Cabler to air reality-based women's stories

NEW YORK — Lifetime announced two new original primetime series and a slate of original movies Wednesday at an upfront presentation to advertisers at Gotham’s Grand Hyatt.

Melissa Etheridge will be the host of “How Could It Happen,” a primetime, hour-long, reality-based series that features stories about women who have experienced twists of fate. In addition, Ruby Wax, a British talkshow host, will star in “The Ruby Wax Show.”

The list of movies includes projects executive produced by Vanessa Williams, Dolly Parton, Bette Midler and Sally Field.

Williams will star in and exec produce “Quadroon Ball,” the true story of Henriette Delille, one of the first black Catholic nuns.

Parton will star in and exec produce “Blue Valley Songbird” for the channel. Pic follows the life of a young Tennessee woman who dreams of becoming a country singer.

“Hazel Walker,” the true story of the founder of the first women’s professional basketball team will be exec produced by Midler and Bonnie Bruckheimer.

Field will exec produce “Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady,” the story of the race for U.S. Senate between Richard Nixon and Helen Gahagan Douglas.

Based on Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “American Daughter” tells the story of a woman’s nomination to the position of surgeon general.

Lifetime will present two original documentaries this year: the millennium minded “100 Years of Women,” which profiles 100-year-old women and “Beauty and Aging in America,” hosted by Sela Ward.

The network also officially renewed two series that premiered last year, “Any Day Now” and “Oh Baby.”

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