Lifetime Announces ‘Surviving Jeffrey Epstein’ Doc, ‘The Clark Sisters’ Airdate & More

Courtesy of Lifetime

Lifetime is building on its 2019 success with its 2020 slate.

The network announced a new documentary, new movies based on V.C. Andrews’ work, companion docs for the network’s Ripped from the Headlines true-crime movies, a new biopic, and the premiere date for a star-studded film during its session at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour.

Surviving Jeffrey Epstein

After Surviving R. Kelly and Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning, Lifetime will continue to raise the voices of survivors with the four-hour Surviving Jeffrey Epstein, in line with its Stop Violence Against Women initiative to provide a platform and resources for women. It will air this summer.

The doc investigates the billionaire New York financier who allegedly used his connections to the rich and famous to shield his predatory behavior with young girls. It comes from Emmy-winner Robert Friedman’s Bungalow Media + Entertainment with award-winning filmmakers Anne Sundberg and Ricki Stern set to direct. Respected journalist Christopher Mason is attached to the project, with Shura Davidson and Gena McCarthy executive producing.

Carey Kelly in Surviving R. Kelly (Courtesy of Lifetime)

Another V.C. Andrews Movie Series Event

After the success of the Casteel Family movies, the network has ordered a five-movie series based on V.C. Andrews’ Ruby Landry novels. The first, V.C. Andrews’ Ruby, will star Australian twins Raechelle Banno as Ruby and Karina Banno as Giselle. The other films in the series are Pearl in the Mist, All That Glitters, Hidden Jewel, and Tarnished Gold.

The parents of Ruby’s high school sweetheart forbid him from seeing her, and soon dark family secrets are revealed. After her Grandmère Catherine dies, Ruby flees to New Orleans and searches for her estranged father.

Tom Berry, Dan Angel, Jane Starz, and Ric Nish are executive producers, and screenwriters include Richard Blaney, Gregory Small, Scarlett Lacey, Andy Cochran, and Alison Lea Bingeman. Gail Harvey will direct the first film.

Lorena Bobbitt Biopic

It’s the 30-year anniversary of the Lifetime Original Movie in 2020, and the network will premiere over 100 new titles. One is the newly greenlit Ripped from the Headlines true-crime title, I Was Lorena Bobbitt.

Lorena Bobbitt became a household name and made tabloid headlines after she cut off her abusive husband’s penis with a knife in 1993. Thirty years later, she tells her story for the first time with Lifetime. The film follows her journey from wide-eyed immigrant bride to battered wife to an unlikely media sensation to a strong, thoughtful woman who has devoted her life to advocating for other abused women.

Elizabeth Smart hosting Smart Justice: The Jayme Closs Case (Courtesy of Lifetime)

Bobbitt, Andy Streitfeld, Jeff Vanderwal, and Charles Tremayne are executive producers on the film written by Barbara Nance. Danishka Esterhazy will direct.

Elizabeth Smart’s Justice

Lifetime has teamed up with Elizabeth Smart for six hour-long specials that tackle powerful true crime stories to complement its Ripped from the Headlines movie titles. The docs will be announced at a later date.

Each features behind-the-scenes information on tragic crimes and powerful and emotional breakthroughs as Elizabeth actively helps place victims on their journey to healing. Each will present real case evidence, including police video, crime scene materials, interrogation tapes, courtroom footage, and interviews with the actual victims, family members, and others.

Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey serves as senior executive producer, with Jeremy Spiegel and Scott Eldridge on board as executive producers. Mioshi Hill and Gena McCarthy will executive produce for Lifetime.

Celebrate Easter with The Clark Sisters

Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, and Missy Elliott’s The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel will premiere on Saturday, April 11 at 8/7c.

The authorized musical chronicles the story of the highest-selling female gospel group in history and their trailblazing mother, Mattie Moss Clark (Aunjanue Ellis). The five Clark sisters (Christina Bell as Twinkie, Kierra Sheard as Karen, Sheléa Frazier as Dorinda, Raven Goodwin as Denise, and Angela Birchett as Jacky) are credited with bringing gospel music to the mainstream.

Executive producers include Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, and Loretha Jones, while Holly Carter also executive produces for Revele Entertainment and Shakim Compere executive produces for Flavor Unit. Christine Swanson is the director for the film written by Sylvia L. Jones and Camille Tucker.