Variety reports that the made-for-TV film, which was shot in December 2006, will make its debut on ABC-TV at 8 PM ET Feb. 25, 2008, the night following the annual Academy Awards telecast. The three-hour film features the cast of the 2004 revival, including Sean Combs as Walter Lee Younger, Audra McDonald as Ruth Younger, Phylicia Rashad as Lena Younger and Sanaa Lathan as Beneatha Younger. McDonald and Rashad won Tonys for their performances; Lathan was Tony-nominated.
The TV cast also boasts John Stamos, Sean Patrick Thomas, David Oyelowo, Bill Nunn and Cephas Jones.
The TV version of Lorraine Hansberry's "Raisin in the Sun" was produced by Craig Zadan, Neil Meron and David Binder; the latter produced the Broadway revival. Kenny Leon, who directed the Broadway production, also helmed the TV version. Paris Qualles penned the TV adaptation.
A Raisin in the Sun concerns Walter Lee, who chafes at his straightened circumstances and longs for a business deal that would lift him out of his limited world. He has his eye on his late father's insurance, but Walter's mother wants to use that money to move the family out of the city.
A Raisin in the Sun premiered in 1959. It was the first Broadway play written by, directed by and starring African-Americans. Lloyd Richards directed a cast that included Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Ruby Dee and Louis Gossett — who also appeared in the 1961 film version. The play was also adapted for a 1989 TV movie starring Danny Glover and Esther Rolle and also served as source material for the musical Raisin.
The 2004 revival was nominated for four Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Play.