ABC's May 12 made-for-TV movie, The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer, took a
circuitous route to the network.
Last January, ABC aired a miniseries, Rose Red, penned by
frightmeister Stephen King specifically for the network.
The miniseries was so popular -- scaring up 18.5 million viewers and a 8.5
rating/20 share among adults 18 through 49 -- that the network decided to
publish a book based on a portion of the story. So Hyperion Books -- a
publishing house owned by ABC parent The Walt Disney Co. -- published The
Diary of Ellen Rimbauer.
As a diary, the book listed no author, but the network hired Stephen King
crony Ridley Pearson to ghostwrite it. Since Rose Red was written by
Stephen King, fans assumed that he wrote Diary, which helped it to hit
No. 1 on The New York Times' best-seller list.
Noting that success, ABC decided to make it into a TV