A 'Gathering' of witches for Lifetime mini

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Lifetime Television has greenlighted its second original miniseries, a four-hour drama titled "The Gathering" from "Battlestar Galactica" producer David Eick and "The X-Files" executive producer John Shiban.

Casting is under way on the two-part mini, from Sony Pictures Television, which is set to air in the fall. It tells the story of Michael Foster, a doctor in search of his wife after she vanishes without a trace. Without any logical explanation for her disappearance, Michael's search leads him to dark and sinister findings, including the existence of a cabal of witches gathering in modern-day New York.

The network is set to announce "Gathering" at its upfront presentation to advertisers today in New York.

"It's great to be in business with David Eick and John Shiban, who have created a truly unique and scary event for Lifetime," said Susanne Daniels, president of entertainment at Lifetime Entertainment Services. "The storytelling in 'The Gathering' reminds us how unpredictable and unexplainable life can truly be."

Tom Patricia (Lifetime's "Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story") also is executive producing. Bill Eagles (CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation") will direct from a script by Shiban. Grove Street Pictures and Cine Pico are producing in association with SPT.

"The scarier the real world gets, the more it seems we look to allegory to reflect our fears back at us," Eick said. "This is a very timely story about how the people closest to you might be the ones you can trust the least."

Added Shiban: "We wanted to take a horror staple — witchcraft — and give it a dose of reality and make television that scares because it feels real."

"Gathering" is Lifetime's second original mini following 2005's "Human Trafficking," which stars Mira Sorvino and Donald Sutherland and earned multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
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