Nellie Andreeva

On the heels of the family of convicted killer Amanda Knox objecting to Lifetime’s upcoming telefilm about her controversial trial, lawyers for the infamous U.S. student and her ex-boyfriend who were found guilty of killing Knox’s roommate in Italy, have asked the cable channel to pull the movie. According to news reports, attorneys Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luca Maori have sent a formal letter to Lifetime demanding that the movie is quashed and its trailer removed from the network’s website as the case is going through an appeal. They are threatening legal action if the network doesn’t do so by Feb. 10.

Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy, which stars Heroes alumna Hayden Panettiere as Knox, is scheduled to premiere on Feb. 21. Knox became an instant international celebrity (nicknamed Foxy Knoxy) when she was arrested in 2007 for the gruesome murder of her British roommate inside the duo’s cottage in the medieval Italian town of Perugia after what prosecutors said was a violent night fueled by sex and drugs. After an 11-month trial, Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison; her boyfriend received 25 years, with the case now going through an appeal process. Knox has always professed her innocence and has a bevy of supporters, especially in the U.S., with many questioning the fairness of the investigation and trial. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell from Knox’s home state of Washington previously assailed the guilty verdict, claiming it raised “serious questions about the Italian justice system and whether anti-Americanism tainted this trial”.

A spokesman for Lifetime’s parent company, A&E Television Networks, said that as of Saturday afternoon, the company had not received the letter and had no comment. This is the second controversy involving upcoming longform project at a A&E TV Networks channel. Last month, A&E’s History pulled the eight-part miniseries The Kennedys shortly before its scheduled premiere. Here is the trailer for Amanda Knox as featured on the network’s website:

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.