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Lifetime preps original telepic

Goldberg, Streisand head 'Family'

Whoopi Goldberg and Barbra Streisand will exec produce “What Makes a Family,” an original telefilm for Lifetime Television, the femme cabler will announce today at an upfront presentation for advertisers.

Based on a true story, “What Makes a Family” will portray a lesbian who fights her late partner’s parents for custody of her and her partner’s child. In addition to Goldberg and Streisand, Cis Corman, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will exec produce the telepic, which is scheduled to premiere in first quarter 2001. Goldberg will also be featured in a supporting role.

Other original movies on the slate include “When Bryan Came Home,” slated for a fourth quarter 2000 premiere, and “Custody of the Heart,” which will air in September.

Lifetime will also announce today that it has signed a development deal with Delta Burke (“Designing Women”). As part of the deal, Burke will host an hourlong daily daytime series “that helps women celebrate what they are, instead of worrying about what they aren’t.”

Lifetime’s programming slate for the 2000-01 season boasts its highest number of original primetime hours ever, including the launch of the previously announced one-hour drama series “Strong Medicine” (working title) and “City Lights” (working title).

What women want

“We’re dramatically increasing our spending on original programming so that we can continue to give women what they want from us,” said Dawn Tarnofsky-Ostroff, exec VP, entertainment, Lifetime.

Lifetime has also renewed the original series “Any Day Now” and “Beyond Chance.” As expected, “Oh Baby” will not return for another season.

Lifetime’s primetime lineup will also feature documentaries and specials, including a concert to raise awareness for breast cancer, 40 new installments of the “Intimate Portrait” series, and “Healthy Start,” a documentary about prenatal care by Rory Kennedy (“American Hollow”) and Liz Garbus (“The Farm”). In addition, Dylan McDermott (“The Practice”) will host a special on domestic violence and children.

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