A+E Networks says there is plenty of content in its production pipeline.
The company will renew its successful “Live PD” franchise for an additional 160 episodes on A&E, while launching a live showcase led by comedian Jeff Foxworthy and a series featuring WWE wrestlers tracking the professional-wrestling organization’s memorabilia – a sign that many TV companies will likely rely on reality programming in weeks ahead as production is crimped by the coronavirus pandemic. And it will also unveil a spate of original movies for its Lifetime cable network, says Paul Buccieri, president of A+E Networks Group, in an interivew.
“We are in production 52 weeks a year, and have a long-term view,” says Buccieri The executive said the company has been able to continue post-production work on its array of unscripted series by moving staffers to work at home. The company has also been “pushing our scripted movies,” a staple of the company’s Lifetime network, over the last two months.
The company’s flagship A&E Network has renewed “Live PD,” the popular show that follows cops on calls both routine and bizarre, for an additional 160 episodes. The three-hour live show will release its 300th episode in June.
A&E will launch “What’s It Worth? Live,’ hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy and produced by ITV America’s Thinkfactory Media. The program will viewers a chance to bid on and purchase an array of “personal treasures,” sold by everyday Americans in a real-time marketplace. A&E Network has greenlit eight two-hour episodes of the series. And the network will debut a new series with WWE Studios, “The Quest for Lost WWE Treasures.” Over the course of ten one-hour episodes, Stephanie McMahon and Paul “Triple H” Levesque will lead a team of collectors and WWE celebrities as they travel across the country to find WWE collectibles. The company had previously greenlit five “Biography” specials showcasing various WWE figures.
Lifetime, meanwhile, expects to launch 50 more “Lifetime Original Movies” between now and the end of 2020, including new originals for a holiday slate. The female-focused network is ramping up production on its movie pipeline for 2021, which will include biopics on Salt-N-Pepa and Wendy Williams.
Jamie Lee Curtis will executive produce, star in and direct the new film “How We Sleep at Night: The Sara Cunningham Story,” which centers on a devout Christian mother coming to terms with her son being gay. Curtis will direct from a script written by Sally Robinson. The project will be distributed by Sony Pictures Television.
“Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts will executive produce “A Home of Their Own,” a movie and accompanying documentary about Jolene Schlander and Calvin Wield, who change their lives to foster children of opioid addicts. The project is produced by Rock‘n Robin and Lincoln Square Productions, and executive producers are Roberts, Linda Berman and Yvonne Chotzen. The script is written by Maria Nation.
Lifetime is developing a third installment of the “Harry & Meghan” movie franchise. “Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace,” will focus on the couple’s decision to step back from the duties of the British monarchy following the birth of their son Archie. The script is being written by Scarlett Lacey and executive producers are Merideth Finn and Michele Weiss.
Lifetime said it was also readying a slate of holiday-themed films Betty White will take part in an untitled Christmas movie, while Kelly Rowland will executive produce and star in “Merry Liddle Christmas Wedding.” Melissa Joan Hart will direct “Feliz NaviDad” which will star Mario Lopez, who will executive produce and star as a single dad whose daughter tries to help him find the holiday spirit after the passing of his wife. Lifetime said the holiday movies are currently in various stages of production.
History plans a documentary with President Bill Clinton that will explore the history of the American presidency, as well as three miniseries events centered around Preident Abraham Lincoln and President Theodore Roosevelt, both executive produced by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. History has also greenlit “The Men Who Built America 2,” executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. The three-part miniseries will profile U.S. business titans such as JP Morgan and Chrysler and examine how their operations influenced America.