A+E Networks UK has announced that they will be launching the female-skewing network Lifetime in the UK later this year. A specific launch date has yet to be set and while the pay TV channel will be carried on Sky and Virgin Media, EPG slots have yet to be determined. The launch comes as competition for female audiences in pay TV is becoming more fierce, following the launch of TLC back in April, which directly competes with BSkyB’s Sky Living.
It has also been announced that the channel will feature a mix of exclusive US content and UK commissions. Lifetime’s parent company A+E Networks UK has sealed deals to acquires the UK broadcast rights to drama series The Client List, the fourth season of Damages (which, though available on DVD and Netflix, has never been broadcast on UK television after the BBC chose not to continue airing the series), the first season of reality series Preacher’s Daughters, The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet, with Dance Moms – which currently airs on sister channel Bio – moving to Lifetime for its second season. The channel has also acquired a myriad of Lifetime original movies including Drew Peterson: Untouchable and Liz & Dick, while also commissioning its first original series titled The Proposers.
“Lifetime has already proved to be a huge success in the US by offering audiences stand out entertaining, engaging and thoughtful programming”, said Tom Davidson, Managing Director of A+E Networks UK. “I am thrilled that the UK will be the first country in Europe to launch this popular channel, bringing viewers big-name Hollywood talent, both on and off-screen, as well as supporting the UK indie sector with original UK commissions.”
Details of Lifetime UK’s Line Up of Launch Shows Follows Below:
The Client List
Based on Lifetime’s two hour TV movie of the same name, The Client List revolves around Riley Parks, who, after being deserted by her husband takes a job at a seemingly traditional day spa in a neighboring town, but she soon discovers that the spa is merely a front for other “services” being offered by the employees. The drama series is produced by Sony Pictures Television, Fedora Films & Jaffe/Braunstein and stars Jennifer Love Hewitt, Cybil Sheppard, Loretta Devine, Colin Egglesfield. Rebecca Field, Naturi Naughton, Alicia Lagano, Kathleen York and Brian Hallisay.
Damages – Season 4
Created by Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman, Damages follows lawyers Patty Hewes and her protégé Ellen Parsons, who have a complicated relationship, as they take on high profile cases. The drama series, which aired on FX for three seasons before moving to DirecTV, is produced by Sony Pictures Television and stars Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, John Goodman and Dylan Baker. In the show’s fourth season, Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) prepares for a class action suit against a multinational pharmaceutical company, Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) returns to Hewes & Associates to pursue her own lawsuit against military contractor High Star Security and its powerful CEO, Howard Erickson (recurring guest star John Goodman).
Call Me Crazy: A Five Film
A Lifetime original movie which aired state-side this past April, Call Me Crazy: A Five Film features five shorts named after each lead character (Lucy, Eddie, Allison, Grace and Maggie) which tells the story of powerful relationships built on hope and triumph, while also raising a new understanding of what happens when a loved one struggles with mental illness. The individual shorts star Jennifer Hudson, Melissa Leo, Octavia Spencer, Sarah Hyland, Sofia Vassilieva, Brittany Snow, Ernie Hudson, Jason Ritter, Jean Smart, Lea Thompson, Melanie Griffith and Chelsea Handler.
Drew Peterson: Untouchable
Based on a true story, Drew Peterson: Untouchable follows the fascinating tale of police officer Drew Peterson’s fall from grace after the mysterious disappearance of his fourth wife. Charming Chicago-area officer Drew Peterson seemed virtually “untouchable” when it came to his womanizing ways, landing the eye of Stacy, a woman half his age, despite his marriage to third wife Kathleen. Even with a bitter divorce in front of him and the subsequent accidental drowning death of Kathleen in an empty bathtub, Drew carried on with his life without incident. But when Stacy mysteriously disappears, questions surface about Drew’s involvement. As Stacy’s disappearance draws national media attention, Drew seemingly basks in all the notoriety, all the while professing his innocence in any wrongdoing. Drew goes as far as getting engaged to another woman but when authorities take a look closer at Kathleen’s death, the spotlight is shone on Drew’s true colours. The film was produced by Sony Pictures Television and stars Rob Lowe (The West Wing), Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) and Cara Bruno (Mad Men).
