After quickly putting the project in development last summer, Lifetime is moving forward with Surviving Jeffrey Epstein.
The network is set to air a four-hour investigative documentary about the convicted sex offender, who died in prison in August shortly after he was handed new federal charges for the sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York. Surviving Jeffrey Epstein officially mints “Surviving” as something of a franchise at Lifetime, following its Emmy-nominated series Surviving R. Kelly and follow-up Surviving R. Kelly II: The Reckoning.
Planned for a summer premiere, Surviving Jeffrey Epstein will examine the billionaire New York financier who allegedly used his power and connections to shield his predatory behavior with young girls.
Robert Friedman’s Bungalow Media + Entertainment is producing, with filmmakers filmmakers Anne Sundberg and Ricki Stern (The Preppy Murder) directing. Journalist Christopher Mason is attached, while Shura Davidson and Gena McCarthy are executive producing at Lifetime.
“A serious story requires journalists behind it," A+E Networks boss Paul Buccieri told The Hollywood Reporter of the project in August. "It's about finding the right people that have the expertise to tell the right story, especially stories that we believe are important. You can have two pieces of content going out at the same time and one can be much more elevated than the other.”
A number of projects about Epstein have been in the works since his 2019 arrest, though much coverage now focuses on the circumstances around his death, which was ruled a suicide. At the start of this year, 60 Minutes devoted a segment to questions around the death and his autopsy.
Elsewhere in the documentary genre, Lifetime announced that it is partnering with Elizabeth Smart of a series of hourlong specials looking into tragic crimes. Smart Justice will find the child-abuse advocate — a survivor of a harrowing teenage abduction — interviewing victims and family members and going through real case evidence.