of Harris.

Suburban Madness is told through the eyes of veteran private eye Bobbi Bacha, who also has a deal with Storyline and Sony. The Houston-based detective, specialized in documenting spouses' affairs, was hired by Harris to spy on her husband, David Harris. While working on the case, Bacha inadvertently taped his client running over her husband with her 17-year-old stepdaughter in the car, witnessing the murder of her father. The jury at the trial, which featured the stepdaughter testifying against Harris and David Harris's parents coming out in her support, convicted the 45-year-old mother of 4-year-old twin boys of first-degree murder, sentencing her to 20 years. Zadan and Meron also executive-produced CBS's Lucy and Martin and Lewis biopics last season.

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