Lifetime unveiled movie projects with Ronda Rousey, Janet Jackson and Serena Williams as part of its 2016-2017 development slate announced today. The network also said it has ordered a two-hour pilot, Sea Change, a supernatural drama based on the YA novel by New York Times bestselling author Aimee Friedman; and announced scripted projects from Holly Brix, Wilfred‘s Jason Gann and Make It Or Break It‘s Liz Maccie. Lifetime also said the hit comedic series Catastrophe, which premiered in the UK starring Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, will get its U.S. linear debut with the network in early 2017.
Also on tap is a pair of unscripted projects: Fashion Inc., (working title) produced by The Weinstein Company, and docuseries Gold Medal Families, which showcases six Olympic hopefuls and their families.
Rousey has signed a three-picture movie deal to bring stories that reflect her passions about empowerment to the screen, according to the network. Additionally, Williams will executive produce the movie Sister Dance (wt), inspired by the annual dance-off competition she hosts with her sister Venus. Jackson will executive produce the story of 1920s New York City mobster, Queenie (wt). The true story centers on the first and only woman gangster during Prohibition, set against the backdrop of The Cotton Club. Kenny Leon (A Raisin In The Sun) will direct.
Sea Change follows a strong 17-year-old girl who, after the death of her father, moves to a small Nantucket-like island to live with her estranged mother. There she is pulled into classic small-town rivalries and clashes with her mother, but quickly learns the depth of those conflicts when the island legend about dangerous Sea Walkers appears to be true, presenting a mystery for her and her family. Liz Sczudlo (The Following, Awkward) penned the pilot which is produced by MarVista Entertainment and Piller/Segan. Executive producers are Fernando Szew, Sharon Bordas, Lloyd Segan, Shawn Piller and David MacLeod.
Also in development is None Of The Above (wt), based on the novel by I.W. Gregorio, a coming-of-age drama that explores the story of a girl whose previous idyllic life as the homecoming queen is called into question when she discovers she is intersex. Maccie is writing, with Stephen Chbosky (Perks Of Being A Wallflower) attached to direct. Davis Entertainment and A+E Studios will produce with John Davis attached as executive producer.
The untitled Holly Brix Project is about a group of strangers who are brought together by an unknown puppet master, threatening to expose their past misdeeds and hidden lives. The project is written by Holly Brix (The Vampire Diaries), and UnbeliEVAble Entertainment and A+E Studios are attached to produce. Eva Longoria and Ben Spector are executive producing.
Gann’s Breeders (wt), is a subversive dramedy that takes an honest look at support group survival for new parents and how new moms start to reflect the social circles of high school, where the ruthless rule and the weak rarely survive. The project is in development from A+E Studios and executive produced by Nicky Weinstock.
Lifetime is also developing Deadline (wt), a darkly satirical one-hour drama that follows aspiring journalist Emily Twist, who is frustrated by how hard it is to get noticed as a reporter in a world that values gossip over hard-hitting investigative news. Deadline is from A+E Studios and produced by Imperative Entertainment with Justin Levy and Tim Kring. Sam Forman (House Of Cards) is set to write the pilot.
Fashion Inc. is set in New York City’s fashion district, where spring fashion and beauty entrepreneurs compete for the chance to secure funds from a panel of expert investors to help grow their budding ventures. The hourlong eight-episode series is slated to premiere later this year. Katia Beauchamp, co-founder & CEO of beauty retailer Birchbox; tech marketplace maven and CEO of plus-size clothing rental startup Gwynnie Bee, Christine Hunsicker; fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff; and business mentor for the CFDA Incubator program and co-CEO of Hilldun, Gary Wassner are helming the series. The Weinstein Company is producing with executive producers Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Patrick Reardon and Barbara Schneeweiss, in addition to Matador with executive producers Jay Peterson, Todd Lubin and James Bruce. Executive producing for Lifetime are Eli Lehrer, Mary Donahue and David Hillman.
Docuseries Gold Medal Families showcases six Olympic hopefuls and their families, revealing the extraordinary lengths, economic hardships and personal sacrifices they all go through to get their elite athlete to the podium of the world games. Eight one-hour episodes have been ordered for premiere this summer. Gold Medal Families is produced by The Company. Charlie Ebersol, Mike Lanigan and Bryn Freedman are executive producers. Eli Lehrer, Mary Donahue and David Hillman executive produce for Lifetime.
In the digital arena, Lifetime, in partnership with Hello Giggles, is breaking into the comedy space with comedy shorts, Oversharing, that feature up-and-coming female comedians telling way too much about their personal lives. All ten episodes are available online on mylifetime.com. It joins UnReal spinoff The Faith Diaries, written and produced by UnReal co-creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, already available online.