Renee Zellweger, Lifetime Team for Hollywood Period Drama

Network topper Nancy Dubuc calls the project a "game changer" for the female-skewing cabler.
Renee Zellweger

Lifetime is taking a few pages out of Renee Zellweger’s diary.

The female-skewing cable network has picked up Cinnamon Girl, a 1960s drama loosely based on Zellweger’s journey from small-town Texas to Hollywood.

Created by Zellweger and Anthony Tambakis (Warrior), Cinnamon Girl will revolve around four girls as they come of age during the cultural revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s in Los Angeles. The drama will explore Cassie, Lola, Penny and Lou's lives as they reach a crossroads of the era's political, artistic, social and sexual rebellions.

“Renee’s passion, clarity of character and deep emotion for this project immediately transported us to the late ’60s/early ’70s and created a resonance with us wanting to relive that energy,” Lifetime president and GM Nancy Dubuc said in a statement announcing the news Wednesday. “Cinnamon Girl is a game changer for our network and is exactly the type of show we want to deliver.”

Zellweger and Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) will executive produce, with the Bridget Jones actress co-writing the story alongside Tambakis, who will pen the script. O’Connor will direct with Danny Bramson (Jerry McGuire) serving as producer and music supervisor.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Nancy Dubuc and Rob Sharenow, who share our enthusiasm and creative intentions, and we believe the timing is perfect for Cinnamon Girl to have found a home at Lifetime during this transformative juncture at the network,” Zellweger said. “We’re really looking forward to making Cinnamon Girl come to life as part of their campaign to expand audience expectations and redefine what it means to be a Lifetime show.”

The period drama marks Zellweger’s second project with Lifetime. In 2008 she executive produced Living Proof, the true story of UCLA’s Dr. Dennis Slamon, who helped develop the breast cancer drug Herceptin.

Cinnamon also serves as the latest in a long line of high-profile projects for the cabler, which this week premiered its original movie Five, an anthology of short films exploring the impact of breast cancer on people’s lives. Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and Alicia Keys were among the directors taking part.

The network is also developing a period drama revolving around The Hollywood Reporter founder William Wilkerson with Johnny Depp’s shingle Infinitum Nihil attached as well as a contemporary reboot of Steel Magnolias from Hairspray duo Neil Meron and Craig Zadan.

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