Lifetime Unveils Projects with Selena Gomez, Serena Williams, Ronda Rousey and ‘Fempire’ Digital Initiative

Lifetime has unveiled a host of new projects, including an autobiographical scripted series with Selena Gomez and movies with Serena Williams and Ronda Rousey, as well as an anthology drama series that puts a horror twist on tales from the Bard.

The A+E Networks cabler also vowed to invest in short-form digital content that will be presented under the “Fempire” brand, which was billed as “entertaining and engaging the next generation of feminists.” And Lifetime has picked up episodes of the U.K. comedy “Catastrophe,” which has generated buzz in the U.S. on Amazon’s platform. Among the “Fempire” projects is “The Faith Diaries,” the previously announced spinoff from the cabler’s hot drama series”Unreal.”

Lifetime has ordered a two-hour pilot for a supernatural drama “Sea Change,” based on the young adult novel by Aimee Friedman and adapted by Liz Sczudlo.  Fernando Szew, Sharon Bordas, Lloyd Segan, Shawn Piller and David MacLeod are exec producing for MarVista Entertainment.

The Gomez project is based on her life as seen through the eyes of her friends as her career takes off. There is no writer attached yet but the project is being shepherded by exec producers Kevin Spacey, Mandy Teefey, Dana Brunetti, Samantha Droke and Troy Searer.

“A Midsummer’s Nightmare,” from A+E Studios, is described as an adaptation of Shakespeare plays that are turned into contemporary horror mysteries. Each season would take on a different play, starting with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Screenwriter Anthony Jaswinski is adapting “Midsummer” as a story that finds two young lovers on a getaway in the woods who wind up in a struggle to survive as friends arrive to lure them home.

Rousey has set a three-movie deal to develop movies about femme empowerment. Williams will produce “Sister Dance,” based on the dance-off that the tennis star holds every year with her sister, Venus Williams.

Other projects in the works:

  • “Queenie,” a movie about a 1920s female gangster, produced by Janet Jackson and directed by Kenny Leon (“The Wiz Live”).
  • “The Michel’le Story,” a movie from Sony Pictures TV about the 1990s R&B star who was once romantically linked to Dr. Dre.
  • “None of the Above” (wt), from Davis Entertainment and A+E Studios, based on the novel about a girl who discovers she is intersex.
  • A project from “Vampire Diaries” writer Holly Brix about a group of strangers who are brought together by an unknown puppet master who threatens to expose their past misdeeds.
  • “Breeders” (wt), a dramedy from Jason Gann (“Wilfred) about support group survival for new parents.
  • “Deadline” (wt), a satirical one-hour drama about a journalist about who is frustrated about trying to survive in a world that values gossip over hard-hitting news.


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