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Networks scramble for Elizabeth Taylor docs

TV channels around the world are rushing to programming documentaries and retrospectives on Elizabeth Taylor (pictured), after the two-time Oscar-winning actor and screen icon passed away yesterday.
March 24, 2011

TV channels around the world are rushing to programming documentaries and retrospectives on Elizabeth Taylor (pictured), after the two-time Oscar-winning English actor passed away yesterday.

In the U.S., Bio Channel is putting together BIO Remembers: Elizabeth Taylor, billed as a “two-hour intimate look at the very public private life” of the Hollywood star, to air tonight at 8 p.m. EST.

TV Guide Network, meanwhile, has already managed to squeeze something on air. It transmitted an original one-hour special, entitled Elizabeth Taylor: A Life, A Legacy, at 8 p.m. EST last night.

That special looked at the actor’s professional and personal life through historical footage and interviews with celebrities such as Elton John, Sharon Stone and Joan Rivers, and will be repeated tonight at 7 p.m. EST.

Also quick to react yesterday was ABC News, which aired a special edition of its Nightline strand called Nightline: Remembering Elizabeth Taylor, at 11.35 p.m. EST. The special featured Barbara Walters – who interviewed Taylor five times – reflecting on her encounters with the star.

In Australia, cable channel Bio plans to air Screen Legends – Elizabeth Taylor: Facets tonight at 10:30 p.m., repeating on March 27 at 1.00 p.m.; while SBS-owned cable and satellite arts channel Stvdio will tonight air Elizabeth Taylor: England’s Other Elizabeth, a one-hour doc featuring an interview with Taylor in her Los Angeles home in 2003, in which she talks about her career, life and lovers.

The doc will air at 7.30 p.m., repeating on March 26 at 4.00 a.m., 2.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. Stvdio is also planning to air an episode of the series Great Film Romances tonight, at 7 p.m. The program examines the love lives of 20th Century icons, and the selected episode explores Taylor and Richard Burton’s relationship, which saw them marry and divorce twice.

In parallel with the doc activity, film channels around the world have been quick to capitalize on the star’s passing. In the U.S., Turner Classic Movies announced plans to air a 24-hour marathon of movies featuring the actor.

Taylor died yesterday in Los Angeles, aged 79, from congestive heart failure. She is survived by her four children, 10 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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