Lifetime Television will highlight its annual “Stop Breast Cancer for Life” campaign with an original movie Living Proof, the true story of the UCLA physician and researcher who developed the breast cancer drug Herceptin.
The telefilm stars Harry Connick Jr. and is produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, executive producers of theatrical film Chicago. The film is slated for an October debut.
Also committed to the film: Amanda Bynes (Hairspray), Angie Harmon (Women’s Murder Club), Swoosie Kurtz (Pushing Daisies), Bernadette Peters and Regina King (Ray).
Between Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network, 40 original movies are in production, including material from John Updike, Candace Bushnell and crime novelist Patricia Cornwell.
Shirley Maclaine will head Coco Chanel, due Sept. 13. Maclaine told TV critics July 11 Audrey Hepburn advised her once to play Chanel some day. Maclaine countered that Chanel was short and slumped over, but Hepburn said Maclaine had the spirit of Chanel.
Maclaine said she wore Chanel clothes, “all knock-offs,” in her 20s. She added she liked the designer’s “colorful rudeness” and her conflict between love and ambition. Maclaine also said she isn’t offered many biopics, but she’d love to play Georgia O’Keefe and Louise Brooks.
Lifetime’s biggest hit, Army Wives, is still early in its second season, but Lifetime said during its Television Critics Association tour session that it has already been picked up for a third season of 18 episodes.
Another popular series, reality skein How To Look Good Naked, has been expanded to one-hour episodes and returns July 22. Host Carson Kressley said the longer format will really let the show delve deeper into the stories of the women featured on the show.
Kressley said he really didn’t know what he was doing when the show began. “How to look good naked? A box of wine and a dimmer switch,” he quipped.
A Kressley-hosted daytime talk show also is among six reality shows under development at Lifetime.
Also for daytime, the channel is filming Cook Yourself Thin, training a woman how to cook her favorite dishes in a more healthy way; and Mom’s Cooking, with daughters visiting their mother’s kitchen to learn how to cook her best recipe.
For primetime, The Week the Women Went is a reality competition where the wife goes away for a week of pampering while the husbands compete keeping the household together.
On the scripted side is Drop Dead Diva, about a model who dies and comes back to life as a 30-year-old attorney; and Mistresses, based on a British series of the same name.
The network is also adding an original comedy to its schedule. Rita Rocks stars Nicole Sullivan (Mad TV) as a suburban mom who tries to get her spark back by starting a garage band with friends such as her postal carrier, played by Tisha Campbell-Martin (My Wife and Kids).
Lifetime Movie Networks hopes to replicate the success of its record-setting miniseries The Capture of the Green River Killer with new originals such as Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story, scheduled for Aug. 17.
LMN has 18 films scheduled during the next year.