NEW YORK – CBS is set to begin filming a two-hour TV movie based on the Elizabeth Smart (search) case - with the full cooperation of the Smart family.
The network is expected to announce as early as today that it has locked up a deal with the Smart family for the television rights to their life story and the abduction of their daughter.
Filming is expected to begin in Halifax, Canada in early September. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The film, "The Elizabeth Smart Story," (search) is expected to air sometime during the November sweeps period and will coincide with a new book about the case co-written by Elizabeth's parents, Ed and Lois Smart.
The book, entitled "Bringing Elizabeth Home: A Journey of Faith and Hope," is slated to be published in Nov. 4.
The Smarts wrote it with the help of Laura Morton, who co-wrote a number of celebrity diet books including Jerry Springer's "Ringmaster!"
Sources close to the production told The Post that the film's producer and writer spent about two days with the Smarts last spring when the family described the details of their ordeal.
Producers met, but were not allowed to interview Elizabeth, although the girl is said to have answered questions through her mother.
In the film, Elizabeth will be played by Amber Marshall, who has appeared on the detective series "Monk."
Ed Smart will be played by Dylan Baker (search) (who played the creepy child-molesting father in the independent film, "Happiness") while Lindsay Frost (search) ("The Secret Life of Doris Duke") has been cast as Lois Smart.
An industry source told The Post that the deal between with Smarts was negotiated by the film's production company and then licensed to the network's entertainment division.
CBS came under fire earlier this summer when it was learned that network brass had offered a deal to Jessica Lynch that included perks from its sister channels - including an MTV concert in her hometown - in exchange for a TV interview.
Network officials declined to comment yesterday and calls to Ed Smart yesterday were not returned.
Smart was allegedly kidnapped from her home near Salt Lake City, Utah, by Brian David Mitchell, a religious zealot accused of abducting 14-year-old Elizabeth in a twisted polygamy scheme.
Mitchell was slapped with both aggravated kidnapping and sex-abuse charges after he was found walking in a Salt Lake suburb with the kidnapped teen on March 12.
Mitchell's trial is expected to begin in late October or early November, around the same time the film and book are released.