Lifetime Networks Partners With Starz Media to Produce and Distribute Original TV Movies Globally
International Co-Production Deal Kicks Off With Three New Lifetime Original
Movies: "True Confessions of A Hollywood Starlet" Starring JoJo and Valerie
Bertinelli; "Queen Sized" Starring Nikki Blonsky; and "Wisegal" Starring
Alyssa Milano and Jason Gedrick
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 11 -- Lifetime Networks is partnering
with Starz Media to co-produce three Lifetime Original Movies, which will
air in 2008, featuring high-profile casts and compelling, mass-appeal
stories. The announcement of this important deal for both companies was
made today by Susanne Daniels, President, Entertainment, Lifetime Networks
and Kent Rice, President and COO of Starz Media.
This is Lifetime's second major international co-production deal,
following the April announcement of its partnership with French broadcaster
TF-1 International to produce and distribute three original television
movies for worldwide release. For Starz Media, it's a continuation of the
new studio's expansion into top-quality primetime movies, and marks a new
production partner along with ABC, SCI FI Network, Cartoon Network, BET and
Starz Entertainment, among others.
Starz Media will handle worldwide distribution of the titles, including
home entertainment through its Anchor Bay Entertainment.
Since 1990, Lifetime has produced 184 Lifetime Original Movies. Ranked
#1 in primetime households and total viewers among this year's original
basic cable movies, Lifetime Original Movies received two 2007 Emmy Award
nominations, with "Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy" garnering a nod
for Outstanding Made for Television Movie and Gena Rowlands for Outstanding
Actress in "What if God Were the Sun?"
"This is a truly innovative deal that has tremendous value for Lifetime
and Starz. We hope to be making more deals like this in the future," said
Daniels. Adding, "Thanks to Joey Plager and Arturo Interian, our VPs of
Original Movies, and Debbie Stasson, our business affairs consultant, as
they were both keenly instrumental in executing this deal on behalf of
"We are committed to partnering with major television networks to
produce and distribute audience-pleasing programming, and this new deal
with Lifetime is certainly an outstanding example of that," Rice said.
"With these three movies, we have terrific performers, strong scripts and
talented production crews. Coupled with a world-class brand like Lifetime,
we anticipate great success with this alliance."
"TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A HOLLYWOOD STARLET"
Multi-platinum recording artist JoJo ("RV," "Aquamarine") and Golden
Globe(R) Award-Winning actress Valerie Bertinelli ("One Day at a Time,"
"Touched By An Angel") are set to star in the amusing Lifetime Original
Movie "True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet," the story of a superstar
teen actress whose life is turned upside down when she is sent to live
incognito with her aunt in the suburbs after a stint in rehab and must
adjust to life out of the spotlight. The movie, based on a novel of the
same name by Lola Douglas, will be directed by actor/director Tim Matheson
(Lifetime's "Augusta, Gone"). "True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet"
will premiere in 2008 on Lifetime Television.
In "True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet," 17-year-old actress
Morgan Carter (JoJo) has it all - money, fame and thousands of adoring
fans. But her world comes crashing down after she passes out on the red
carpet of her movie premiere from alcohol poisoning. Morgan is quickly
whisked away to rehab but speculation about her substance abuse problem
tarnishes her image and keeps the press at her heels. Afraid that returning
to Hollywood would lead to a relapse in her partying ways and result in the
demise of her career, Morgan's mother and manager devise a plan for Morgan
to live with her offbeat Aunt Trudy (Bertinelli) in Indiana, where she can
recover without the flashing bulbs of the paparazzi and celebrity bloggers
writing about her every move.
Assuming the name "Claudia Miller" while attending a local high school,
she goes unrecognized by her fellow students. Morgan must now adjust to
life as a typical teenager, living on a limited budget and taking geometry
and gym classes while making some new friends outside of her usual
"True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet" is produced by Barbara
Lieberman Productions for Lifetime Television. Starz Media's executives in
charge of the production are Scott D. Greenberg and Karen Bailey. Barbara
Lieberman (Lifetime's "Murder in the Hamptons") and Jon Maas ("The Last
Debate") serve as executive producers. Phil Kleinbart (Lifetime's "Augusta
Gone") serves as the supervising producer and Mark Winemaker ("The Path to
9/11") will produce. Matheson directs from a script written by Elisa Bell
("Little Black Book").
