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Richard Deitsch
April 07, 2003
The Real Seabiscuit, A New Network
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April 07, 2003

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The Real Seabiscuit, A New Network

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?For a brief moment in America, a little brown racehorse wasn't just a little brown racehorse: He was a proxy for a nation." So says author Laura Hillenbrand in a marvelous documentary about the subject of her best-selling book, Seabiscuit: An American Legend, that will be aired by PBS at 9 p.m. on April 21. The 53-minute film tells the rags-to-riches story of the thoroughbred who uplifted a country mired in the Depression. Director Stephen Ives made Seabiscuit for $500,000—some $120 million less than the Hollywood feature version, due out on July 25. Ives unearthed never-seen home movies and newsreels kept by the family of Charles Howard, the auto magnate who bought Seabiscuit for $8,000 in 1936, as well as photos of jockey Red Pollard (played by Tobey Maguire in the movie) that were kept by his daughter, Norah Christianson. Bolstering the interviews with Hillenbrand and Christianson is footage of the Biscuit's races, including his 1938 match race against 1937 Triple Crown winner War Admiral, heard live on radio by one in three Americans. "This is a great chance for people to get both sides of the coin," says Ives. "They can see the real story of Seabiscuit as rendered in a documentary, and they can see Hollywood's version, which I think is going to be really exciting as well."

?The 2003 CSTV College Basketball Honor Roll, featuring Memphis coach John Calipari and sportscaster Bob Papa will introduce College Sports Television when the network launches following the NCAA men's basketball final on April 7. CSTV, which should be in II million homes by its starting date, has programming agreements with 27 Division I conferences, and it will cover an array of sports, including football, gymnastics and lacrosse.

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