Lifetime sets its spring slate of movies with back-to-back original films featuring top names, beginning on Saturday, March 11 with Girl in the Closet, starring Tami Roman (Truth Be Told, The Ms. Pat Show) and multi-platinum artist Remy Ma, inspired by actual events of a young girl who was imprisoned in a basement and closet by her own aunt. Keshia Knight Pulliam (A New Orleans Noel) headlines The Hillsdale Adoption Scam premiering on Saturday, March 18, inspired by the story of a couple who turn to adoption only to discover the baby they were waiting for was all part of an elaborate scam to steal their money. Mena Suvari (American Woman) stars as a successful businesswoman whose life begins to unravel after welcoming the sister she never knew she had into her life in Twisted Sister, premiering Friday, March 24. Tamala Jones (Castle) pulls double duty as executive producer and star of Every Breath She Takes, premiering Saturday, March 25. The movie also stars Tisha Campbell (Uncoupled), Brian White, (The Black Hamptons), and Jackée Harry (Days of our Lives) and is the story of a woman who begins to question if her late husband is really deceased or if she is on the brink of losing her mind. On Easter Sunday, April 9, Tatyana Ali (Fresh Prince of Bel Air) stars in the biopic Giving Hope: The Ni’Cola Mitchell Story, telling the inspirational story of Mitchell who created the influential Black youth program Girls Who Brunch. Finally, Michael Michele (Ali, ER) and Savannah Lee Smith (Gossip Girl) star in the teen drinking drama Drunk, Driving, and 17 premiering Saturday, April 15.
These movies join previously announced Black Girl Missing starring Garcelle Beauvais debuting Saturday, March 4, and Pride: A Seven Deadly Sins Story from executive producer TD Jakes with Grammy® winners Stephanie Mills and Erica Campbell on Saturday, April 8.
Full descriptions of the new movies are available below. All films debut @ 8/7c.
GIRL IN THE CLOSET
STARS TAMI ROMAN, REMY MA, BRIELLE OLIVER, DAIJAH PETERS
Saturday, March 11
Girl in the Closet follows 10-year-old Cameron who was accidentally placed into the custody of her aunt Mia (Tami Roman, Truth Be Told, The Ms. Pat Show), a convicted murderer after her mother Patricia (Multi-Platinum Artist Remy Ma) suffers an aneurysm. While Mia enriches herself with benefit checks from foster care, unspeakable atrocities occur at her hands while Patricia pleads for help to find her daughter’s whereabouts for over a decade. Cameron finds herself locked in a closet and near death, with only her faith to see her through. The film is inspired by actual events and also stars Brielle Oliver and Daijah Peters as Cameron at different ages.
This is the latest in Lifetime’s “Girl In” movies which showcase harrowing stories of women who survive horrific circumstances. The movies include Girl in Room 13, Girl in the Basement, Girl in the Bunker, Girl in the Box, and Girl in the Shed. As part of the Stop Violence Against Women Public Affairs Campaign, Lifetime has partnered with RAINN for this important project.
Girl in the Closet is produced by Swirl Films. Abbey MacDonald, Eric Tomosunas, Courtney Miller and Rob Hill serve as executive producers. Jaira Thomas directs from a script by Sa’Rah Jones.
THE HILLSDALE ADOPTION SCAM
STARS KESHIA KNIGHT PULLIAM
Saturday, March 18
Inspired by true events, Bethany (Keshia Knight Pulliam) and Terrence have a thriving business, lots of friends, and a beautiful family. Unable to have more kids, Bethany thinks it’s a blessing when Georgia, who is pregnant, shows up on their porch looking for help. Though Terrence is hesitant about Georgia, Bethany dives in headfirst with the idea of adopting Georgia’s unborn baby. As the pregnancy progresses, it starts to feel like things don’t seem right, and they begin to discover unsettling things about Georgia and her cunning and unscrupulous motives.
The Hillsdale Adoption Scam is produced by The Cartel for Lifetime. Stan Spry, Eric Woods, Samantha DeGagne, and Devan Towers serve as executive producers and Anthony Fankhauser served as Producer with Asia Youngman directing from a script written by Justin D. James.
STARS MENA SUVARI, MARK FAMIGLIETTI AND JOY NASH
Friday, March 24
Emily (Mena Suvari) seems to have it all; a beautiful daughter, a successful PR firm, an inheritance from her parents and, after couples therapy, her marriage is back on track with her husband Kyle (Mark Famiglietti). So, when Lily (Joy Nash) shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her half-sister, Emily takes her in with open arms. After all, Emily’s parents passed away and she would love to have another family member around. But the more Emily gets to know her sister, the more things start to go awry in her life. At a loss as to who she can trust, Emily begins to question everyone around her including Lily who, unbeknownst to Emily, is jealous of her success and has devised a plan to seduce her husband and steal her life.