Liz & Dick
Lifetime’s Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (not to be confused with the BBC’s biopic Burton and Taylor), tells the story of the famous couple who, for nearly a quarter of a century, were considered Hollywood royalty and their fiery romance – often called “the marriage of the century” – was the most notorious, publicized and celebrated love affair of its day. Swarmed by paparazzi worldwide, their love affair was played out entirely in front of the media from the time they met on the set of the major motion picture Cleopatra, left their respective spouses, married and divorced, only to remarry and divorce once again. Despite their roller coaster romance for the public eye to see, Liz and Dick shared an undeniable love greater than most people could ever dream of. The film was produced by Larry A. Thompson Productions & stars Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls) and Grant Bowler (Defiance).
Based on the stage play and 1989 film of the same name, Steel Magnolias chronicles the lives and friendship of six women in Louisiana. Supporting each other through their triumphs and tragedies, they congregate at Truvy’s beauty shop to ponder the mysteries of life and death, husbands and children – and hair and nails – all the important topics that truly unite and celebrate women. The film is produced by Sony Pictures Television and stars Queen Latifah (Single Ladies) as M’Lynn, Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show) as Clairee, Adepero Oduye (Louie) as Annelle, Condola Rashad (Smash) as Shelby, Jill Scott (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency) as Truvy and Alfre Woodard (Memphis Beat) as Ouiser,
Based on a true story and directed by Courteney Cox, Talhotblond tells the story of Thomas Montgomery, a middle-aged hard-working family man, who finds reprieve from his humdrum life by playing online poker with his buddies. During one of his poker games, he receives an invitation to chat with an 18-year-old girl with the screen name “Talhotblond.” Introducing himself as a younger U.S. Marine “Tommy,” they begin an online relationship that quickly develops into a sexual obsession. Sensing Thomas’ emotional distance and detachment, his wife Carol unearths her husband’s cyber affair and puts an end to it by revealing to “Talhotblond” that he is not who claims to be, but in reality a married father of two. Infuriated and betrayed by his lies, “Talhotblond” begins to flirt online with Thomas’ co-worker Brian leading to jealousy and ultimately murder. The film is produced by Sony Pictures Television and stars Garret Dillahunt (Raising Hope), Laura San Giacomo (Just Shoot Me), Brando Eaton (Dexter) and Courteney Cox (Cougar Town).
The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet
Lifetime’s talk show fronted by British actress Amanda de Cadenet, The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet presents an honest, authentic and raw view of the shared issues affecting women today. Each episode of the series will feature de Cadenet having powerful and in-depth interviews with some of the world’s most famous and influential women, including Lady Gaga, Gwyneth Paltrow, Miley Cyrus, Eva Longoria, Ivanka Trump, and Gabby Sidibe. Together with de Cadenet in the comfort of her or their own homes, they will tackle a wide variety of topics universal to all females, including sexuality, body image, career and finances, relationships, love and loss, politics, human rights, transformation, breakthrough and perseverance.
Dance Moms is set in the world the world of competitive dance where overbearing mothers push their daughters to the brink while vicariously living out their own dreams through their young performers. The series immerses itself in the highs and lows surrounding dance competition season, delivering a captivating and dramatic look at the cast’s intense pursuit of National Dance titles. Centered on the devoted Abby Lee Miller, who runs her school and instructs her young, talented students while also dealing with impassioned mothers who go to great lengths to help their children’s dreams come true, Dance Moms poses the tough questions many people have been asking since the show’s launch about what really goes on behind-the-scenes in the fast-growing and controversial sport of competitive dance. The series has previously aired on A+E Networks UK’s Bio channel, but will move to Lifetime this Autumn.
Preachers’ Daughters follows the lives of three families for a behind-the-altar look at what happens at home after the sermon concludes. The series reveals a hard-hitting but often humorous look at the lives of a group of pastors’ daughters as they balance the temptations every teenager faces with their parents’ strict expectations and code of conduct as influenced by their faith. What happens will change these families forever, and surprise viewers with this unvarnished peek into their lives and the universal issues all households with teenagers face daily.
A six episode fly-on-the-wall series, The Proposers follows two businesswomen and incurable romantics, Daisy Amodio and Tiffany Wright, as they help hopeless romantics get that all important yes from their loved ones by planning extravagant and unique proposals. Since launching the successful business last year, the pair has helped organise over 40 bespoke wedding proposals including; a flash mob choir on the London Eye, a choreographed ice dance and a Bollywood dance routine in Tower Bridge. Each episode will follow the girls from initial consultations with love struck clients, seeing how they familiarise themselves with the unsuspecting other half and then witnessing them deliver two differing proposal plans, one from each planner. Once the preferred idea is chosen, viewers will see how the girls use their experience and knowledge to turn it into a fairytale reality and of course witness the big romantic gesture in all its glory!