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Byron Allen Acquires Rights to Sammy Davis Jr. Biography

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Sammy Davis*Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios has acquired the global media rights to “Deconstructing Sammy,” Matt Birkbeck’s critically-acclaimed biography of legendary entertainer, Sammy Davis, Jr.

The company will produce the Davis story as a feature film, a scripted television series, and a documentary. The TV series will chronicle Sammy’s view of the world from the 60s-80s.

“I personally knew and worked with Sammy Davis, Jr.,” said Byron Allen, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios. “Sammy hired me to open for him at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas when I was a 19-year-old standup comedian, and that’s where my fascination with his incredible story began. ‘Deconstructing Sammy’ is an amazing work of literature. It is the perfect foundation for a movie, a scripted television series, and a documentary about this legendary global icon.”

Birkbeck’s book, which was published in 2008, tells of Davis’ small beginnings in Harlem to his struggles with racism and his rise as one of the members of the iconic Rat Pack, Deadline reports. The book also covers his controversial relationship with white actress Kim Novak and then subsequent marriage to Swedish actress May Britt, and his death from cancer.

Allen founded Entertainment Studios in 1993, and it has since become one of the largest independent producers/distributors of first-run syndicated television programming for broadcast television stations. The company produces and distributes 38 television programs worldwide, and owns eight 24-hour HD cable networks.

Entertainment Studios will handle global distribution, along with motion picture finance and distribution company, Freestyle Releasing. Byron acquired the company earlier this month, and the deal is quite significant in that as Freestyle has an output deal with Netflix. The company said will distribute about 15 to 20 films per year.

For more information about “Deconstructing Sammy,” visit: www.es.tv.

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