Lifetime announced a bunch of random programming to be developed over the next year, including a movie deal with Ronda Rousey, a Serena Williams project and a series executive produced by Janet Jackson.

Switching the focus a bit from terrible biopics to original projects like UnREAL, the network is looking to all these high-profile women to create interesting content and bring in viewers.


Selena Gomez, for instance, is working on a scripted series with Kevin Spacey that’s based on her life, while the Janet project follows the story of real-life Prohibition-era mobster Queenie.

Deadline reports:

Rousey has signed a three-picture movie deal to bring stories that reflect her passions about empowerment to the screen, according to the network. Additionally, Williams will executive produce the movie, Sister Dance (wt), a story inspired by the annual dance-off competition she hosts with her sister, Venus.

The shows are all part of Lifetime’s rebranding efforts, which Executive VP Liz Gateley describes as a shift away from women “in peril.” Women, she says, “want characters who exhibit those things that they don’t feel the giddy-up to do every day.” They’re calling this future era of programming the Lifetime “fempire.”

“If you think about it, what feminism means for millennials is simply equality,” says Gateley. “But what we wanted is a word that [all ages] would hear and not have to fear it meant we’d be preachy or earnest with our fists in the air.”


Also on the schedule: the unscripted series Fashion Inc. (it sounds like Shark Tank meets Project Runway), an adaptation of the YA novel Sea Change and a 2017 U.S. premiere of the U.K. comedy Catastrophe, currently streaming on Amazon.

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