The A+E Networks brands will simulcast Janet across two nights in 2022.
Janet (w/t), coming on the back of the 40th anniversary of Janet Jackson’s debut album, will follow take a look at her musical success as well as her tumultuous private life. Workerbee, the British production company owned by Banijay, has been filming with Jackson over three years and has been granted exclusive access to archival footage and Janet’s never before seen home videos.
It comes as her dad, Joe Jackson, a pivotal figure in the Jackson dynasty, died in 2018, and will detail her return to the world stage following a sudden break from music. She will discuss her controversial Superbowl appearance with Justin Timberlake in 2004, the death of her brother Michael and becoming a mother later in life.
Janet is produced by Workerbee and AEC (Associated Entertainment Corporation) will be co-producer. Janet Jackson and Randy Jackson will exec produce alongside Rick Murray and Brie Miranda Bryant. Ben Hirsch serves as director.
Elsewhere, country music star Reba McEntire, who starred in Reba, will star in and produce two movies for Lifetime. The first is Christmas In Tune (w/t) for the network’s annual holiday slate and it will feature an original holiday song by McEntire. Filming will kick off this spring.
Christmas In Tune tells the story of Belle, a marketing executive who is worried she may lose her job. She decides to reunite a singing duo for a charity Christmas concert in order, but the problem is – the singers are actually her parents and they have not spoken to each other in years. Soon the at-odds couple is helping Belle get her life in order and she begins her own romantic duet with the new man in her life. It is written by Juliet Giglio and Keith Giglio and produced by Hartbreak Films with Paula Hart and Reba McEntire serving as executive producers.
The second, which is not a holiday movie, is in development for 2022.
“Reba has been a creative force in both music and television for many years. We are thrilled to have her on board to produce and star in not just one – but two movies for us,” said Tanya Lopez, EVP of Movies, Limited Series & Original Movie Acquisitions, Lifetime and LMN. “Reba has been part of Lifetime’s air many years ago and we can’t wait to welcome her back”
McEntire added, “I am thrilled to partner with Lifetime for a return to television movies. My fans and I enjoy their programming and loved watching the Reba show there for so many years.”
Over on A&E, the network has greenlit Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution (w/t) and Secret Origins of Hip Hop.
Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution explores the evolution of black comedy and comedians who have used pointed humor to expose, challenge and ridicule society’s injustices and to articulate the black experience in America. From Redd Foxx and Moms Mabley during the civil rights movement, to Richard Pryor in the 70s, to modern-day comedians and creators like Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx and Lena Waithe, the documentary explores the rare position these people and many more hold in our society.
It is produced by Time Studios with Mario Diaz and Jessica Sherif as co-directors and executive producers. Ian Orefice, Elaine Frontain Bryant and Brad Abramson also exec produce.
Secret Origins of Hip Hop, which will air across four hours, follows some of hip hop’s biggest stars, including Busta Rhymes, Eve, Fat Joe Grandmaster Flash and Ice-T, as they share the stories and events that molded them into the artists they became. Each episode will delve into an artist’s origin story and it is narrated by Nas.
It comes from Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men producer Mass Appeal. Peter Bittenbender and Slane Hatch exec produce alongside Frontain Bryant and Abramson.