EXCLUSIVE: Penelope Ann Miller (Riverdale, American Crime) and Mia Kirshner (Star Trek: Discovery, The L Word) are set as the leads in Lifetime’s upcoming movie The College Admissions Scandal following the story of over 50 wealthy and elite families that tried to cheat the college admissions system. Additionally, Canadian actor Michael Shanks (Stargate: Atlantis, Saving Hope) portrays college admissions consultant Rick Singer. Production is set to begin this month.
The College Admissions Scandal will debut this fall as part of Lifetime’s Ripped From the Headlines movie slate, which includes Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Fight to Save Her Daughter, Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story and Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story.
The College Admissions Scandal follows two wealthy mothers, Caroline (Miller), a sought after interior designer and Bethany (Kirshner), an owner of a successful financial services firm, who share an obsession with getting their teenagers into the best possible college. When charismatic college admissions consultant Rick Singer (Shanks) offers a side door into the prestigious institutions of their dreams, Caroline and Bethany willingly partake with visions of coveted acceptance letters in their heads. But when Singer cooperates with the FBI and pleads guilty, the mothers who risked everything for their kids, must face the consequences of their crimes and the loss of trust and respect from their families.
The College Admissions Scandal is produced by Varsity Films Inc. The film is executive produced by Gail Katz. Adam Salky will direct from a script by Stephen Tolkin.
Miller most recently starred in Riverdale for the CW, New York Prison Break the Seduction of Joyce Mitchell for Lifetime and John Ridley’s critically acclaimed ABC series American Crime.
Kirshner is best known for her pivotal series regular role as Jenny Schecter in Showtime’s hit drama The L-Word. She’ll next be seen in Nicholas Jarecki’s feature Dreamland opposite Gary Oldman, Armie Hammer and Evangeline Lilly. In addition, Kirshner recurs as Amanda Grayson on the CBS All-Access sci-fi drama, Star-Trek: Discovery.
The Lifetime movie is one of several projects in the works about the criminal conspiracy where over 50 privileged and elite individuals from across the country were exposed for criminally conspiring to influence the undergraduate admissions decisions at some of America’s top schools. Such prominent industry figures as Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman were indicted as part of the bribery scheme. Huffman pleaded guilty to her role in the scandal and wrote an open letter of apology and contrition; Loughlin and her fashion designer husband pleaded not guilty, and the former When Calls the Heart star also is facing a money-laundering charge.
Moneyball producer Rachael Horovitz and Jennifer Wachtell are partnering with Vanity Fair contributing editor Evgenia Peretz on a TV adaptation of Peretz’s investigative piece of the scandal. And Annapurna Television optioned rights to Accepted, an upcoming book by Melissa Korn and Jen Levitz, for a limited series with DV Devincentis writing.
Miller is repped by Innovative Artists and Management Production Entertainment Kirshner is repped by Innovative Artists and Trademark Talent.