8 Mile tough cable sell


Eminem is a bona fide box-office hit, but his semi-autobiographical flick,
8 Mile, could be a tough sell on basic cable.

Universal Studios is beaming over the opening, which grossed $54 million the
first weekend. But when Universal looks to sell 8 Mile to basic cable,
much less broadcast, the movie's endless string of profanities and graphic sex
and violence could be problematic. This is not a problem on pay cable, of course. Home Box Office
does as much in its own originals.

Universal Studios chief Ron Meyer is confident that 8 Mile will make
it -- with some editing help. "No question, they are going to have to figure out
how to make it work. But it's been done before," he said. "The language is the
hardest part."

Still, it takes 31 months for new releases to migrate to cable, and 8
may not have enough staying power, one cable-network executive said, adding,
"Actors have long life spans, music stars don't."