Lifetime is taking their programming to the next level. Today, the network announced they’ve acquired two scripted series for their 2016-2017 season.
The series include the UK romantic comedy Catastrophe and new supernatural drama Sea Change in addition to several scripted projects in development.
Catastrophe stars Rob Delaney and Sharon Hogan as a couple who have a baby after a one-night stand. Season two of the romantic dramedy was recently released on Amazon. Seasons one and two will premiere on Lifetime in early 2017.
Based on the YA novel by Aimee Friedman, 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.”
Read the full details below:
Los Angeles, CA (April 20, 2015) – Lifetime announced today a bold new programming slate and a new multi-platform initiative dedicated to growing the network’s leadership position as the ultimate destination for women’s entertainment. With efforts spanning linear, digital, social and community partnerships, Lifetime is bringing all platforms together under a united effort called The Fempire, which is dedicated to entertaining and engaging the next generation of feminists by creating content for women, by women, about women. Continuing to add major talent to its roster, both in front of and behind the camera, projects include the untitled Selena Gomez Project, movie deals with Janet Jackson, Serena Williams and Ronda Rousey along with an aggressive digital programming initiative that will reach its viewers 24/7 with non-linear content.
About the announcement today, Liz Gateley, EVP and Head of Programming for Lifetime stated, “Lifetime will expand its brand into a multi-platform destination with an aggressive investment in short-form digital content that will engage and entertain our viewers 24/7. With content and conversations curated around the fourth wave of feminism, The Fempire will be a place where women come to share videos and conversations, connect with friends, learn new things and most importantly, be entertained.” Gateley added, “It still sucks to be a woman in America because women feel dismissed in both big and small ways throughout their day every day. We know our viewers come to Lifetime because we empower them. Building on the momentum of our critical hit,UnREAL, along with our movies and growing unscripted success, our content will be centered around strong, complicated characters who stand up for themselves and refuse to be disqualified, and are overcoming the same obstacles our audience faces every day. We will deliver on that with exciting new talent partnerships in both linear and digital. No studio or network is giving women creators a bigger platform to freely express themselves and see their stories get made.”
Continuing to build on the momentum generated by the critical hit UnREAL, Lifetime is making, developing and acquiring projects with complex female heroines and anti-heroines at their core.
Lifetime has ordered the two-hour pilot, Sea Change, a supernatural drama based on the YA novel by New York Times bestselling author, Aimee Friedman. The series 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. Sea Change is written by Liz Sczudlo (The Following, Awkward) and produced by MarVista Entertainment and Piller/Segan. Executive producers are Fernando Szew, Sharon Bordas, Lloyd Segan, Shawn Piller and David MacLeod.
The hit comedic series, Catastrophe, which premiered in the UK starring Sharon Hogan and Rob Delaney, will get its U.S. linear debut with Lifetime in early 2017. The series follows the unlikely match between an Irish teacher and an American advertising executive as a one-night hookup leads to pregnancy and the potential for a committed relationship. Catastrophe is made by Avalon Television and executive produced by Sharon Hogan, Rob Delaney, Richard Allen-Turner, Jon Thoday and Kara Baker.Jack Bayles produces the 12 half-hour episodes.
In development with Lifetime, Selena Gomez is set to executive produce a scripted drama inspired by her own life experiences, navigating a career in Hollywood as seen through the eyes of her friends who quickly become her most trusted inner circle. The drama is produced by A+E Studios and Trigger Street. Set to executive produce the untitled Selena Gomez Project are Kevin Spacey, Mandy Teefey, Dana Brunetti, Samantha Droke and Troy Searer.
Lifetime is also developing a one-hour drama, A Midsummer’s Nightmare (wt), an anthological concept where each season takes a classic Shakespearean tale and twists it into a modern-day horror-mystery. A Midsummer Night’s Dream inspires the first season as two young lovers escape their lives on a romantic getaway into the woods until their journey takes an unexpected twist when their friends arrive trying to lure them back home. Something hiding in the forest has other plans, however, and they are targeted one by one while a thrilling and desperate tale of survival unravels. Anthony Jaswinski (The Shallows) is writing the pilot. A Midsummer’s Nightmare is from A+E Studios and Prospect Park. Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry are executive producing.
Also in development, None of the Above (wt), based on the acclaimed novel of the same name, is a powerful 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. The drama is being written by Liz Maccie (Make it or Break It), 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 soapy and mysterious untitled Holly Brix Project, in development, is about a group of strangers who are brought together by an unknown puppet master, threatening to expose their past misdeeds and hidden lives. A race to uncover the identity of their blackmailer ensues before this deeply flawed group of people is forced into doing the unthinkable. Written by Holly Brix (The Vampire Diaries), UnbeliEVAble Entertainment and A+E Studios are attached to produce. Eva Longoria and Ben Spector are executive producing.
From the wickedly comedic mind of Jason Gann (Wilfred) comes Breeders (wt), 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. To rise to the top, Emily must leave her integrity at the door and make increasingly deadly moves to keep her story alive. 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.”
What do you think? Do you watch Lifetime? Have you seen Catastrophe? Will you watch Lifetime’s new scripted series?