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Showtime prepping Theodore Roosevelt series

Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th president.

Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th president. Credit: Library of Congress

Showtime -- which has an ongoing flirtation with Long Island, or rather some of its new series do -- has ordered a miniseries on the life (and times) of Theodore Roosevelt into "development."

Details, released in the trades late Thursday, are sparse, and whether this actually turns into a series depends on the pilot -- to be written by veteran screenwriter David McKenna -- or perhaps whom Showtime prevails upon to play TR. (Paul Giamatti perhaps? He will star in next year' "Billions" for Showtime, and has previously voiced the 26th president.)

TR's association with Long Island is of course long and deep -- and always begins with Sagamore Hill, the Summer White House, in Oyster Bay. Showtime's "Billions" and the first season of "The Affair" also shot on LI -- the East End.

Moreover, TR's appeal to filmmakers has a long tradition, and began almost immediately after he left the White House in 1909. He was, in life, a cinematic character, while his personality -- and style -- was irresistible to just about anyone with a camera. Some actors even made a career out of him -- perhaps most notably, Tony winner Sidney Blackmer, who played him in a total of seven movies, beginning in 1937 (Blackmer died in 1973). And perhaps most famously, there was Robin Williams in the "A Night at the Museum" franchise.

Showtime declined further comment, while the trades labelled the project a "limited" series. McKenna -- who created a Benjamin Bratt vehicle, "E-Ring," a decade ago -- is otherwise mostly new to TV; his big credits include 2003's "S.W.A.T." and 1998's "American History X."

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