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Lifetime used its upfront presentation Thursday to announce a pair of production deals with Queen Latifah and Toni Braxton as well as unveil the premiere date for Greg Berlanti-produced scripted drama You, while also adding a few new unscripted series.
Latifah’s deal will see the actress-rapper and prolific producer exec produce documentary Where Did the Women of Hip-Hop Go. The project examines the history of female rappers in a genre dominated by men and explores the future for female emcees. Latifah will also exec produce the one-hour special UNITY, which follows her as she remakes her pivotal hit single of the same name from 1993.
Braxton, meanwhile, is fresh off her lead role in TV movie Faith Under Fire and has signed a multiple-film production deal with the cable network. One of those will be the centerpiece of Lifetime’s holiday programming block, It’s a Wonderful Lifetime, as the female-skewing cabler plans 14 new movies to debut in November and December.
“Both Queen Latifah and Toni Braxton have been part of the Lifetime family for many years, and it’s proven that our audiences love them as much as we do, and we are excited they will be back on the network for even more,” said Tanya Lopez, exec vp movies, limited series and original movie acquisitions at Lifetime and LMN.
Meanwhile, Berlanti-produced drama You — from showrunner Sera Gamble and based on Caroline Kepnes‘ best-seller of the same name — will premiere Sept. 9 at 10 p.m. The drama starring Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail and Shay Mitchell will follow The Bad Seed, a telepic starring and directed by Rob Lowe at 8 p.m.
On the unscripted side, Lifetime has ordered docuseries Raising Tourette’s and Seatbelt Psychic, featuring medium Thomas John. Additionally, sibling network FYI’s marriage docuseries Seven Year Switch will move to Lifetime.
“Lifetime has been entertaining its viewers with some of the biggest reality franchises on the television landscape, from Dance Moms to Little Women to Married at First Sight,” said Gena McCarthy, exec vp and head of programming at Lifetime unscripted and head of programming at FYI. “We are igniting development now to deliver entertaining destination content to our passionate audience.”
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