March 18, 2002 11:00 AM

ABC may have lost out on landing David Letterman, but the network is about to get Britain’s Prince William — as the subject of a TV movie set to air this fall. The Hollywood Reporter says the production, tentatively titled “Prince William,” is due to premiere on Oct. 13 on ABC’s “Wonderful World of Disney” and will begin with the events immediately following the 1997 death of Princess Diana in a Paris car crash. William was then 15. “The way we pitched it (to ABC) was ‘James at 15’ with the royal family,” David Madden, executive vice president of Fox TV Pictures (which is producing the picture), told the trade paper. “We basically took the tack that we were going to do a true coming-of-age of a kid who is going through, in some ways, all of the things that every kid goes through, of dealing with adolescence, coming of sexuality and dealing with your dad.” Madden vows the movie will not be “exploitative or just ‘tabloid-ish’ or scandal-mongering.” He is, after all, dealing with the future William V, King of England — as well as a major international heartthrob. As for the casting of his main character, the producer says: “On a much smaller level, we’ll do our little version of trying to find Harry Potter.”

Take a peek at more PEOPLE.com coverage of Prince William.

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