Gretchen Carlson to Host NXIVM, College Admissions Scandal Docs on Lifetime

Catherine Oxenberg Gretchen Carlson - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Lifetime

Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson is joining Lifetime to host hourlong documentaries about the NXIVM cult and the college admissions bribery scandal.

Both documentaries are tied to scripted movies in the cabler's "Ripped From the Headlines" franchise of films. Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother's Fight to Save Her Daughter is set to air Sept. 21, and The College Admissions Scandal will debut Oct. 12.

The Carlson-hosted documentaries will both carry Lifetime's Beyond the Headlines banner. Following Escaping the NXIVM Cult, Carlson will delve into the inner workings of the group that presented itself as a self-help organization but was what prosecutors called secret society of "sex slaves." Leader Keith Raniere was convicted in June of sex-trafficking and racketeering charges. 

The documentary will also feature a firsthand account from actress Catherine Oxenberg about her efforts to get her daughter out of NXIVM. The Escaping the NXIVM Cult movie stars Andrea Roth as a mother whose daughter (Jasper Polish) is drawn into the group. Peter Facinelli plays Rainere, and Sara Fletcher also stars as actress Allison Mack, who was an NXIVM follower and pleaded guilty in the case before Rainere's trial.

Following The College Admissions Scandal, which stars Penelope Ann Miller and Mia Kirshner, Carlson will take an in-depth look at the scam run by admissions counselor William "Rick" Singer that resulted in 50 indictments of parents, college administrators and coaches. She speaks with a family who had an encounter with Singer and the plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against the accused, among others.

Lifetime has also set dates for two other "Ripped From the Headlines" movies. Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story is set to air Sept. 28, and Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story, starring Alyson Hannigan, will air Oct. 5.