ESPN Signs Shepard for Horse Saga


They shoot horse movies, don't they? Well, ESPN will as it applies its multiplatform philosophy to an upcoming original movie.

ESPN Original Entertainment has signed Sam Shepard to star in Ruffian, the story of a racehorse "hailed as the greatest thoroughbred filly of all time." But the entertainment won't originate on ESPN.

Instead, the film will debut on co-owned ABC in June 2007 to coincide with the network's coverage of the Belmont Stakes.

The movie will then get a prime time airing on ESPN, with further repurposing on the Internet, VOD, DVD, and perhaps some yet-undreamed-of distribution platform.

Shooting begins March 20.