EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime has greenlighted Babysellers, a two-hour original movie about the dark international crime enterprise of infant trafficking under the guise of seemingly regulated adoption. Executive produced by veteran longform producer Robert Halmi Sr, Babysellers is a follow-up to his praised 2005 Lifetime movie Human Trafficking, starring Mira Sorvino, Donald Sutherland and Robert Carlyle, as the films tackle a cause Halmi has been very passionate about.
Babysellers stars Kirstie Alley and Jennifer Finnigan. Alley plays Carla Hughes, a well-respected, influential owner of a major U.S.-based adoption agency that helps prospective parents fulfill their dream of having a family. While presenting an innocent veneer of kindness and good intentions to her trusting clients, behind-the-scenes Hughes functions as a ruthless international kingpin, controlling an expansive syndicate spanning the world and manned by subordinates authorized to use any means necessary to procure children for her business. Finnigan plays Nic Kingman, the dedicated, tough-as-nails Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent who believes Hughes is fueling a global business that stops at nothing to find the right child for the right owner — at the right price – and goes undercover to bring her sordid operation down. The film, written by Suzette Couture (Jesus) and to be directed by Nick Willing (Neverland), begins production this May in Asia, South America and Vancouver, to premiere later this year. Babysellers will be produced by Canada’s Reunion Pictures, which has collaborated with Halmi before, including on the Tin Man and Alice miniseries, directed by Willing. Halmi Sr and Reunion’s Mathew O’Connor will executive produce. This marks the first production for Halmi since his February 2012 exit from RHI Entertainment, the company he had founded in 1979 and used to make more than 200 TV movies and miniseries. Close To Home alumna Finnigan, repped by ICM Partners, Carrabino Management, stars on TNT’s Monday Mornings. Alley, repped by UTA and Untitled, has a new series, Kirstie’s New Show, on TV Land.