Lifetime continues to impress with its commitment to creating and distributing content by and about women. The network has announced a new programming slate and a new multi-platform initiative with an emphasis on entertainment by and for women. A united effort titled The Fempire will draw together linear, digital, social and community partnerships with the goal of “entertaining and engaging the next generation of feminists.” That’s a mission statement we can get behind.
Lifetime found a hit with critical darling “UnReal” and is adding two new scripted series to its roster: “Sea Change,” a supernatural drama based on bestselling author Aimee Friedman’s YA novel, and the U.S. linear debut of the beloved cheeky comedy “Catastrophe.” The former is written by Liz Sczudlo (“The Following,” “Awkward”) and the latter is executive produced by series’ star, comic Sharon Hogan. “UnReal” fans will be delighted to learn that the series’ co-creator, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, has produced and written “The Faith Diaries,” a digital short series for Lifetime which follows Faith (Breeda Wool) from “UnReal”.
Movies are planned with athletes Ronda Rousey and Serena Williams as well as R&B singer Michel’le. “Paris Can Wait,” starring Diane Lane and Alec Baldwin and directed by Eleanor Coppola, will be released under the Lifetime Films banner. The film will open theatrically before premiering on Lifetime.
The Fempire digital hub will live at mylifetime.com, a place where women can connect and share online.
The female-targeted cable network offered a job to every graduate of the AFI Conservatory’s prestigious Directing Workshop for Women last year. And as a recent BuzzFeed profile on Lifetime notes, women wrote or directed 73 percent of Lifetime’s original films from 1994 to 2016.
“It still sucks to be a woman in America because women feel dismissed in both big and small ways throughout their day every day,” said Liz Gateley, EVP and Head of Programming for Lifetime. “We know our viewers come to Lifetime because we empower them.”