Twisted Sister is produced by The Cartel. Executive producers are Stan Spry, Eric Woods and Lexi Lewis. Patricia Frontain directs from a script written by Montana Mann.
EVERY BREATH SHE TAKES
STARS TAMALA JONES, TISHA CAMPBELL, JACKÉE HARRY, BRIAN WHITE, AND NIKKI BLONSKY
Saturday, March 25
After suffering years of mental and verbal abuse by her husband Billy (Brian White), Jules Baker (Tamala Jones) thinks she is finally free when a fierce physical struggle ends in a massive fire that destroys their home and takes Billy’s life. As Jules begins to rebuild her life, dark rumors haunt her when she hears whispers around town that she is “the one that killed her husband.” Things take a turn for the worse when problems with insurance arise after it’s found that the fire was intentionally set, and all signs point to Jules. She’s pushed to the edge as a series of frightening events threaten her mental stability and she thinks she’s seeing Billy at every turn. When people around her begin to have mysterious accidents, Jules start to question everything… including her sanity.
Every Breath She Takes is produced by Poke Prod in association with MarVista Entertainment for Lifetime. Sean Dwyer and Elizabeth Cullen executive produce for Poke Prod, along with Tamala Jones. Deena Stern and Fernando Szew executive produce for MarVista. Mary Beth McAdaragh and Flo and Ken Chotiner also serve as executive producers. Darin Scott directs the screenplay from Amy Taylor and Jennifer Edwards.
GIVING HOPE: THE NI’COLA MITCHELL STORY
STARS TATYANA ALI, NADINE WHITEMAN RODEN, MIKALAH REID-BECKETTE AND KUDAKWASHE RUTENDO
EASTER Sunday, April 9
Tatyana Ali stars in Giving Hope: The Ni’Cola Mitchell Story, the emotional true story of best-selling author and inspirational speaker Ni’Cola Mitchell, who after experiencing sexual violence as a young girl, founded an organization dedicated to saving at-risk girls from abuse and exploitation.
Ni’Cola Mitchell (Tatyana Ali), successful author, publisher, and speaker, realizes at a book signing that her calling is to help disadvantaged girls. Ni’Cola understands what it is like to overcome huge hurdles in life including a difficult childhood and a cancer diagnosis, and after putting her own writing career on hold, she launches Girls Who Brunch, events designed to make young women feel seen and empowered. With the support of her sister Nene (Nadine Whiteman Roden) and daughters Diamond (Kudakwashe Rutendo) and Destani (Mikalah Reid-Beckette), she pours everything she has into the organization, including her own money, and mobilizes volunteers, coaches, and community leaders to help host events. Ni’Cola is named A Woman of Worth by L’Oréal and sponsorship opportunities begin to come in, helping Girls Who Brunch expand nationally and travel to dozens of cities across the country, reaching tens of thousands of girls in the process.
Giving Hope: The Ni’Cola Mitchell Story is produced by Champlin Media. Executive producers are Barbara Fisher, Tom Berry, Suzanne Chapman, and Ni’Cola Mitchell. Producers are Adam Gowland, Jordana Aarons, and Cassandra Keenan. Alpha Nicky directs from a script written by Adam Rockoff.
DRUNK, DRIVING, AND 17
STARS MICHAEL MICHELE AND SAVANNAH LEE SMITH
Saturday, April 15
Inspired by true events, Drunk, Driving, and 17 tells the story of the tragic consequences of underage drinking and social hosting, where adults allow their children to host parties with alcohol with the belief they are safer drinking at home. 17-year-old Kim (Savannah Lee Smith, Gossip Girl) is every parent’s dream – she’s an honor student, popular, responsible, and bound for Stanford. But when she sees her boyfriend Dan flirting with another girl, Kim makes the worst decision of her life. In the blink of an eye, Kim wrecks the car, her life, and almost kills a classmate in a head-on collision. While Kim is responsible for her own actions, Dan’s parents, Martha (Michael Michele, Ali, ER) and Tim also face scrutiny and liability by the town and police for allowing alcohol to be served to minors at their home.
Drunk, Driving, and 17 is produced by Swirl Films and Big Dreams Entertainment. Leslie Greif, Michele Samit, and Ronnie Clemmer serve as executive producers. Russ Parr directs from a script written by Amber Benson and Richard Kletter.