Following her starring role in the summer blockbuster "Hairspray,"
rising young actress Nikki Blonsky has signed on to star in the Lifetime
Original Movie, "Queen Sized," the inspirational true story of an
overweight teen who takes a stand against bullying, to become her school's
homecoming queen, and ends up with much more than just a crown. "Queen
Sized" will premiere Saturday, January 5, 2008, 9PM (ET/PT) on Lifetime
In "Queen Sized," overweight high school senior Maggie Baker (Blonsky),
always felt sorry for herself for not being as skinny, pretty or wealthy as
the popular girls at school. When Maggie's name ends up on the list of
nominees for the homecoming court as a prank by her classmates, she is
mortified. Rather than drop out as expected, Maggie chooses to stay on the
ballot in order to represent all the "outcasts" at school. As word of her
courageousness spreads, Maggie becomes a local celebrity and a symbol for
all those who are bullied in high school. But when Maggie's newfound fame
goes to her head -- the kids who stood by her, including her best friend
Casey -- begin to resent her. Maggie is forced to take a long hard look at
herself and reevaluate what battle she is truly fighting.
"Queen Sized" is produced by Von Zerneck-Sertner Films for Lifetime
Television. Starz Media's executives in charge of the production are Scott
D. Greenberg and Karen Bailey. Bob Sertner (Lifetime's "Girl Positive," "We
Were the Mulvaneys") and Frank Von Zerneck (Lifetime's "Haunting Sarah,"
"For One Night") serve as executive producers. Peter Levin ("Homeless to
Harvard: The Liz Murray Story") will direct the movie from a script by
Alyssa Milano ("Charmed," "Who's the Boss?") and Jason Gedrick
("Desperate Housewives," "Windfall") are set to star in the Lifetime
Original Movie "Wisegal," a stirring drama inspired by the true story of
Patty Montanari, a woman who became a trusted confidant to the Mafia, only
to confront the heartbreaking reality that her romantic entanglement put
her children in jeopardy. The movie will be executive produced by Joe
Pistone, the real FBI agent who infiltrated the mob, and whose life was the
basis for the 1997 movie "Donnie Brasco," starring Al Pacino and Johnny
Depp. "Wisegal" will premiere in 2008 on Lifetime Television.
In "Wisegal," Patty Montanari (Milano) is a widow supporting her two
young sons by selling contraband cigarettes. She soon begins a torrid love
affair with Frank Russo (Gedrick), a captain in a Brooklyn crime family.
The family Don, impressed with Patty's moxie, convinces her to work for the
organization - at great personal risk - as a courier transporting millions
of dollars from Canada into the United States. When Patty discovers that
Frank has murdered his own son, she realizes he is capable of doing
anything - and fears she may be his next victim.
"Wisegal" is produced by Daniel H. Blatt Productions for Lifetime
Television. Starz Media's executives in charge of the production are Scott
D. Greenberg and Karen Bailey. Executive producers are Daniel H. Blatt
("The Virginian," "Bad Apple"), Joe Pistone, ("Donnie Brasco," "10th &
Wolf"), Leo Rossi ("10th & Wolf," "Relentless"), Anthony Melchiorri, and
Danielle McVickers ("Saving Millie," "When Angels Come to Town") is
co-producer. Jerry Ciccoritti (Lifetime's "Murder in the Hamptons," "La
Femme Nikita") directs from a script written by Shelley Evans (Lifetime's
"A Girl Life Me: The Gwen Araujo Story").
About Starz Media:
Starz Media, LLC, is a programming production and distribution company
operating worldwide. It includes the Film Roman, Anchor Bay Entertainment,
and Manga Entertainment brands. Its units create animated and live-action
programming -- including theatrical films -- and programming created under
contract for other media companies. It distributes that programming, and
programming acquired from outside producers, through home video retailers,
theaters, broadcasters, ad supported and premium television channels, and
Internet and wireless video distributors in the US and internationally.
Starz Media is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a wholly owned
subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation that is attributed to Liberty
LIFETIME is the leader in women's television and one of the top-rated
basic cable television networks. A diverse, multi-media company, LIFETIME
is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information
programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and
their families. LIFETIME Television, LMN, Lifetime Real Women and Lifetime
Digital (including LifetimeTV.com) are part of LIFETIME Entertainment
Services, a 50/50 joint venture of The Hearst Corporation and The Walt
SOURCE Lifetime Networks