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Oprah Winfrey Network Acquires Rights to Michael Sam Documentary

The Oprah Winfrey Network announced Wednesday that it had purchased the rights to a documentary series that will follow the life of Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL last week.

Terms were undisclosed, but sources said that negotiations to make the deal took two months.

Sam made history when he was picked Saturday in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams. Cameras for the network were with Sam when he received the call that he was drafted and will follow him through training camp as he tries to make the team.

The network said the working title for the series is “The Untitled Michael Sam Project.”

“We are honored that Michael is trusting us with his private journey in this moment that has not only made history but will shape it forever,” said Winfrey, in a statement. “I am proud of the focus on authentic storytelling in our new documentary series format. The next real-life story we follow in ‘The Untitled Michael Sam Project’ promises to spark valuable, important discussion on life in America today. Acceptance and illumination start here.”

“If seeing my story helps somebody else accept who they are and to go for their dreams too, that’s great,” Sam said in a statement. “I am thankful to Oprah for her support and excited to work together.”

Sources say the plan is for the series to be broken up into six to eight segments. His agents Cameron Weiss and Joe Barkett are producers, as is Sam’s publicist Howard Bragman.

Despite being drafted as the 249th pick in the draft, Sam’s jersey was the second most popular jersey of draft weekend, selling more on the NFL’s official store than any other rookie aside from Johnny Manziel.

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