The network also renewed drama “Mary Kills People” for a second season, and greenlighted two new made-for-TV movies: “Faith Under Fire,” starring Toni Braxton, and “The Simone Biles Story.”
“UnReal” Season 3, which was originally scheduled to air this summer, has been pushed to early 2018, as previously announced. Production on Season 3 has already wrapped, but the delay will allow Lifetime to pair it with “Mary Kills People” next year.
Season 4 of “UnReal” is the first to be produced under new showrunner Stacy Rukeyser. In Season 3, Rachel (Shiri Appleby) and Quinn (Constance Zimmer) must deal with a new feminist “suitress,” Serena (Caitlin FitzGerald), on their dating competition show-within-a-show, “Everlasting.”
Besides “UnReal” and “Mary Kills People,” Lifetime will also premiere the new drama “You” in 2018. The show, based on the novel, stars Penn Badgley and comes from executive producers Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble.
Lifetime stressed that as part of its “Broad Focus initiative,” more than 50 percent of directors for these series are female and are predominately produced and written by women.
“It’s an exciting time for all women when a female-directed movie, featuring a female superhero, tops the summer box office,” Liz Gateley, executive vice president and head of programming for Lifetime, said in a statement. “In television, Lifetime is the top tier destination for hiring female writers, directors and producers and we continue to celebrate the everyday, real-life heroes in our programming.”
As for “Faith Under Fire,” Braxton stars as single mother Antoinette Tuff, who famously saved hundreds of lives in 2013 when she convinced a deranged gunman who stormed an elementary school to surrender. The film is based on the book “Prepared for a Purpose: An Inspiring True Story of Faith, Courage and Compassion in Crisis” by Tuff and Alex Tresniowski, Vondie Curtis Hall will direct, while Laura Harrington and Stephen Kay wrote the script.
“The Simone Biles Story,” based on the Olympic champion’s book “Courage To Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance,” follows Biles’ journey from foster care to the Olympic podium.