EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime continues to cast its telefilm about a shocking case of child abuse that leads to matricide. Emily Skeggs is set to star as broken-bad daughter Esme opposite Marcia Gay Harden in Love You to Death, based on the true story of a controlling mom and her seemingly sick child that ends in a murder no one could have predicted.
Meanwhile, Tate Donovan will play Travis, Esme’s estranged father who tries to reconnect with his daughter, despite her mother’s objections.
Your logline: Camile (Harden) and her child are well known in their community: Esme as the sickly, childlike, wheelchair-bound daughter and Camile as the perfect caretaker and mother. They seem a perfect pair until Camile is found stabbed to death in her home, and Esme has vanished, believed to be kidnapped by the killer. But when Esme is found, a terrible secret emerges: She was not kidnapped but ran away with her boyfriend after working with him to kill her mother. More than that, Esme is perfectly healthy, mentally and physically, and has been a victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, forced to believe she was ill by her controlling, abusive mother.
Skeggs appeared in this year’s features Mile 22 and The Miseducation of Cameron Post, and her TV credits include When We Rise and Salem. Repped by APA, she also earned a 2015 Tony nom for her role in Fun Home. Veteran actor Donovan’s recent credits include the films Blood Fest, The Upside and The Only Living Boy in New York and TV’s MacGyver, The Man in the High Castle and 24: Live Another Day. He is repped by the Gersh Agency.
Love You to Death is produced by Sony Pictures Television and Davis Entertainment Television. Alex Kalymnios directs from a script written by Anthony Jaswinski, and the executive producers are Jordan Davis and John Davis. It’s a reunion for Kalymnios, SPT and the network for which she helmed Cleveland Abduction in 2015.