ABC is lining up its big longform guns for next season, airing the TV adaptation of Broadway's "A Raisin in the Sun" the night after the Oscars and the latest "Oprah Winfrey Presents" telepic in December.
The long-awaited "A Raisin in the Sun," which was actually shot last December, will premiere at 8 on Monday, Feb. 25, the night after ABC's telecast of the 80th annual Academy Awards. Meanwhile, "Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's For One More Day" airs Sunday, Dec. 9, at 9 p.m.
"A Raisin in the Sun" comes from Sony Pictures TV, Storyline Entertainment ("Hairspray") and Sean "Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy Worldwide shingle.
Storyline's Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said they were pushing hard to get the primo post-Oscar slot.
"We were coveting it," Meron said. "When it becomes a reality, it's that much more joyful. It demonstrates the support the network has in this film."
Thee-hour movie stars the cast of the Broadway revival -- including Combs; Phylicia Rashad, who earned an actress Tony award for her work on "Raisin"; Audra McDonald, who won the featured actress Tony for "Raisin" onstage; and Sanaa Lathan, who earned a Tony nom for her role.
John Stamos, Sean Patrick Thomas, David Oyelowo, Bill Nunn and Cephas Jones also star.
"It's a wonderful thing that this movie got made," Zadan said. "If it wasn't for (ABC Entertainment prexy) Steve McPherson, it would have never been."