CNN Films has acquired the U.S. broadcast rights for the film EVOCATEUR: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie. The film, which debuts Aug. 13 at 9 p.m. ET, chronicles the controversial, chain-smoking, larger-than-life talk show host who died in 2001.
“Morton Downey, Jr., left his mark on American television and set the tone – for better or worse – for much of the modern-day debates we see play out on television now,” said Vinnie Malhotra, svp of development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide. Downey got his TV start on WWOR-TV in New Jersey in 1987, before being picked up for syndication in 1988. By 1989 the bombastic show was canceled, but Downey turned up for a short-lived stint on CNBC in 1990.
The film includes legendary Downey show segments with defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, Congressman Ron Paul, Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa and, in what CNN calls an “excruciating, extended deconstruction of the infamous, controversial Tawana Brawley case,” the Rev. Al Sharpton, now a host on MSNBC.
Pat Buchanan, Larry King, and former talk show hosts Richard Bey and Sally Jessy Raphael also appear in the film. EVOCATEUR encores on CNN Aug. 13 and Aug. 15.