New York -- Lifetime Television is bumping up production of original movies, doing its first original miniseries and creating a Friday-night reality block anchored by an American version of How Clean Is Your House, from the producers of American Idol.
At its upfront presentation here Thursday, Lifetime unveiled its 2004-05 season plans, which included increasing the network’s slate of original movies by 50%, to 19 from 12.
Lifetime’s roster of talent for its new telepics includes Dana Delaney, Mary-Louise Parker, Kathleen Quinlan, Mariska Hargitay, Lauren Holly and Debra Winger. Winger, for example, will star in Dawn Anna, the true story of a teacher and mother of four who has to face her own mortality when she struggles with a near-fatal brain mass.
The new miniseries, from Hallmark Entertainment, will address the issue of sex trafficking, which “enslaves over 1 million women and children here and around the world,” Barbara Fisher, Lifetime executive vice president of entertainment, said at the breakfast presentation.
The New York Times Sunday Magazine recently did an extensive story on the problem, in which women are abducted and forced into domestic servitude and prostitution.
Lifetime is also moving ahead with second seasons of original dramas Wild Card and Missing (formerly 1-800-MISSING), with Strong Medicine coming back for a fifth season and The Division back for a fourth one.
The women’s network has scheduled How Clean Is Your House Friday night along with fellow reality series Merge, Head 2 Toe, What Should You Do? and Lifetime’s Speaking of Women’s Health.
How Clean Is Your House,which debuts this fall, is based on the British series of the same name and has the same hosts, Kim Woodburn and Aggie Mackenzie, the picky pair who do cleaning makeovers to homes. The series is from FremantleMedia North America, which produces American Idol.
Lifetime also has two new brand extensions. It is launching Lifetime Radio for Women, a nationally syndicated radio service, later this year in partnership with Jones Radio Networks. The four-hour block is meant to air in morning drive time.
In addition, Lifetime is creating Lifetime Home Entertainment, with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, to sell DVDs of its original movies.